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Copyright Protects a Work from the Moment That Work Is Recorded in Durable Form

A work does not need to be registered or labelled as copyrighted for that work to be protected by copyright. Rather, a creator owns copyright in a work as soon as the person writes, paints, photographs, records, saves, etc. that work in durable form. An educator must assume that a published work is copyrighted unless there are credible indications to the contrary (e.g. the work is known to be in the public domain, the work includes express permission for use, etc.).Recent changes to the Copyright Act (Canada) and decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, in particular Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37, have expanded the scope of the fair dealing exception under the Act. Olds College follows specific guidelines for making copies under the fair dealing exception of the Act, including how much of a given work may be copied, how it may be distributed and for what purposes.

What is Copyright?

In Canada, copyright automatically subsists in any original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic expression in fixed form, regardless of its merit. Copyright law protects creative works such as books, computer programs, sound or video recordings, photographs, songs and other printed or digital material and website content.

In Canada, copyright protects only original work. A work must originate from its author, be more than a copy and involve skill and judgement in its creation, not just a trivial or mechanical compilation of data. Effort, or "sweat of the brow" alone in the creation of a database, for example, does not provide sufficient grounds for copyright. Copyright is limited and copyrighted works may sometimes be used without the need to ask permission or pay a royalty. One way the Copyright Act accomplishes this is to provide term limits on copyright. In Canada, in most cases, copyright expires 50 years after the death of the creator. Works enter the public domain when the term of copyright has expired. A second way this is accomplished is through fair dealing rights for users of copyrighted works. Works enter the public domain when the term of copyright has expired. Currently, the term of copyright is measured by the life of the creator plus 50 years. Once these works move into the public domain you can use them for cultural, educational, personal and social purposes.

What is Public Domain? Click here to view the  Public Domain Flowchart created by Creative Commons.


Fair Dealing

The copyright law of Canada governs the copying and communicating of copyright-protected material. Certain copies and communications may infringe copyright law.  These fair dealing guidelines are provided for your information. You are solely responsible for knowing your rights and responsibilities under the Copyright Act.  Olds College is not responsible for infringing copies made by staff.

The fair dealing provision in the Copyright Act permits the copying and communication of short excerpts from a copyright-protected work, without permission or the payment of copyright royalties, IF you follow these fair dealing guidelines.

  1. A student may copy and communicate, in paper or electronic form, a single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work if it is for the purpose of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody.
  2. Copying for the purpose of news reporting, criticism or review must mention the source and, if given in the source, the name of the author or creator of the work.  
  3. A single copy of a short excerpt (see point 4) from a copyright-protected work may be posted to a learning or course management system that is password protected or otherwise restricted to students of a particular course.
  4. A short excerpt means any one of a to g:
    1. up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work)
    2. one chapter from a book
    3. a single article from a periodical  
    4. an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works
    5. an entire newspaper article or page
    6. an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poems or musical scores
    7. an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work
  5. Copying or communicating multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work, with the intention of copying or communicating substantially the entire work, is prohibited.
  6. Copying or communicating that exceeds the limits in this Fair Dealing Policy may be referred to a supervisor or other person designated by the educational institution for evaluation. An evaluation of whether the proposed copying or communication is permitted under fair dealing will be made based on all relevant circumstances.
  7. Any fee charged by the educational institution for communicating or copying a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work must be intended to cover only the costs of the institution, including overhead costs.


How to Cite Your Sources

Your Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the individual to understand and comply with Olds College’s policies regarding the use of copyright-protected works. Any copying of a copyright-protected work must originate from a non-infringing copy of that work (published original, licensed copy, lawful online copy, library loan, etc.)

All works copied must be clearly and appropriately attributed.

Click on the links below to access guidelines for citing work properly.

The links below will help you cite your sources using APA formatting:

Citation Tools (software)

Citation Style Guides

Copyright Requirements

Copyright Matters!

Some Key Questions and Answers for Teachers - Copyright Matters!

Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

Our free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs. If you’re looking for content that you can freely and legally use, there is a giant pool of CC-licensed creativity available to you. There are hundreds of millions of works — from songs and videos to scientific and academic material — available to the public for free and legal use under the terms of our copyright licenses, with more being contributed every day.

What is Public Domain?

Creative Commons Public Domain Tools

Creative Commons licenses help authors keep and manage their copyright on terms they choose. Our public domain tools, on the other hand, enable authors and copyright owners who want to dedicate their works to the worldwide public domain to do so, and facilitate the labelling and discovery of works that are already free of known copyright restrictions.


Use this universal tool if you are a holder of copyright or database rights, and you wish to waive all your interests in your work worldwide.

Public Domain Mark

Use this tool if you have identified a work that is free of known copyright restrictions. Creative Commons does not recommend this tool for works that are restricted by copyright laws in one or more jurisdictions.

Copyright Guidelines

The guidelines for making a copy (print or digital) from a copyrighted work for the purposes of research, private study, education, parody, satire, review, criticism or news reporting by reason of the fair dealing exception in the Canadian Copyright Act apply to faculty, staff and students.

Reproduction, in paper or electronic format, short excerpts from a copyright-protected work is allowed. The work must include the source, the name of the author or creator of the work (if included in the source).

A copy of a short excerpt may be provided or communicated to each student enrolled in a class or course:

  • as a class handout
  • as a posting to a course management system (e.g. Moodle) that is password protected or restricted to students of the college
  • as part of a course pack

A Short Excerpt Means

  • up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and audiovisual work)
  • one chapter from a book
  • a single article from a periodical 
  • a single article from a periodical 
  • an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works
  • an entire newspaper article or page 
  • an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poems or musical scores 
  • an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work

Please note the following:

  • No more of the work is copied that is required in order to achieve the allowable purpose. 
  • Copying or communicating multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work, with the intention of copying or communicating substantially the entire work, is prohibited.
  • Copying or communicating that exceeds the limits in the Fair Dealing Guidelines may be referred to the Old College Copyright Auditor for evaluation.
  • An evaluation of whether the proposed copying or communication is permitted under fair dealing will be made based on all relevant circumstances. 

Legal Implications 

It is the responsibility of faculty, staff and students to comply with the provisions of the Copyright Act when making copies. A breach of the Act can have serious financial consequences for the College. If the College is found liable for a breach of the Copyright Act in circumstances where the person responsible is not acting in the ordinary course of their normal duties and responsibilities at the University or has recklessly or wilfully failed to adhere to the College's Fair Dealing Guidelines, the College has the right to claim contribution or indemnification from such person

Copyright Free Resources

Copyright-friendly Images

Morgue File provides free photos with license to remix. The Morgue File photo collection contains thousands of images that anyone can use for free in academic or commercial presentations. The image collection can be searched by subject category, image size, colour, or rating. Morgue File is more than just a source for free images. The Morgue File also features a "classroom" where visitors can learn photography techniques and get tips about image editing.

Wylio is an image search engine designed to help bloggers and others quickly find, cite, and use Creative Commons licensed images. Wylio results only return images that are listed with a Creative Commons license. Wylio makes it easy to give proper attribution to the creator of the image by providing you with html code that includes attribution. All you have to do is copy the code and paste it into your blog post or webpage.

William Vann's EduPic Graphical Resource provides free photographs and drawings for teachers and students to use in their classrooms. Mr. Vann is an amateur photograph (a good one at that) and a teacher. Mr. Vann gives permission to teachers and students to use the images in any manner needed for instructional and learning purposes.

Animal Photos is a great source of Creative Commons licensed photos of animals. All of the photos are categorized by animal. Each image indicates the type of Creative Commons license associated with the picture. Animal Photos also offers advice on giving attribution for each photo.

The World Images Kiosk hosted by San Jose State University offers more than 75,000 images that teachers and students can use in their academic projects. All of the images can be used under a Creative Commons license that requires you to give proper attribution when necessary. You can find images by using the search box or you can browse through more than 800 portfolios and groups organized by subject.

