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Copyright for Creators

General exceptions = user's rights

Members of the Langara community may use fair dealing and educational exceptions in the Copyright Act for education purposes.

The Copyright Act also includes general copyright exceptions, known as user's rights. These rights can be used by anyone using copyright protected work in Canada. 

Explore general exceptions

Explore general copyright exceptions (user's rights) below: 


Non-commercial user generated content (mash-ups)

A person may use an existing work which has been published or otherwise made available to the public in the creation of a new work, provided:

  • The source of the existing work is given where reasonable
  • The exisiting work was legally acquired
  • The new work is for non-commercial purposes
  • The new work does not have a substantial adverse effect (financial or otherwise) on a current or potential market for the existing work

Copyright Act, Section 29.21


Back-up copies

A person may reproduce the source copy of a work they own or have licensed, provided: 

  • The source copy was legally acquired
  • The person does so solely for back-up purposes in case the source copy is lost, damaged or otherwise rendered unusable
  • The person does not share the reproduction
  • The person, while making the production, does not break a technological protection measure, such as a digital lock

Copyright Act, Section 29.24


Reproduction of a broadcast for later listening or viewing

A person may record a program for the purpose of listening to or viewing it later, provided the person:

  • Receives the program legally
  • Does not break a digital lock in order to record the program
  • Makes no more than one recording of the program
  • Keeps the recording no longer than is reasonably necessary in order to listen to or view the program at a more convenient time
  • Does not give the recording away and uses it only for private purposes

Copyright Act, Section 29.23


Reproduction for private purposes

A person may reproduce a work, for a private purpose, provided:

  • The copy of the work from which the reproduction is made is not an infringing copy
  • The person legally acquired the copy of the work (other than by borrowing it or renting it) and owns or is authorized to use the medium or device on which it is reproduced
  • The person did not break a digital lock in order to make the reproduction
  • The person does not give the reproduction away

Copyright Act, Section 29.22


Additional exceptions (selected)

The following sections of the Copyright Act list other user's rights:

Exception Section
Persons with perceptual disabilities Section 32
News reporting of a public lecture Section 32.2(1)(c)
Public reading of an excerpt from a copyright-protected work Section 32.2(1)(d)
Use of a commissioned photograph Section 32.2(1)(f)
Religious, educational, or charitable performance  Section 32.2(3)
Private music copying  Section 80

For a concise overview of exceptions to owners' rights for individuals, see pages 84-86 of Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide (2nd ed.) (Murray & Trosow, 2013)


Questions? Contact the Copyright Office.

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The information obtained from or through this website is provided as guidelines for using works for educational purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

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