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Copyright: Law & Policy

Using Material from Databases

Please note: Not all database licenses provide the same usage rights. Database licenses supersede Fair Dealing and we must adhere to the license agreements. To find out how material from a database may be used in or out of the classroom check our license lookup here: College Libraries Electronic Access Rights (CLEAR) or contact the library directly.

Have a Question on Copyright?

Information provided in our guide can often be confusing and hard to interpret. If ever in doubt contact Marcia Steeves the College's Academic Integrity and Copyright Officer.

Policies and Guidelines at Fleming College

How we copy and use materials at Fleming is determined by three different areas:

Copyright Law

All copyright and use of copyright-protected works in Canada is governed by the Canadian Copyright Act. The Act balances the interests of the copyright holders and copyright users. Broadly based, judicial decisions in recent years along with the Copyright Modernization Act, have helped to clarify a number of areas.

Fleming College Policiescopyright at fleming logo

A number of judicial decisions in 2012 changed how educational institutions are allowed to use copyright-protected materials. These changes are now reflected in Fleming College's Fair Dealing Principles & Guidelines. The College's Fair Dealing Principles & Guidelines provide information on how much and what types of material may now be used for educational purposes.

Fleming College also adheres to the its Intellectual Property & Copyright Policy as set by the Board of Governors. Students must also adhere to the Students Rights & Responsibilities in particular to academic honesty.

To help in providing guidance in copyright decisions, check out our new Copyright Decision Map.


Materials available to students, staff and faculty through the various databases and resources in the Library are subject to the licensing terms which vary by vendor and/or database. Best practice is always to use permanent or persistent links to the material rather than printing or uploading. Please contact library staff to verify the terms of use specific to the database you are using.

Resource Checklist

Source Material    Copying/Display Allowed ?    Explanation and Examples

Print Sources

*Always cite the source

Yes - If the portion is insubstantial and is an optional/supplementary resource

Yes - It does not substitute for the purchase of course texts

Yes - If the copying is fair (See Fair Dealing Factors)

Yes - For exams and testing

No - Workbooks

No - Materials from personal contracts or licenses

No - Multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work

  • One chapter or 10% from a 250 page book is likely insubstantial copying.
  • One short story, poem, article from a volume of the same is likely insubstantial copying.
  • You should not reproduce/distribute material with a "personal use only" contract or license.
  • If the portion is a substantial part of the entire work and the copying satisfies the majority of the Fair Dealing Factors then you can copy/distribute.
  • Distribution can either be photocopies given out in class; copies available in the library reserve collection or a scanned file uploaded to D2L. (Copied material must be removed from D2L 30 days following the release of grades)
  • If the copying does not satisfy the Fair Dealing Factors contact or ext 1356 to explore your options.
Internet Sources   

Yes - Copy or link to open access (e.g. Creative Commons) or publicly available material

Yes - Link to articles and other materials provided through the Fleming College Library's e-resources

No -Copy articles and other materials provided through the Fleming College Library's e-resources

No - Password-protected content

No - Material with a "clearly visible notice" prohibiting use

  • You can use publicly available material from the Internet as long as the content has been legitimately posted and the source and author/creator is cited.
  • There is no technological protection measure preventing you from accessing or copying the material




Yes - Copy reproductions of artistic works from print publications containing other works

Yes - From internet sites that do not have a "clearly visible" notice prohibting use

No - Copy an online image that was not posted by the copyright owner without first obtaining permission

  • Up to 10% of a work is insubstantial copying. It can be used in the classroom or in D2L.(Copied material must be removed from D2L 30 days following the release of grades)
  • There is no technological protection measure preventing you from accessing the material.

Yes - Playing of music in the classrrom for educational  or training purposes

No - Uploading copyright protected music to D2L or burning copies for distribution

No - Play music at a college event without a license specific to that purpose

  • You can play a song in your classroom but you cannot upload it to D2L and you cannot burn copies to distribute.
  • There is no technological protection measure preventing you from accessing the material.




Yes - News programs

Yes - TV series, documentaries, films (as long as you have a legal copy)

Yes - Films from the Fleming College Library's collection and streaming video from licensed vendors (Films on Demand)

No - View a recorded copy of a feature film in class

No - View a legally obtained film that is unrelated to the course content

  • Faculty can show a television program or play a radio broadcast while it is being aired.
  • News programs or news commentaries can be taped and shown in class. You cannot tape TV series, documentaries, or films and show them in class without permission from the copyright holder.
  • Videos from personal collections can be shown as long as the copy is legal.
  • You cannot copy a work (e.g. burn a copy, convert to streaming) without permission from the copyright holder.
  • There is no technological protection measure preventing you from accessing the material.
YouTube Videos     

Yes - Videos uploaded by the copyright owner

No - Illegally uploaded videos   

  • YouTube and other video sharing sites may contain content not uploaded by the copyright owner. It is good professional practice to check the legitimacy of a YouTube video before using it in the classroom.
  • Many content creators like the CBC have channels on YouTube. The videos found on these channels can be used.

Yes - Copyright protected works used in the creation of a new work

  • An individual can use copyrighted works such as images, videos, music, text, etc. in the creation of a new work as long as the original works are cited.
  • The derivative work must be transformative.
  • The work must not be used for promotion or commercial purpose.

This table was put together from resources at Georgian College, Conestoga College and the CMEC.

Fair Dealing Factors

When consideration whether or not something falls within the scope of fair dealing, the following six factors will be considered:

  1. Purpose of the Use - Is it within the stated purpose (e.g. education)
  2. Character of the Use - How are you using the material?
  3. Amount of the Use - How much are you using?
  4. Availability of Alternatives - Is there material you could have used that is not copyright protected?
  5. Nature of the Work - Did the author intend for this material to be disseminated?
  6. Effect of the Use on the Work - Will your copying affect the market for this author's work?

CCH Canadian LTd. V. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC 13; [2004] 1 S.C.R. 339

Fair Dealing Factors Checklist



Less Fair
More Fair


Charitable / Educational

Character of the dealing

Multiple copies
Single copy
Widely distributed / repetitive
Limited distribution / one-off

Importance / amount of work copied

Entire Work / Significant excerpt
Limited / trivial amount

Effect of dealing on the original work

Competing with original work
No detriment to original

Nature of the work

Confidential / unpublished
Published / in public Interest

Available alternatives

Non-copyright works available
No alternative works
Not necessary for purpose
Necessary to achieve purpose

Attributed via Creative Commons Licensing to:

University of Waterloo. (2011). Copyright FAQ. Retrieved July 27, 2011 from

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