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Welcome to the OCAD University Copyright Guide

Here you will find information on navigating copyright law as both a user and producer of rights-protected works. While this guide should not be construed as legal advice, the guidelines and procedures contained here are designed to help students, staff, and faculty make the most of available resources within copyright law as users and also understand their rights and options as producers of content.

Image of figures surrounded by copyright materials
artwork © Giulia Forsythe, made available under a CC0 1.0 License.

Introduction to Copyright

Copyright law protects a variety of creations, including books, computer programs, letters, maps, models, sculptures, music and film.  It gives copyright owners - usually authors or publishers - the sole right to copy or to authorize someone else to copy their works. It is essential that you are aware of copyright as it applies to teaching and research at OCAD University.

Fair dealing balances the rights of copyright owners with the needs of users, such as students and researchers, who require access to copyrighted material for the purposes of research, private study, education, satire, parody, criticism, review or news reporting.

In addition to fair dealing and library licensed resources, you may also use resources that are open access, in the public domain, or licensed under Creative Commons.

Formats covered by copyright include:

  • literary works such as books, pamphlets, computer programs and other works consisting of text, including content from websites
  • dramatic works such as motion picture films, plays, screenplays and scripts
  • musical works such as compositions with or without words
  • artistic works such as paintings, drawings, maps, photographs, sculptures and plans
Adapted from Emily Carr University of Art & Design, CC-BY