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How does the Canvas copyright survey work?

In order to comply with Copyright Policy R30.04 (Appendix D), each semester a random sample of instructors will be asked to complete one of two Copyright Provision Recordkeeping Surveys (Survey A and Survey B), which will record the various provisions under which they have posted copyright protected material in Canvas.

Copyright Policy appendix R30.04D Application of Appendix R30.04A (Fair Dealing Policy) to Learning Management Systems states:

"If content is uploaded or posted to an LMS by faculty members or their staff, the faculty or staff may be required to identify the reason that they are entitled to post each work or excerpt (e.g. permission obtained from the copyright holder, public domain, fair dealing, other exemption under the Copyright Act). For certain content posted to the LMS (e.g. classroom presentations containing excerpts from a number of works) multiple reasons could apply."

The Copyright Office is required by this policy to collect statistics on faculty and staff use of copyright protected material in Canvas. Uploading copyright protected material to Canvas is reproducing a work (making a copy) and therefore to post such material in Canvas an instructor must either have the permission of the copyright holder or be using an eligible exception in the Copyright Act, such as fair dealing.

A small percentage of Canvas courses will be randomly selected each semester, and those instructors will be asked to complete an anonymous web survey based on the materials uploaded to their Canvas courses. One survey (Survey A) will ask what types of materials (e.g. course documents such as syllabi and lecture notes, readings such as articles and websites, images such as photographs and maps, or audiovisual materials such as movie clips and sound recordings) the instructor has uploaded, how often these materials include copyright protected works, how the instructor finds such materials, and what copyright provisions (e.g. fair dealing, public domain, Library license) have allowed the instructor to copy these materials. The other survey (Survey B) will preselect a small number of uploaded files from the instructor's Canvas course, and will ask for the copyright provision(s) used to copy each specific file. Neither survey should take more than ten to fifteen minutes to complete.

This collection of statistics is a recordkeeping exercise which will show us how copyright protected materials are used on campus, and may also help us determine where more education or outreach may be required. This is not a compliance monitoring process. We will not be contacting or "investigating" anyone based on their responses; in fact both surveys are anonymous. Instructors will not be selected for either survey more than once per year.

Information about what constitutes fair dealing and how instructors can use copyright protected materials in their teaching can be found on the Copyright for Instructors at SFU section of the copyright website. Please also see the Copyright Infographic, which concisely spells out how you can use copyright protected materials for teaching.

Further information about the survey and how to complete it is available on the Copyright Provision Recordkeeping Survey page. Please send all questions about the survey to the Copyright Office at