Here is the Canadian Copyright Act

Every public school in Canada has a comprehensive license to copy through Access Copyright. All the information is available above on the web site: http://www.accesscopyright.ca/

Your school's license with Access Copyright gives you permission to copy from a vast repertoire of commercially published books, magazines and newspapers. As long as you adhere to the terms and conditions of your license, you can copy what you need worry-free.
Please note that the license includes copying done in support of educational purposes only.

Definition of copying includes:
  • paper copies
  • faxes
  • typing and word processing (without adaptation)
  • making slides and overheads
  • tracing or duplicating from a stencil
  • copying onto microform (for research and archival purposes)

You can copy up to 10% of a published work or the following, whichever is greater:
• an entire single short story, play, essay or poem from a book or periodical
containing other works
• an entire article from a newspaper, magazine or journal
• an entire entry from a reference work (encyclopedia, dictionary)
• an entire reproduction of an artistic work from a publication containing other works
• a whole chapter from a book, as long as that chapter does not comprise more than 20% of the book

Works NOT covered by the license:
• works on the Exclusions List
• unpublished works
• consumable items such as workbooks, assignment sheets, colouring books
• crown or provincial publications (excluding Québec)
• instruction manuals and teachers' guides
• tests and work cards
• sheet music and original artistic works including photographs or prints
• works published in countries with which Access Copyright does not have a
bilateral agreement
• works with notices excluding them from copying under a collective license

Number of Copies Permitted:
• one copy for each student in a class and two for each teacher
• copies for library and administrative purposes, including communication to parents

Uses NOT covered by the license:
• digital or electronic reproduction, including making copies from electronic sources
(e.g. the Internet)
• creation of course packs or anthologies
• as per the following:

ERAC has negotiated a deal with the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). This agreement covers all BC schools, which means that schools are not required to purchase annual "public performance of music" licenses or acquire single event licenses for most individual events that are not covered under the Copyright Act "educational purposes" exemption. All the details about SOCAN can be found at: http://www.bcerac.ca/SOCAN/default.aspx

Feature Films
Public Performance Rights Licensing
In order to show feature films legally in a classroom, a school division must acquire a public performance license. In Canada, two companies hold the majority of non-theatrical public performance rights for feature films. Audio Ciné Films (ACF) and VEC/Criterion. Their site licenses cover feature films either rented or borrowed from public libraries, and allow for legal use in a classroom. The cost of the license is determined on a per student basis. Each company represents different studios and video producers. Viewing fees may not be charged.

Audio Ciné Films
Represents Alliance Atlantis, Universal, Paramount, MGM, United Artists, Nickelodeon, Miramax, etc.
License covers video from rental stores and public libraries, and purchased (in Canada) home-use video/DVD.
Feature films and documentaries may not be taped off-air.
The ACF license does not cover VHS/DVD purchased from the USA. Video/DVD can be purchased from Canadian subsidiaries, i.e. Blockbuster.ca or Amazon.ca, as long as the studio is included in the ACF license.
ACF rents 35 mm films along with pre-store rental VHS/DVD for school fund raising.
Price is determined based on use (numbers of students, whether admission will be charged).

Represents Disney, Warner Brothers, Columbia, 20th Century Fox, Lions Gate, Sony, Dreamworks, etc.
Covers video/DVD from rental stores and public libraries, purchased (in Canada) home use video/DVD and video/DVD borrowed from friends or students. The key element is that the video/DVD is legally manufactured, which excludes all self-produced video/DVD.
Feature films may not be taped off air. Films taped off air are not considered legally manufactured. The Canadian copyright exception is for news and news commentary, not feature films or documentary programming.
The VEC accepts video/DVD purchased from the USA as long as the studio is included in the VEC license.
VEC offers an entertainment license that allows schools to rent feature films directly and charge admission for fund-raising.
For more information on public performance licensing for your school or division, contact:
  • ACF: 800-289-8887
  • VEC/Criterion: 800-668-0749

REMEMBER: You can't copyright ideas! You can only copyright the form an idea takes.

Copyright Duration

Copyright only last a fixed amount of time. In the past (in the US) this duration was only 14 years, as this was deemed a long enough period of time for the owner to make money off the work. After the fixed amount of time has expired, the work falls into public domain which means it is free for anyone to use. This is essential because our culture has created new ideas by building on earlier works and it is necessary for a living thriving society. Unfortunately, copyright keeps getting longer and now lasts a lifetime plus 70 years. For a company, copyright lasts over a hundred years (A Fair(y) Use Tale)