Photos 8 is a great place to find thousands of images that are in the public domain. These images can be used in any way that you and your students see fit. There are twenty-two categories of images of which the largest collections are of animals, birds, and sunsets.

To find images that can be reused and remixed use Google's Advanced Image search options. To use the usage rights filter option, select "advanced image search" on the main Google Images page. Once in the "advanced image search" page, you will find the usage rights options at the bottom of the page. In the usage rights menu you can select one of four options; "labelled for reuse", "labelled for commercial reuse", "labelled for reuse with modification", or "labelled for commercial reuse with modification".

Yahoo Images has an option similar to Google's for finding Creative Commons licensed images. When you search for images using Yahoo's image search tool, you can select filters to refine results to show only images that are licensed under Creative Commons. The filters allow you to select filters for images that can be used for commercial purposes or images that are licensed for remixing and building upon.

More Credible Sites to Search for Pictures

  1. Search FLICKR using Creative Commons license to suit your project.
  2. Search BING. They have a search that filters by license.
  3. Search Creative Commons. Select "modify, adapt, or build upon."
  4. Search Wikimedia Commons.
  5. Search morguefile
  6. Search Stocksnap
  7. Search Pexels
  8. Search pixabay

Additional Free Resources






Other Helpful Tools
PaperRater (free online grammar checker)
Information for Instructors

Why do I need to cite my sources?

As an instructor, it is essential to model this behaviour for your students, so they see the value in stating where their ideas may have been originally found and maintaining their academic integrity.  

Citing your sources is also important because it:

  • puts your work in the context of existing ideas and studies;
  • allows your reader to find and read the specific material you have used;
  • acknowledges and gives credit for ideas and phrasing to the original author;              
  • lends credence and authority to your arguments;
  • demonstrates that you know how to find and use materials that support your research  (Adapted from York University, SPARK).

Securing copyright for course development means:

  • quotations and other material from outside sources, including images, are appropriately cited within the course materials;
  • a bibliography or reference list includes all citations (every text citation should have a matching entry in the reference list). 

The bibliography or reference list can be presented in one location for the entire course, broken down for each module, or in other appropriate methods that allow the learners to view the sources of course content.

Important things to remember:

  • Cite all images 
  • Cite material used throughout course and for student use
  • Material used should not be more than 7 years old (if it is necessary to use older materials, please provide a rationale of its value)
  • Materials can be used as long as they follow Fair Dealing rules (see next page)

How can I help my students to follow these copyright rules?

As stated above, modelling correct citation methods is the best first step you can take.  As well, feel free to share all of the resources in this site, as the copyright rules apply to everyone, both staff and students alike.  The Olds College Learning Commons staff can also support our students and yourself when it comes to searching and citing materials.

This Academic Integrity Checklist created by York University can also be shared with your students, as long as is attributed to the original source (CC BY-SA-NC 3.0).

Copyright, Disclaimer, Liability and Privacy Statements

Copyright Statement

Users of this site may copy content from it without permission (excluding any material for which Olds College does not hold copyright) if Olds College is acknowledged in the copy and the copy is used for educational or not-for-profit purposes.

Any public domain material embedded in this site may be used without permission.

We welcome links to our sites. You are free to establish a hypertext link to any Olds College Web page as long as the link does not state or imply any sponsorship of your site by Olds College. Please send an e-mail to our campus webmaster if you link to our site. We may be able to provide a reciprocal link if it is appropriate.

For commercial use of this site, please contact our campus webmaster.

Notice to Copyright Holders

The creators of the Olds College Web site have made every effort to secure permission to use the works of others. Any use of others’ works on this site is the result of either explicit permission from the copyright owner, a good faith belief (following investigation) that the work is in the public domain, or a fair use for purposes of research and scholarship under copyright laws. Our goal is to make information and resources available to the community; we have no intent to offend anyone's ownership rights in intellectual property. If you are a copyright claimant with regard to any work on this site, and you object to our use of it, please contact our campus webmaster, who will be pleased to confer with you about any concerns you might have.

