I'm not sure if I need copyright clearance, what should I do?

The University of Toronto takes its copyright obligations seriously. It is the instructor’s responsibility to ensure that the use of all course resources/material is compliant with Canadian copyright laws. Please review the University’s copyright resources available at: http://uoft.me/copyrighthelp 

Please review the Instructor Handbook for information on the School’s Copyright policies and compliance.

Please refer to these key points as you prepare course materials.

  • Refer to the Fair Dealing Guidelines: It is possible you may be able to apply the fair dealing exception when copying work. This allows a user to copy a copyright-protected work without permission from the rightsholder.
  • Material no longer protected by copyright (or in the public domain) can be copied and shared in any way you choose. The duration of copyright differs depending on a work’s authorship and format. Material may enter the public domain:
  • Openly licensed or open access material (such as material made available with a creative commons license), allows you to share and reuse a work with few or no restrictions
  • Search for material available in the University of Toronto’s extensive collection. There are many licensed eresources that can be shared with students in password protected environments: https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/
  • Copied work of any length must be properly cited.
  • Copied material must be posted on Quercus, not attached to an email.
  • If you wish to distribute excerpts, scans or photocopies of copyrighted material to your learners, please contact your administrator to inquire about printing services which have copyright licenses with Access Copyright or other copyright clearance services.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the complexity of copyright in an educational environment. Consult the Copyright Roadmap to help you make copying decisions.

If you have used materials that you have concerns about, including lengthy quotations that were allowed under the former licence, please check with your program director.

If you remain unsure if your material requires copyright clearance, we can obtain clearance on your behalf. Complete the Copyright Permission Request form for each piece that requires clearance, and submit online.  We will make the appropriate arrangements.   It is important to note that if the clearance is expensive or cannot be secured in time for the first class, you may have to explore alternative material and consult with your Program Director.




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