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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Hi all,

I'd like to take a moment to talk about a serious issue related to digital copyright. New legislation around "fair dealing" have made these waters difficult to navigate for a classroom teacher. So without further "ado" I'd like to share with you the law as it applies to digital content in education.

Digital Copyright and the Classroom:
  1. What is NEVER okay?

    1. Pirated resources (Constitutes theft): Content that has been removed from its original format ie: DVD, CD, iTunes, etc and shared publically (file sharing) or privately with individuals who did not pay for it: Typically these consist of
      1. Software
      2. Music
      3. Movies
      4. Other media
    2. Content that someone else has pirated and placed on a public site such as YouTube. (For example a Bill Nye episode that someone has posted to YouTube).
    3. Content sold in a digitally protected format - iTunes, Play, eBooks, Amazon, etc. - where you have used a program to remove the license lock (DRM). For example, if you purchase a movie from iTunes, use a program to “break” the lock so you can play it from your Moodle page, Google Drive or YouTube.
    4. Content removed from its original media without permission - For example “ripping” music or movies from a CD or DVD (This includes “ripping” from YouTube).
  2. What is SOMETIMES okay?

    1. Play a legitimately purchased (bought by the school, by yourself) movie for your students, for educational purposes. (Note that sporting events, sleepovers, fundraisers etc. are covered through our IRC membership. Please contact Barbara Eagles at IMC if you want to confirm that a title is licensed for this).
      1. Note: Although high definition streaming services such as Netflix or ShoMi are legal in these situations, they draw enough bandwidth to slow down the entire division internet. Please do not use these!
      2. Legitimately hosted music videos from services like Vimeo can be used for educational purposes so long as they are played from their original website, however these are not covered through the IRC licenses.
    2. Reproduce a work for educational purposes that is:
      1. Not commercially available in Canada for a reasonable price
      2. Cannot be located with reasonable effort (For example, a work produced in 1970 is no longer available for purchase in any format)
    3. News and commentary used for educational purposes.
    4. Create something new using a published work (sometimes referred to as a “Mashup”) as long as the work you’re using itself has not violated copyright. For example you can create a video using a piece of music you’ve purchased from itunes so long as you don’t have to remove the DRM lock to do it.
  3. What is ALWAYS okay?

    1. Play legitimately purchased music or other audio recording for your students.
    2. Play, download and copy resources that are Creative Commons licensed. (http://search.creativecommons.org is an easy way to find these).
    3. Play multi-media created and produced by FSD Staff and Students.


The University of British Columbia has a Comprehensive Site outlining copyright implications for Educational Institutions as per the Copyright Modernization Act (formerly bill C-11).

Legal Alternatives for Content:

  • Creative Commons Search: http://search.creativecommons.org
    • Search for content that is licensed under creative commons and therefore free to copy with attribution. Creative Commons Search looks for free content on a variety of search tools including Google, Flickr and ccMixter.
  • 7-Digital: http://7digital.ca
    • Music sold without DRM lock legitimately. Prices are similar to iTunes and Play, but can be used to create “mashups” legitimately. Refer to the purchase contract to determine the number of devices you are allowed to share to.
  • Streaming Services purchased through IRC (Contact Barbara Eagles for passwords):

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