Copyright gives the creator of an original work legal rights to it, usually for a limited period of time. In Canada, copyright is governed by the Copyright Act. Copyright applies to works such as books, articles, music, videos/DVDs, photographs, paintings, digital works (i.e. websites), and performances.
Copyright @ Western can help guide your use of copyrighted materials. The Copyright @ Western website provides detailed information about fair dealing, guidelines, legislation, and more.
Permitted purposes that apply to the Fair Dealing Exception include education, research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, parody and satire. As a general guideline, copying a portion of up to 10% of a work is likely within your fair dealing rights. More than 10% may also be fine under certain circumstances such as copying:
Keep in mind that both quantity and quality factor into fair dealing analysis. Employing fair dealing scope factors in addition to amount may be necessary if copying of a work exceeds 10% or when the copying is of a single chapter of a book that consists of only two or three chapters in total, for example. In some circumstances an entire work may be reproduced, such as a poem, a photograph or a drawing, when it is part of a collection or anthology.
If the purpose of the event is recreational, student groups must acquire public performance rights through one of the two major Canadian distributors of feature films, Criterion Pictures and Audio Cine Films, Inc. Groups are responsible for related costs. Groups will assume any liability if they choose to proceed without securing the required clearance.
For additional information about the use of audio-visual materials on campus, please consult Copyright FAQ and Ask Copyright.
Western's Copyright FAQ page offers information about how to be copyright-compliant in on-campus and digital classrooms, in creating custom course books, and in other common situations.
Many people can be held accountable when the Copyright Act is violated: you and/or the College may be subject to substantial civil and criminal penalties, which can include hefty fines, imprisonment or both.