Copyright Laws in the Classroom

In Canada, anything you create is protected by copyright laws, you cannot simply take someone else’s work and not give credit to the originator. There are many facets and details to copyright laws, today I am blogging about how it applies to our education system.

There is an interesting concept in Canada termed “Fair Dealing”, which allows educational institutions to utilize created content without breaking the copyright laws. This exemption applies when the material is being used for the purpose of research, studying, reporting and basically increasing student knowledge without commercial gain. Higher education centres now commonly implement online learning systems and the fair dealing concept applies to sharing information online within the learning community. Digital libraries, distance education, resource sharing within a learning management system (LMS) and other new technologies are generally part of the exemption. Each specific situation is assessed for possible copyright law infringement,  penalties can apply if proper referencing is not followed.

In our PIDP 3240 course, there is a discussion forum online debating how copyright laws apply to social media in education. The information does not seem to be conclusive and I feel like further research is needed. Sharing on Facebook, posting on a blog, retweeting on Twitter, all create a whole new realm for figuring out if you need to credit the owner and who has rights to the content. I look forward to my colleagues replies and if the Canadian governments updates the copyright laws to specifically include social media.

Geist, M (2012, August 22). The Supreme Court of Canada Speaks: How to Assess Fair Dealing for Education. Michael Geist [Web log]. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from: ,

The 2Learn Education Society (2012). Canadian Copyright: 9 Key Questions. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from:


“Prohibition of photographing”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –


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