Copyright… or Avoiding Copywrong!

According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office:

In the simplest terms, “copyright” means “the right to copy.” In general, only the copyright owner, often the creator of the work, is allowed to produce or reproduce the work or to permit anyone else to do so… A poem, painting, musical score, performer’s performance and a computer program are all valuable creations worth protecting.

Copyright infringement is a form of Academic Dishonesty.  This does not, however, mean that copyrighted work may not be used for academic pursuits.  Generally you are welcome to use materials, as long as you do so within the rules and reference your sources.

The rules get particularly tricky when we delve into the realm of Digital Media.  Watch for news about the new Copyright Act amendments working their way through the Canadian Parliament in the Fall 2011.  Information will be available shortly about the specific impact of these changes.

Generally, however, the amendments to the act will make it easier for schools and students to utilise copyrighted materials.

For the time-bring, the Concordia University Libraries site has an excellent Copyright Guide which takes you through the basics.











Image Source: Flickr, Libraryman, Michael Porter. Used with Permission under Creative Commons Licence.

One way to circumvent the issues around Copyright is to join the Creative Commons.  The Creative Commons is a growing movement in which “creators” make their work available for others to use without tariff.  Some work is in fact entered directly into the public domain, no questions asked.

Creative Commons copyrighted materials still embody a layered series of licences.  These licenses stipulate the ways in which the work may and may not be utilised in the public realm.  The majority of the material available through the Creative Commons comes with a “Share Alike” licence, which generally grants the user free use as long as the original source materials are attributed.

More detailed information may be found at About the Licenses: Creative Commons.


Citing Creative Commons Sources

The 21st Century Fluency Project has a great infographic explaining how to properly cite Creative Commons resources.  Read their comments and download the poster at their website (use the links in the line above).

You may also view the poster directly at the bottom of this page. It may appear slightly clipped, but simply click on the image and you’ll be good to go.

Copyright Rules
Access Copyright
Government of Canada Bill C-32 (2010) (reintroduced in Sept 2011 as Bill C-11)
Canadian Intellectual Property Office


Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 5.38.23 AM

Copyright Resource for Teachers

From the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)

An updated edition of Copyright Matters!

A brand new website including a Copyright Decision Tool…  to help teachers, and students, make informed decisions about whether copyright permission is required.





Copyright Forums (Selected)
Speak Out on Copyright
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
Online Rights Canada

Creative Commons
Creative Commons Canada
Creative CommonsFlikr: Creative Commons
WikiMedia Commons

Photo Pin (free photos for bloggers and creatives)

Etobicoke School of the Arts Library
From the Library website…

  • The Research Toolkit
  • Web 2.0 Tools
  • Images and Media

Copyright Sites and Bloggers
Michael Geist
John Degen
IP Osgoode
James Gannon
Barry Sookman
Copyhype Blog
Dwayne Winseck, Mediamorphis

Interesting Articles
Last chance for copyright extremists to warp Bill C-11…  While the author clearly has a position on the issue, the article lays out the basics of the struggle over Bill C-11.  Links to The Globe and Mail, Wed March 14th, 2012.


Creative Commons Photos
How To Attribute Creative Commons Photos by Foter


Please advise if any of the links breakdown (as is frequently the case with the internet!)