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Copyright for Educators: Home

This guide provides information about copyright in the classroom. This guide is not a substitute for legal advice.


Please note: This guide does not provide legal advice. It is intended to give guidance about acceptable use of copyright protected materials.


For clarification of a specific copyright-related question or answers to questions not covered by this guide, please contact:


The King's University Library (


However, please note that library staff are not copyright officers and can only provide advice; the advice is not a substitute for legal advice. 

Difference between copyright and credit

Remember that just because you have the right to copy and share something doesn't mean you can share it without credit or copyright information. For example, book chapters should include the title page and copyright page. 

King's University Copyright Policy

Copyright Basics

Copyright, in its simplest form, is the right to copy.

It is a set of exclusive rights granted by law to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute, and adapt the work.

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

  1. The work is in the public domain (see 3 Licenses tab)
  2. Copying is explicitly allowed by the rights holder through a Creative Commons license or similar statement (see 3 Licenses tab)
  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. 

When a work is created there are different licences that could be added to the work that designate usage rights.

Traditional copyright

Provides protection for all creations and re-use of the work is defined in copyright law and is automatically applied as soon as a work is created.

Creative commons

Creative Commons is a specific standardized license that creator(s) can attach to their work and grant the public permission to use their creative work under specific conditions. These licenses must be chosen by the copyright holder and applied to work once created. For example, a CC BY license allows users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator.  There are six different license types, which you can find listed here.

Public domain

Consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. These rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. If these materials are used no permission is required and you do not need to provide attribution.


Making sense of The Spectrum Of Rights by Research Outreach. Source

Please see menu tabs for specific information 

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. It does not matter how long you wait between making copies.

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 Don'ts:

  •  Don’t post copyrighted material to the open web or personal unsecured websites. 
  •  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.

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0.


Content from this guide adapted from KPU Copyright Guide under creative commons license.