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Digital Delivery of Course Content

Digital Delivery of Course Content

Key points to remember:

  1. Most of the legal issues are the same whether the teaching is done in person or online (via an LMS). 
  2. If it was okay to do in class, it is often okay to do online – especially when your online access is limited to the same enrolled students (for example via an LMS). 
  3. You can continue to apply the fair dealing policy and Access Copyright license.
  • Use your university password-protected DC Connect to make material available to your students.
  • Post your in-class slides to DC Connect. Slides provided by textbook publishers can almost always be used, according to their Terms of Use. Content that you have created and for which you are the copyright owner can always be shared.
  • Course readings rules for print and online posting to DC Connect are similar. Either use the guidelines of your fair dealing policy or Access Copyright license, link to a resource within your Library collection, or link out to Internet content.
  • Your Subject Librarian may be able to help you find alternative content, and the Library has a large collection of online journals and ebooks that can help support online learning. Your librarian can also help you find openly licensed teaching materials like Open Educational Resources (OER).
  • Use phone apps like Genius Scan or Adobe Scan to easily scan to post print materials DC Connect within the limits allowed by the Copyright Act (including fair dealing – see fair dealing policy and Access Copyright license). Make scanned PDF files more accessible for your students by using an optical character recognition (OCR) online tool to convert "non-selectable" text files into more accessible versions.
  • Sharing audiovisual material like films and audio files is more complex. But remember you can still link to legally posted online content (from YouTube etc.). Your Library has streaming videos and media collections you may link to.
  • Your Subject Librarian can help you copyright check readings, create links to ebooks and journal articles and more. 

More Questions? Need help?

Contact for further information or assistance.

Creative Common Attribution Non-Commercial

This resource has been adapted for Canadian universities by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries from material prepared by the Copyright Office, University of Minnesota document Copyright Services, Rapidly shifting your course from in-person to online. Unless otherwise noted, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. We would like to acknowledge some contribution of adaptation language from University of Toronto Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office and Ryerson University Library. 

Fair Dealing Policy

These guidelines assume that the user is working with a copyright-protected work; a College license does not cover the work; and the copying is a substantial part. These guidelines only deal with situations where fair dealing is relevant and are a general description of the extent of copying that is likely to be considered fair dealing in most contexts in accordance with the Copyright Act and the Supreme Court decisions.

1. Faculty, staff and students may reproduce, communicate or otherwise deal with short excerpts or portions of a copyright-protected work for educational purposes. Copying for the purpose of research, private study, parody, satire, criticism, review or news reporting is permitted under the fair dealing exception.

2. Sources must be mentioned. Copying or communicating short excerpts from a copyright-protected work under these Fair Dealing Guidelines for the purpose of news reporting, criticism, or review must mention the source, and if given in the source, the name of the author or creator of the work.

3. Reproducing a single copy of a “short excerpt” from a copyright-protected work may be provided or communicated to each student enrolled in a class or course as:

  • a class handout
  • a posting to a learning or course management system that is password protected or otherwise restricted to students of the college
  • part of a course pack

As a guideline, copying a portion of up to 10 percent of a work may be within fair dealing provided that in each case, the excerpt contains no more of the work than is required to achieve the allowable purpose. More that 10 percent may be fine under certain circumstances such as copying:

  • one chapter from a book
  • a single article from a periodical
  • an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works
  • an entire newspaper article or page
  • an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poem or musical scores
  • an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work

Note that fair dealing analyses consider all factors, including both the quality and quantity of the dealing.   

4. Copying or communicating multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work, with the intention of copying or communicating substantially the entire work, is prohibited.

5. Any fee charged by the college for communicating or copying a short excerpt from a copyright protected work must be intended to cover only the costs of the college, including overhead costs.

If the dealing appears to fall outside the purpose and fairness factors of the fair dealing exception, you may need to examine additional statutory exceptions or seek clearance from the copyright owner before copying. The Fair Dealing exception is only one of several statutory exceptions contained in the Canadian Copyright Act. Other exceptions or conditions may apply to your situation.

Access Copyright Licence

To address copying that is not covered by fair dealing or other allowable uses under the Copyright Act, Durham College has a licence with Access Copyright. 

What may be copied?

Faculty, staff and students may copy any published work in Access Copyright's repertoire. Use the Title Search and Permissions tool to identify work covered by the Access Copyright agreement.

For published works in Access Copyright's repertoire, faculty, staff and students can:

  • photocopy, fax, scan and print;
  • store copies, such as on a hard drive, USB stick or on a Secure Network;
  • transmit by email, upload or post copies within a Secure Network;
  • project and display copies, such as on overheads, on LCD or plasma monitors, or interactive whiteboard;
  • make copies for the purpose of interlibrary loan, creating alternate format copies and managing library collections; and
  • create Course Collections.

Course collections refer to paper copies of published works assembled into course packs, or digital copies of published works that are emailed, linked or hyperlinked to, or posted on, uploaded to or stored on a Secure Network as part of a course of study. Consult with the Durham College Bookstore about requirements for creating course packs.

How much can faculty, staff and students copy?

Faculty, staff and students may copy up to 20% of a book or make a copy of a repertoire work that is:

  • an entire article, short story, play, essay or poem, or reproduction of an artistic work from a volume containing other published works;
  • an entire article or page from a newspaper or periodical;
  • an entire entry from an encyclopedia or similar reference work or an entire reproduction of an artistic work from a publication;
  • one chapter of a book, provided the chapter is no more that 20% of that book.

A user may copy up to 20% of a repertoire work or any of the above for a Course Collection and for certain library collection management purposes. Visit Access Copyright for a complete listing of guidelines or consult specific publisher licences for library electronic subscriptions.

Library Database Licenses

The Durham College Library licenses many electronic resources for its staff, faculty, and current students including indexes, databases, journals, and e-books. Access to these resources is governed by contractual agreements (license agreements) with resource providers. The agreements stipulate that access to the resource is restricted to current students, faculty and staff of Ontario Tech. Use of these resources may only be used for educational and research purposes only and not for commercial purposes.

To determine whether or not copies of works found on an electronic resource may be made, review the Terms of Use of the resource for licensing information.

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