Are there specific ways instructors are allowed to use copyright protected material for teaching?

Per the Copyright Act, the following are permitted for users at educational institutions in Canada:

Instructors are permitted to make use of copyright protected materials in ways that other users are not for the purpose of providing education and instruction on the premises of an educational institution. 

Using materials in the classroom

Instructors are permitted to reproduce a work, or do any other necessary act, in order to display it for the purposes of education. This would include, for example, scanning an image in a textbook for inclusion in a PowerPoint presentation.  

Instructors can play sound recordings for students on the premises of an educational institution, as long as the work is not an infringing copy. 

They may also play radio or television programs live when they are being broadcast. It has been interpreted that this, arguably, includes webcasts. 

In the classroom, instructors are permitted to reproduce and communicate works available on the Internet (provided that the works are not protected by “digital locks,” there is no notice specifically prohibiting the intended activity, and the work has not been made available in violation of the copyright owner’s rights). The source and, if possible, the creator's name must be cited.

It is permissible to show a film or other cinematographic work as long as it is for educational or training purposes and as long as the work is not an infringing copy. 

Instructors may copy news and news commentary from radio and television broadcasts for educational or personal use. 

Distance Education

Lessons containing copyright protected works beyond the fair dealing limits, including tests and exams, may be recorded and communicated (e.g. in Canvas) to students enrolled in the course, provided that the recording or copy is destroyed within 30 days after the end of the course and the institution takes measures to limit the audience to only students registered in the course. 


There is a specific exception that permits reproducing copyright protected material for testing and examination purposes. Therefore, material protected by copyright can be reproduced, translated, preformed, or broadcast on university premises for a test or exam.  


Works such as plays or music can be performed live by students without infringing copyright if the performance takes place on the premises of the school and the audience is primarily students of the school or instructors.

See the Copyright Office's infographic for details.