Copyright rules for educators have changed significantly in recent years. Both the Supreme Court of Canada and the Parliament of Canada have identified education as a stated purpose within the fair dealing provision of the Copyright Act. Although educators have new opportunities under the fair dealing provision of the Copyright Act to use copyright-protected materials in their lessons, there are limits as to what can be copied and shared in the classroom. It is, therefore, important that both school principals and teachers understand their responsibilities with respect to copyright.

To assist educators, the Copyright Consortium of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) has developed the Teachers and Copyright website, an online resource pertaining to the appropriate use of copyright-protected materials in the classroom.

This website features a copyright decision tool that allows educators to quickly determine whether they can use specific materials in their lessons. This site also provides an overview of the Fair Dealing Guidelines and provides a link to Copyright Matters!, a publication that presents key questions and answers for teachers about copyright.

The Fair Dealing Guidelines should be posted in schools next to each item of copying equipment, such as printing stations, photocopiers and scanners. Requests for additional hard copy products can be sent to [email protected].

With respect to the playing of live or recorded copyright-protected music during non-instructional hours and the performance of music at a play that is non-curricular in nature, refer to the Copyright Matters! publication for further information.

For more information on copyright and the classroom, see Copyright awareness for teachers on Alberta.ca.