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Physics, Applied Science & Astronomy

Copyright Basics

Copyright is the sole and exclusive right of a copyright owner to produce, reproduce, perform, publish, adapt, translate and telecommunicate a work, and to control the circumstances in which others may do any of these things.

Copyright law in Canada protects a wide range of works including films, music, artistic works as well as books.

Copying or scanning can be carried out under any one of the following circumstances:

  1. The work is in the public domain (see Unsure? tab to the left)
  2. Copying is explicitly allowed by the rights holder through a Creative Commons or Open Access licence or similar statement. A condition of using items under a CC licence is proper attribution. Click here tor how to correctly attribute.
  3. The work is appropriately licensed by the library. Click here for information on linking to articles in subscription databases.
  4. Permission has been granted by the rights holder (usually the author or publisher). Click here for information on obtaining permissions.
  5. The copying falls within one of the educational exceptions or fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act. The Copyright Act provides exceptions which allow copying, in paper or electronic form, under certain circumstances for universities or persons acting under the authority of a university. 

The copyright law of Canada governs the copying and communicating of copyright-protected material. Certain copying and communications may infringe copyright law.

The Canadian Copyright Act and Supreme Court of Canada decisions are the foundation of Copyright at KPU. All members of the KPU community are affected by changes to the legislation and by copyright case law. This guide is intended to facilitate understanding of the implications of these developments for teaching, learning and research. It is updated regularly to provide the campus community with information and suggestions for best practices in using copyrighted material.

KPU respects and values the works of creators. The goal is to balance encouraging access to works with ensuring that the rights of creators are respected, both in accordance with copyright law.

While copyright issues can be complex, all students and employees are responsible for knowing their rights and responsibilities. All must abide by the requirements of the Copyright Act and are only permitted to make lawful copies of works.

The KPU Library will continue to monitor developments in Canadian copyright legislation and in case law pertaining to copyright.  These pages will be updated as new developments occur.

Any copyright-related questions or concerns should be directed to


These Copyright Guidelines have been prepared by the Library and efforts have been made to ensure accuracy and currency. However, they are intended for the education of the KPU community and should not be construed to be legal advice nor KPU policy.



You May Not Copy or Scan:

  • any published work where the publication containing the work does not contain other works. For example, no copy may be made of a play from a publication containing the play but no other work
  • unpublished works
  • proprietary workbooks, work cards, assignment sheets, tests and examination papers
  • instruction manuals
  • newsletters with restricted circulation intended to be restricted to a fee-paying clientele
  • business cases which are made available for purchase

The premise for the above is that copying is not intended to substitute for the purchase of a work that is commercially available in a medium that is appropriate for the purpose.

Note: 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.

Note: You cannot use logos or trademarks without prior permission from the owner. These are not covered under copyright law and do not have any educational exceptions

Some Other Do Nots:

  •  Don’t post copyrighted material to the open web.
  •  Don’t re-digitize material. First check to see if it is already available from the University Library and create a persistent link
  •  Copies cannot be used to replace or to substitute for the purchase of a Work.