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Copyright & You

Showing DVDs/Videos in the Classroom

Do I need public performance rights to show a DVD or video in the classroom?  NO.

Prior to the Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11), which introduced amendments to the Copyright Act, all videos and DVDs shown in a classroom needed public performance rights. Most videos and DVDs in the library collection had been purchased with these rights. Under the current Copyright Act this requirement is no longer necessary.

Therefore, you are able to show in the classroom:

  • all DVDs/videos in the KPU Library collection 
  • DVDs/videos borrowed from public libraries or video stores
  • videos/DVDs that have been privately purchased (i.e they can be from your private collection as long as they are legal copies)

 All DVDs/videos shown on KPU premises must be legal copies (cannot be taped off television or taped from borrowed or rented videos).

You cannot copy a work (e.g. burn a copy or convert to streaming)  without permission from the copyright owner.


Can I Show Feature Films in the Classroom?

Feature Films are full length movies that were shown in movie theatres and have now been released for the rental and home purchase market.  Revisons to the Copyright Act allow legal copies of feature films to be shown in the classroom without the need for Public Performance Rights.  Copies shown must still be legal copies (not taped off television or copied from videos/DVDs that were borrowed, rented or purchased).

Prior to the revisions to the Copyright Act, KPU had entered into a Feature Film LIcence with two major distributors of Feature Films that allowed the showing of a large number of feature films in the classroom.  Although we no longer need a feature film licence to show feature films in the classroom we do if we wish to show outside the classroom.

Our licence has an Entertainment Use Component that allows the showing outside the classroom and/or for entertainment purposes.  Under this licence you may show a film that is obtained through a legal source and covered by the University’s licensing agreement with Criterion Pictures ( or Audio Cine Films ( Check on their websites to see if a title you want to show is covered. 

The Entertainment Use Licence allows broader user rights outside the ordinary use in the classroom with the following conditions:

  • The films can be shown anywhere on campus
  • The films can be shown by someone other than an instructor eg. a student club or a staff training event
  • The primary audience must be students and employees of Kwantlen, with some members of the public present
  • Event advertising must be limited to media targeted at the University and its students and staff.  In the case of print advertising, the advertisements may only appear in campus media (eg. a student newspaper) and not in general community newspapers.
  • The event must be free to attend - no cost or cover charge.  Showing films at charity fund-raisers is allowed but only when the cost is purely by donation.
  • The licence covers only films that have been released for rental and home purchase; films still in theatrical release are not covered.

There may still be circumstances when there is a desire to show a film not covered under the terms of our licence, On a case by case basis it may be possible to obtain permisson for a single showing of a film  Generally there is a charge per showing to obtain the rights that are necessary.  Please contact the Library for more information.

Can I Show Television & Radio Broadcasts in the Classroom?

 You may show a television program or play a radio broadcast while it's being aired.

 You may show purchased TV Documentaries & TV series on DVD in class for a course in session.

 You may copy news or news commentary broadcasts to show later in the classroom.  Educational institutions using news and commentary under the educational exception of the Copyright Modernization Act, do not have to pay royalties, destroy copies of news or commentary programs after one year, or keep records of the copies made of news or commentary programs.  The copy can be made only at the time the program is aired by the broadcaster or communicated over the Internet.

  • News program is a program reporting on local, regional, national and international events as they happen and includes weather reports, sportscast, community news & other related features.  Examples: the National (news segment only), CTV News, Global News, BBC World Report etc.
  • News Commentary program is a program containing discussions, explanation, analysis, observations or interpretions of the news. Examples: Power & Politics with Evan Solomon; Mansbridge One on One, As It Happens, Studio 2, The Editors, Larry King Live

You may record a television show and review it for up to 30 days.

You may record TV documentaries or TV series at the time of broadcast to show in a face to face classroom ONLY if all of the following conditions apply:

  •   there is no commercially available DVD and
  •  Technical Protection Measures are not bypassed, and
  •   if, the Educational Rights Collective of Canada (ERCC) is contacted and a licence obtained to screen the recording in class.  Fees will apply.  Note:  At this time Kwantlen does not belong to the ERCC.

Documentaries are socially relevant programs with a creative vision and/or viewpoint and possess elements such as significant research and preparation; pre-scripting; significant editing.  Examples:  W5, 5th estate, 20/20, Dateline, Life & Times, the Nature of Things, Rex Murphy, Les affaires et la view.

Note:  Fair Dealing does apply to documentaries so up to 10% of a documentary can be reproduced and shown for educational purposes.  Using an entire documentary is not permitted under fair dealing.

