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Copyright for Instructors

Course Readings

Providing students with readings

There are two steps to follow to determine if you can share resources with students:

  1. Choose a reading that falls within copyright guidelines
  2. Share the reading in an appropriate format 

1. Consider the format of the original source to determine if you can copy the work for educational purpose:

2. Once you've chosen a reading that falls within copyright guidelines, there are a number of ways to share the reading with your students: 

Please note: Citation information must be provided when sharing resources with students. 

Print materials

Print materials (books, journal articles)

  • Under fair dealing, instructors can share short excerpts from copyright-protected works with students for educational purposes.
  • Print materials include books, journals, magazines, and newspapers in print. 

More information on fair dealing:

Electronic resources

Electronic resources (online journals, e-books)

  • Electronic resources available through the library are governed by license agreements with content providers.
  • License agreements outline how resources may be used and take precedence over legislative allowances, such as fair dealing.


What can I do with electronic resource? 

Look up the 'terms-of-use' of the license agreement to determine permitted uses of the electronic resource. 

Online Journals
  1. Search the Journal Finder for the title of the journal. 
  2. Your search will reveal which databases the journal is in.
  3. Each database has a list of permitted uses under it.

Note: The journal may be hosted in more than one database. Permitted uses will differ from database to databases.

  1. Locate the database that hosts the ebook using the library's Database Name Search.
  2. Refer to the 'Permitted Use' section on the information page for the database.



Faculty, students, and staff at Langara can reproduce, share, or stream works available through the internet, provided: 

  • The use is for educational or training purposes
  • The work is not protected by a digital lock or technological protection measure
  • There is no clearly visible notice prohibiting use for educational purposes
  • There is no suspicion that the work has been posted on the internet without the consent of the copyright owner

The source and, if provided, the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster must be cited. 

Copyright Act, Section 30.04.

Brightspace by D2L

Sharing resources on Brightspace by D2L 

All materials shared online must be copyright compliant, following the same guidelines as in the classroom (outlined above).

In the Copyright Act, online learning is equal to a live classroom and instructors can share lessons containing copyright-protected works with students digitally, provided that: 

  • The use of the work falls under fair dealing or educational exceptions
  • The audience is only students enrolled in the course. For example, lessons posted to a password protected learning management system, such as Brightspace by D2L
  • Students and the educational institution destroy any recording of the lesson within 30 days of the final course evaluation

Copyright ActSection 30.01(1).

Custom Course Packs

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General Queries:

Alternatives to Copyright

Alternatives to using copyright protected work

Do you want more flexibility when choosing course material for your students? 

Visit our Alternatives to Copyright page to explore different types of resources with less copyright restrictions, including: 

  • Public Domain
  • Creative Commons
  • Openly Available Resources

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.

Creative Commons License

Langara's copyright website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.