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Copyright at SAIT: Copyright

Copyright and Fairdealing for SAIT Students

1. What is Copyright?

Source: What is Copyright in Canada, ISED: https://youtu.be/ljNS5p3cqls

Copyright means the right to copy. According to the Canadian Copyright Act only the copyright owner has the exclusive legal right to produce or reproduce their work or any substantial part of it - including to copy, publish, translate, or sell the original work.  

Copyright is automatic but requires a work be in a fixed format (written down, recorded, etc.) and have some level of creativity.  

2. What does copyright protect?

  • Literary works – anything text based or in written form including digital and physical formats. Examples include computer programs, emails, letters, journal and newspaper articles, stories, songs, etc. 
  • Dramatic works – theatrical plays, recitation, documentaries, movies, video recordings, YouTube videos, choreography, television subscription, radio, and cable programs, etc. 
  • Musical works could be any form of musical work, with or without words, including audio CDs, and audio cassettes. 
  • Artistic works – photographs, charts, diagrams, blueprints, drawings, paintings, sculptures, engravings, illustrations, maps, plans, tables with data described in it, etc. 
  • Performers’ performances. 
  • Sound recordings – it could be a conversation, a teacher teaching in a classroom (lecture or speech), YouTube audio file, audio books, audio tapes, etc.  
  • Communications Signals – Television and Radio signals. 

3. Who own's copyright?

In general, the author/creator of an original work is the owner of copyright. There are exceptions -  

  • An author or creator may choose to sell ownership, sign their rights to a separate entity (such as to a publisher), or give away their copyright.
  • If a work is created by an author during their employment (paid time), the employer owns the copyright, unless there is a written agreement between the employer and the employee. 

4. How long does copyright last?

Copyright for published works generally lasts for the life of the copyright owner, plus 70 years. After that, the work enters public domain (no copyright restrictions). 

5. What is copyright infringement?

Copyright infringement is the violation of Canadian Copyright Law. Copyright infringement can happen in two ways – directly and indirectly. 

  • Direct infringement happens when a student copies, sells, or distributes an original work (the whole work or substantial portion of the work) without the copyright owner’s knowledge or permission. 
  • Indirect infringement happens when a student copies, sells, or distributes a copy of an original work (the whole work or substantial portion of the work) retrieved from a pirated source without the copyright owner’s knowledge or permission. 

If you have questions or are unsure about whether a work can be used or not for your scholarly activity, please contact SAIT’s Copyright Office. 

Copyright Librarian

Profile Photo
David Layton
Contact:
Reg Erhardt Library,
Stan Grad Centre, MC 123
403.284.7368

Copyright Office

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Contact:
Reg Erhardt Library,
Stan Grad Centre, MC 123
403.284.7368

The information on this webpage is provided to you only as guidance and is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and does not represent legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact a qualified legal professional.

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