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

Instructors are permitted by the Copyright Act 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. These exceptions, along with fair dealing, are described in the Copyright and Teaching Infographic.

Using materials in the classroom

Instructors are permitted to reproduce a work 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 or show a film to 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 technological protection measures, there is no notice specifically prohibiting the intended activity, and the work has been made available by the copyright owner or with their authorization). The source and, if possible, the creator's name must be cited.

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 or copied 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 copyright protected material to be reproduced, translated, performed or broadcast on university premises for testing and examination purposes.


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