Copyright and the Digital Classroom

All copying at UPEI must respect the Copyright Act.  For greater clarity, Robertson Library provides the following guidelines. To learn more, see the full UPEI and Copyright guide.


You may also be able to go beyond the limitations of these guidelines if you conduct your own Fair Dealing analysis and determine that your use is "fair".


1. Materials in the public domain may be scanned and uploaded freely without restriction.

In Canada, copyright protection generally expires 50 years after the death of the creator; translations or annotations of such works are also copyrighted. For more on Canadian public domain, consult this detailed flowchart, development by the University of Alberta. 


2. Print materials - You or Robertson Library owns the original print but without an online license:

  • One entire short story, play, poem, or essay from a book containing other kinds of works
  • An entire newspaper article or page
  • One article per journal issue
  • One chapter of a book but only up to a maximum of 10% of the total pages of the book
  • Contact your subject librarian to see if an ebook version with unlimited use may be purchased/licensed to allow your students complete online access to the entire book (many recent books, but not textbooks)

3. Online materials that Robertson Library licenses:

It is simplest to provide a link instead of trying to copy the content into your course.  See this page for help making links that will work for your students off-campus as well as on campus or contact the Library staff for assistance.

  • linking to Ebrary chapters directly (including making the links work off-campus)
  • how to determine whether the Library's license allows e-reserves copies (Moodle copies are considered the equivalent of e-reserves)


4. Materials that you mostly made but includes some third party material (like a PowerPoint you made that includes images you got from elsewhere):

  • You must credit the source for each third party item used within the document
  • Keeping to the amount guidelines in #2 above is likely to be fair for images that come from a larger work (e.g., a single picture or illustration from a book)
  • Otherwise, you need to determine that your use is covered by Fair Dealing or else obtain permission from the copyright holder.  See UBC's recommendations for some minimum limitations and more information.


5. Materials you found on public web sites:

Content on Websites can be displayed in class or linked to through courseware, unless there is a statement on the site expressly forbidding such use.


6. Other situations: Follow the guidelines offered by these other Canadian organizations or do your own Fair Dealing analysis:

Note that when the new copyright law (C-11, 2012, Copyright Modernization Act) is in force, these guidelines are likely to change significantly, so check back regularly!


See our Library Services and Courseware page for a summary of other options faculty have for sharing materials with their students.