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Copyright: Internet and Public Domain

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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.

Publicly Accessible Materials

Publicly accessible materials are a wonderful part of the copyright law (Copyright Act, 30.04). Now you can use publicly available material from the internet for educational purposes and you can use it in different ways, including:

  • Linking
  • Reproducing if (Cutting and pasting into lecture slides, posting it to your D2L course)
  • Performing it in public
  • Communicating it via telecommunication

However, the following conditions must be met:

  • You can not use the material is you know (or can logically guess) it was posted online without the consent of the copyright owner. Be cautious of materials from blogs.
  • You have to cite the material you use
  • You cannot use the material if there is a lock on the website such as a password or something preventing the general public from accessing it (See Technological Protection Measures)
  • You can not use the material if there is a "clearly visible notice" saying you cannot use the material, and not merely a copyright symbol "©" (this site has a good example, see the Terms of Use at the bottom of the page

Otherwise, if it is publicly available on the internet, you can likely use it for your teaching. If in doubt contact us at

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