Skip to main content

Copyright: Copyright Guidelines

Copyright Guidelines

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology respects both user rights relating to use of copyrighted materials and copyright protection of intellectual property and distribution rights of creators and content providers.

Faculty, staff, and students, are subject to the protections and obligations outlined in the Copyright Act. Use of copyrighted material is also subject to the provisions outlined in various agreements and licenses the university has with other copyright owners (for example, online databases or other electronic resources).

Members of the University community are responsible for informing themselves about the parameters of both Canada’s Copyright Act and the institution’s licenses and agreements. They must also ensure that any copying completed in connection with University activities complies with these guidelines.

In the absence of such limiting provisions, materials may be reproduced:

  1. In accordance with the fair dealing provisions under the Copyright Act for the purpose of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, satire or parody. 
  1. Where the material is in the public domain, such as when the term of the copyright protection under the Copyright Act has expired (generally the life of the author plus 50 years).
  1. Where only an “insubstantial” part of the material is reproduced, as under section 3(1) of the Copyright Act, copyright means the sole right to reproduce any substantial part of a work.  In determining whether the portion of the material being reproduced is “substantial” or “insubstantial”, both the quantity, i.e. the amount copied, and the value, i.e. the importance of that portion to the entire work, should be considered.
  1. For the following maintenance or management activities in accordance with section 30.1 of the Copyright Act: (1) copying rare or unpublished originals, (2) copying fragile originals, (3) copying into an alternative format, (4) copying for record keeping and cataloguing, (5) copying for insurance and police investigations and (6) copying for restoration.  Making a copy for activities (1), (2) and (3) is not permitted if the work is “commercially available.” 

The complete Copyright Guidelines for UOIT are available on the Library's Policy and Related Documents page. 

Flowchart: Is Permission Needed?

Use this five-step flowchart to find out if permission is needed to copy material. Download this flowchart as a Word document or PDF

Is the work protected by copyright? The work is in the public domain. Copy and use without seeking permission. Cite material used. 

Is there a digital lock? (See definition below) Do NOT copy material. Contact for more information

Is the work covered under an open access or Creative Commons license? Copy and use the material without seeking permission, in accordance with the license. Cite material used.  

Is the work covered under a UOIT license agreement?  (e.g. databases) Copy and use the material without seeking permission, in accordance with the license. Cite material used. 

Is the copying permitted by fair dealing or any other exception to copyright infringement? Copy and use the material without seeking permission, subject to the conditions of the specific exception. Cite material used.

Permission is needed to copy and use material. Contact for more information.

Digital Locks

Digital Locks are formally referred to as Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) in the Copyright Act. Digital Locks are sometimes used by copyright owners to prevent works from being accessed or copied without permission. This can be done through measures like encryption, content scrambling, passwords, or limited install activations. The Copyright Act prohibits circumvention of these access controls. See Section 41 of the Copyright Act for more information.

Fair Dealing Criteria

Refer to the Fair Dealing section for information about the fair dealing exception and copying of short excerpts. 

Library Reserves

The Library’s Reserve system complies with copyright law. Consult the Reserves Coordinator concerning restrictions on both hard copy and electronic reserve items.

Print reserves in the library are limited to 1 copy per 30 students to a maximum of 5 copies. A course pack (bound, packaged or assembled photocopies from more than one publication) may be placed on reserve in the library but no further copying of the course pack is permitted.

A single copy in an electronic format may be made available to students for library reserve from a university server. Properly cite resources – a user should always be able to find the source based on the information provided in the citation. 

Copyright and Thesis Preparation

A thesis that includes someone else's work (e.g. figures, graphs, photos, images, art work, etc.) must abide by the requirements of the Copyright Act in order to use these works. Students may include a reasonable extract of another person’s work in their thesis. If more than a reasonable amount, the student must obtain written permission from the copyright holder(s) to include the material with the thesis.

Copyright Guidelines

UOIT’s copying limits are determined by:

Download Copyright Flowchart

Download the four-step flowchart that helps to determine if permission is needed to use material.