Copyright and Course Materials Posted on D2L
This resource is intended to provide CUPE Unit 1 Contract Lecturers with basic information surrounding copyright of course materials during a period of rapid transition to online models of teaching and learning. More information on copyright and your teaching (including the copying and reposting of your work by students) can be found on the Ryerson Library website, Copyright at Ryerson.
Copyright refers to the exclusive right to produce, reproduce, perform (or make accessible) in public, or publish a protected work or any substantial part thereof.
The types of work that may be protected by copyright are broad and include, without limitation, all original scholarly, scientific, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and recorded works in any material form and also applies to related intellectual property rights in knowhow and data.
The course materials you make available to students online – whether text, audio, video, or other forms of digital media – may be copyrighted works in whole or in part. This could include study guides, laboratory manuals, interactive textbooks, multimedia instructional packages, lectures, performer's performances, films, and video and audio broadcasts.
(a) The Originality Requirement
A work is copyrighted only if it is original, originates with the author, and reflects the requisite degree of skill and judgment.
(b) Scope of Protection – Idea vs Expression
Generally, copyright does not extend protection to ideas. Instead, copyright protects the particular manner in which an idea is expressed in an original scholarly, scientific, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, or recorded work in any material form.
Copyright protection is not extended to: vague, general, or abstract representations; systems or methods; works that are narrowly or strictly utilitarian or functional (i.e. a phonebook); or facts.
In order for copyright to vest in a work, the work must be expressed to some extent in a material or tangible form that is capable of identification and having a more or less permanent endurance.
Under “fair dealing” someone can use someone else’s copyright-protected work without permission from the copyright owner if the user meets a two part test:
(1) the “dealing” must be for research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody;
(2) the dealing must be “fair”.
Please see the Ryerson University Fair Dealing Guideline to understand more.
Copyright Infringement is a legal violation that involves copying someone’s work without permission. Plagiarism is an academic violation that involves claiming attribution for someone else’s original work or ideas.
The owner of a copyrighted work has the exclusive right to produce, reproduce, perform, or publish the work or any substantial and protected part of the work. An owner of a copyrighted work may allow others, through license, to produce, reproduce, perform, or publish the work or any substantial and protected part of the work.
Pursuant to the CUPE Collective Agreement, a Contract Lecturer who creates a copyrighted work in the course of their normal duties and responsibilities owns the work they create except for copyright in:
(i) any assessment, grading, report, or correspondence produced pursuant to their normal administrative duties within the University;
(ii) any material provided to the Contract Lecturer to assist them in carrying out their duties (i.e. course outline, laboratory manual) even if it was modified by the Contract Lecturer; or
(iii) any work produced and designed to assist in the day-to-day administration, operation and/or management of the University's affairs.
Through the collective agreement Contract Lecturer grants the University a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable and non-transferable license to use the copyrighted material they produce for a course for non-commercial teaching and/or SRC activities of the University. This license does not extend to a Contract Lecturer’s personal documents, (i.e. unpublished lecture notes, course notes, lab notes or any work-in-progress).
The Contract Lecturer may withdraw the license because of dating or other bona fide scholarly reasons provided that the Contract Lecturer has provided the University with reasonable notice of the change being sought and has been unsuccessful in effecting such change.