Disclaimer Statement

While every effort is made to update and maintain the accuracy of information on this Web site, admission requirements, courses, programs and procedures relating to Olds College are subject to change. In addition, Olds College is not responsible for the accuracy of information on connecting Web sites or through connecting links on other Web sites.

Liability Statement

Neither Olds College nor the Board of Governors of Olds College accept any responsibility for damage to the student or their property on or off the campus however caused. This includes any incident arising from instruction or field training experience in any program, organized or unorganized sports, or other activities. Students may, and are encouraged to, take out a policy of health and accident insurance to cover themselves against these risks.

Privacy Statement - Confidentiality of Personal Information (FOIP)

We are committed to providing our visitors with a web site that respects their privacy. This statement summarizes the privacy policy and practices on Olds College web sites.

Olds College, as a post-secondary institution in the Province of Alberta, will adhere to the regulations set out in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The collection, use and disclosure of personal information has been outlined on the College application form. The purpose of this Act is to allow any person a right of access to the records of the College, to control the manner in which the College may collect information from individuals, to control the use that the College may make of that information, to control its disclosure of that information, to allow individuals the right of access to information about themselves, to allow individuals a right to request corrections to their personal information and to provide for an independent review of decisions of the College made under this Act, and the resolution of complaints under this Act.

  • We do not automatically gather any personal information from you. Personal information such as your name, phone number, or e-mail address is only obtained if you supply it voluntarily, usually through contacting us via e-mail, or registering in a secure portion of the site.

  • Any personal information you do provide is protected under Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This means that, at the point of collection, you will be informed that your personal information is being collected, the purpose for which it is being collected and that you have a right of access to the information.

  • We use software that receives and records the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer that has contacted our web site. We make no attempt to link these addresses with the identity of individuals visiting our site.

  • Visitor information is not disclosed to anyone except Olds College personnel who need the information, e.g., to respond to a request.

  • This web site contains links to other sites. We are not responsible for the content and the privacy practices of other web sites and encourage you to examine each site’s privacy policy and make your own decisions regarding the accuracy, reliability and correctness of material and information found.

For questions or comments regarding this policy, or for additional information about the administration of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, please see our FOIP FAQ Personal Information and Protecting Student Privacy at Olds College or contact the FOIP Coordinator:

Henry Czarnota at (403) 507-0434 or
By mail: 4500 – 50 Street, Olds, AB, T4H 1R6

Alumni Information Privacy Statement

Olds College Advancement collects information on behalf of Olds College, Olds College Alumni Association, and Olds College Alumni Chapters under the authority of Section 33(c) of the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and The Post Secondary Learning Act, for the purposes of administering alumni relations and development programs for Olds College,Horizons magazine mailing, a limited number of solicitation campaigns from Olds College alumni affinity partners, and occasional e-mail, mail and/or phone contact to research and promote new programs, services, and events for alumni.

  • Your alumni record includes the information you provided as a student or employee. This information is only updated if you provide it voluntarily. Any information submitted by an individual to Advancement may be used to update that individual's record. Individuals who submit information to Advancement acknowledge the above and consent to the collection of personal information.

  • Olds College Advancement does not collect personal information for commercial marketing or distribution to any private organizations that do not have an affinity partner contract with Olds College. Affinity partners are carefully selected and must offer valued services and/or special rates to alumni and revenue generated from those partnerships is used to fund the operations and activities of Olds College. As agreed to by contract all affinity partner telephone, mail, and e-mail communication are only for Olds College approved initiatives. Any personal information an alumnus/a provides to an affinity partner is done so at the discretion of the individual.

  • You have the right to request that your personal information cease to be used for alumni publications, solicitation, fundraising purposes, and/or information regarding events, programs, and services offered by or in conjunction with Advancement.

If you have any questions or concerns about your personal record, or would like to limit the kinds of contact you receive, please contact Alumni Relations by phone at 403-556-8232 or by email at