What About Streamed Video?

You can show any of the KPU owned streamed videos or streamed videos from the Films On Demand, National Film Board and - CBC collections, as well as streamed video from a number of free sites, in the classroom.

Click here for information on KPU's streamed videos.

Streaming video cannot be dowloaded and made into a hard copy of any kind.

Please Note:
Personal "on demand" subscriptions (iTunes, Bell, Rogers, etc.) cannot be screened in class due to licensing restrictions.  The rights you may otherwise have had, for example the educational exception found in section 29.5 of the Copyright Act, or exceptions under Fair Dealing, do not apply if they are inconsistent with the subscription's Terms of Use.The terms of the agreement between the subscriber and the subscription service govern whether movies from subscription services can be shown in the classroom.  If the agreement states that use is limited to 'personal' or 'household' use then classroom use is not permitted.   The exception to this restriction is Netflix, which allows for limited streaming of videos in their collection that have a Grant of Permission for Educational Screenings 

Online video feeds from web services must be:

  • legally posted online. For example, you cannot show a scene from the film The Matrix, posted online by someone called johnsmith12345.
  • free of permitted use notices banning use in educational settings.

Can I Show Video from Free Online Sites? (including YouTube)?

Yes,  if:

  • the videos have been legitimately posted
  • the site does not contain an explicitly worded prohibition against copying and
  • there is no digital lock on the work

Before using an online video in a classroom setting it is prudent to ask the following questions:

·         Are there any explicit warnings or limits stated? 

·         Was the video posted online by the copyright owner?

·         Does the site’s Terms of Use allow you to stream their videos for educational use?

·         Does the video contain copyrighted information from another source (for example, music, pictures, or charts)?

·         Is the video allowed to be shown in Canada? (there will be a message if it is not).

·         Is the video a commercial posted by someone other than the advertising company?

·         Has the video been available online for more than a few days? (companies often remove content immediately if it infringes copyright).

An example of a video streaming website that is copyright clear is CBC Archives at


 Note: It is the faculty member's responsibility to ensure the legitimacy of YouTube videos before they are shown in the classroom.  YouTube videos and videos from other video sharing sites may contain content not uploaded by the copyright owner and use of these videos is copyright infringement.   Search for official versions of videos uploaded by the content creator.

Many content creators like CBC have channels on YouTube (the videos foundon these channels can be used).

Royalty-Free/Educational Use
The following links will take you to content that can be used royalty free. Check the terms of use for each resource, as some have restrictions (e.g. non-commercial, attribution) or terms may change without notice.


Can I Transfer Format?

Under the Copyright Modernization Act you can now transfer format if the format is obsolete or you believe it is becoming obsolete.  You can do this unless the work is commercially available in the new format.

Therefore you can now transfer a video to DVD if the work is not commercially available in DVD format--commercially available means that it can be purchased in DVD format within a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable cost.

Note: when you transfer format the original format must be destroyed; you cannot retain the original video as this would mean you would then have two copies of a title rather than the one you originally paid for

Can I Make Compilations of Movie or Video Clips?

The new 'mash-up' exception in the revised Copyright Act allows you to incorporate existing copyright material in the creation of new works as long as it is done for non-commercial purposes, the existing material was legitimately acquired, you had reasonable grounds to believe that the work did not infringe copyright, the use does not have a substantial negative effect to the copyright holder and you mention the source of the work.   For example, the 'mash-up' exception would allow you to splice scenes from legally purchased movies or videos for the purpose of creating a lecture or presentation.

What Can't I Do?

Can I copy an audiovisual work at home and then show it in the classroom?  No

Open Video Sites

Find video with Creative Commons license.


  • Select video is available for free to be downloaded, shared, and remixed.

Critical Commons

  • Critical Commons is a public media archive and fair use advocacy network that supports the transformative reuse of media in scholarly and creative contexts.

Moving Image Archive

  • This library contains digital movies uploaded by Archive users which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Many of these videos are available for free download.

Khan Academy

  • Find videos or short lectures on math, biology, chemistry, physics, humanities, finance and history.


  • TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).

  • An open access educational video lectures repository. The lectures are given by scholars and scientists at events like conferences, summer schools, workshops and science promotional events from many fields of Science.


  • Vimeo allows content creators to add a creative commons licence to their videos. These videos can be searched for using the advanced search filter.

YouTube Education

  • YouTube allows content creators to add a creative commons licence to their videos