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Copyright Office educates and raises awareness on campus

Campus community reminded of Copyright Act regulations
September 13, 2016
Copyright compliance is not only a legal requirement, but good practice. Pixabay photo by Daniel Agrelo licensed under Creative Commons

Copyright compliance is not only a legal requirement, but good practice. Pixabay photo by Daniel Agrelo licensed under Creative Commons

As students, faculty and staff head back to campus for another busy academic year, the Copyright Office at the university is reminding the community of the importance of understanding and complying with the Copyright Act.

The University of Calgary encourages access to works while ensuring that the rights of creators are respected, in accordance with the Copyright Act. Copyright compliance is not only a legal requirement, but good practice, as many members of our academic and research community are users and producers of intellectual property for course teachings and research. 

“We have a responsibility to ensure that our policies are solid and that our campus community takes responsibility for using devices and networks according to the Copyright Act of Canada and our own Electronic Communications Policy,” says Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic), who oversees the Copyright Committee on campus. “As an institution that manages its own copyright, we all have a duty to ensure our devices and networks are used appropriately,” says Marshall.

You are responsible for downloaded material

Members of the campus community are responsible for ensuring any material they download or reproduce is legally accessed and acquired. File-sharing websites that use the Bit Torrent protocol are sometimes locations for unauthorized content downloading. It’s the content being shared that falls under copyright, not the technology behind it.

Content owners worldwide monitor the Internet to identify instances when their content is being copied and to learn the IP address associated with each instance. Any content owner, including those from our own campus community, can send a notice to an Internet service provider alleging copyright infringement. As an Internet service provider, the University of Calgary is notified of these instances by the content holders and in turn is obligated to notify the user.

These infringements could result in legal action against the alleged downloaders by the content owner through the provisions in the Copyright Act. As well, students, faculty and staff using university assets (including both devices and networks) must adhere to the Electronic Communications Policy and the Code of Conduct. Breaches of either policy could result in disciplinary action.

Unauthorized downloading a problem on Canadian campuses

“We are aware that unauthorized downloading is occurring on campus, as it does at other post-secondary institutions in Canada,” says Marshall. “It is not okay and our campus community needs to be aware of the risks of engaging in that behaviour. We work to raise awareness of the Copyright Act and our Electronic Communications Policy, fulfil our legal obligations set by the Act and protect the intellectual property that we both use and create on campus.”

The Copyright Office offers guidance and support when incorporating third-party material in lectures, handouts and postings on Desire2Learn (D2L). Guidelines for fair dealing and thesis preparation are also available. The Copyright Office maintains a permitted uses chart and offers presentations for faculties and departments on current copyright policies and procedures.

Through collaborations with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the My GradSkills program and the Research Services Office, the Copyright Office provides information on copyright, publisher policy and author rights for researchers and graduate students.

Member of the campus community are encouraged to contact the Copyright Office if they have questions about copyright, or the university’s policies and procedures related to copyright.

For more information about policies and procedures related to copyright, visit the Copyright Office’s website.  For more information about the Copyright Act, visit The Government of Canada’s Justice Laws website