Leveraging Your (Copy)Rights for Online Instruction

Since the quick pivot to fully online instruction in March, the spotlight has been turned on tools required for online delivery (Brightspace, MediaSpace, Zoom, and the like). Less attention has been paid to how copyright can support educators as they transition to remote instruction.

Fair dealing is always available to educators in both face-to-face and online settings. Fair dealing is an exception in Canada’s Copyright Act that permits use of copyright-protected content for purposes such as education, without payment or permission from the rights holder.

What does this look like in practice? In consultation with Langara’s Copyright Office, a number of instructors leveraged fair dealing to scan and upload final readings from the required course textbook to Brightspace during the final weeks of the spring 2020 semester. This spared students who normally rely on the Library’s course reserve collection from travelling to campus during a public health emergency.

According to the Supreme Court of Canada, fair dealing is more than an exception to infringement –it is a user’s right deserving of “large and liberal interpretation.” To determine if your use is covered by fair dealing, see the College’s copyright website and fair dealing policies and directives.

In addition to fair dealing, instructors can rely on a number of educational exceptions in the Copyright Act. For example, section 30.04 allows instructors to reproduce content that is publicly available on the Internet.

All Langara faculty are encouraged to take Copyright Essentials for Langara Instructors, a self-paced, interactive online tutorial that covers common scenarios educators face when using copyrighted content. It is an excellent addition to your next plan for Non-Instructional Duty 😉

For more information, visit Langara’s copyright website or contact copyright@langara.ca. Even from afar, we’re here to help!

Note: Library e-resources are usually governed by licence agreements (contracts) with content providers. The terms of these agreements supersede fair dealing and educational exceptions in the Copyright Act.

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