MHC students at computer

Copyright and Permissions

As faculty, you may have questions about whether certain materials can be used for class instruction or even how to properly cite resources. Library Services supports MHC faculty, staff, and students as they navigate content use and creation by providing information literacy, copyright, intellectual property, and citation guidance.

Copyright Services

The Copyright Guide provides a basic introduction to copyright at MHC and can be a helpful starting place when determining whether or not your classroom materials are copyright compliant. If you are unsure about whether or not you can use a specific work in your class or if you would like assistance finding copyright friendly content, please contact the copyright specialist. We offer assistance with:

  • Course pack reviews to ensure all content is compliant.
  • Acquiring permission for the use of works.
  • Copyright instruction and workshops for you and/or your students.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) refers to any form of knowledge or expression created with one’s intellect. It includes inventions, scientific or scholarly discoveries, computer software, trademarks, literary, artistic, musical or visual works, and even simple documented processes. The Library Services IP Guide provides an introduction to the law that governs IP use. 

See Policy 9.5: Intellectual Property and Copyright for complete details on IP rights as Medicine Hat College employees.

Common Questions

How do I know if a work is copyright protected?

Copyright protection is automatic as soon as an idea is expressed in a fixed form (this means put on paper, recorded, published, blogged, e-mailed, etc.)

Copyright belongs to creators of the following material:

  • Literary, dramatic, artistic, musical works (e.g. book, letter, e-mail, blog, computer program, compilation, government publication, script, play, film, painting, sculpture, photograph, map, architectural drawing, sheet music, compositions, music video, etc.)
  • Sound recording (e.g. lectures, animal sounds, nature sounds, music, audio book, etc.)
  • Performances (e.g. dancing, singing, acting, etc.)
  • Communication signals (e.g. pay-per-view, radio, satellite, broadcasts, etc.)

In Canada, copyright lasts for the creator’s lifetime, plus 50 years.

Is there a limit to how much I can copy for teaching or academic purposes?

Yes. Fair Dealing guidelines in Canadian copyright law permit copying of a maximum of 10% of a copyright-protected work for instructional or academic activities.

Is everything on the internet fair game?

Most material found on the Internet is protected by copyright just like any other material (unless otherwise indicated). Linking to a website is almost always okay.  Just make sure that the website is not posting content without the copyright owners’ permission.

Can I show a YouTube video in class? How about Netflix?

You can show YouTube videos in class. If, however, it looks as if the posted video may be an infringing on copyright, you should look for a different video.

The Netflix terms of service allow for personal use only. Content cannot be shared in an academic setting.

Where can I find teaching resources that are not copyright protected?

Teaching materials that you can freely use, disseminate, and modify are called Open Educational Resources (OER). For more information, check out our page on Open Education Resources.

Contact Info

Lesley Mackie

Instruction and Research Librarian

(403) 529-3866


Copyright Specialist

(403) 529-3835