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Information for faculty & students about using copyrighted materials at Red Deer Polytechnic.

Your Responsibilities

Copyright is handled differently depending on where you are using the work. Unless stated otherwise, all works you come across, whether in print or online, are copyrighted.

When using (e.g. copying, modifying) copyright-protected works, it is your responsibility to ensure you are not violating copyright law.

Legally Obtaining Copyrighted Works

When using copyrighted works, it is important that you have legally obtained that work.

Examples of legally obtained works:

  • a book, article, or other type of resource from RDP Library's print or online collections (for faculty, staff, and students of the college, and community members of the library).
  • a book, article, or other type of resource borrowed from another library through interlibrary loan.
  • an image/video/song that was uploaded by the current copyright holder to a publicly available website.
  • an online document that is housed on a site hosted by the original copyright holder or at the approval of the copyright holder.

Examples of works that may not be legally obtained:

  • a book, article, or other type of resource from another institution where their licenses do not permit your use on RDP's campus (e.g. a personal membership to an association or organization, you work at another company/institution and have access to their subscription materials as an employee).
  • an image/video/song uploaded by an unknown party and has no affiliation with the copyright holder.
  • an online work that provides no contextual information on who holds the copyright of that material.
  • any work that has a digital lock that you would need to break in order to make a copy.
  • works where the copyright statement or terms of use section specifically prevents your particular use of the work.

Best Practices

Best practices for the use of copyrighted works include:

  • Only use works if you have the copyright holder's permission, the works are in the public domain, or the works are "short" excerpts" (as defined by Red Deer Polytechnic's Fair Dealing Guidelines).
  • Credit the author and source of all works
  • Only include works that are reasonably necessary for the purpose of your use.
  • For instructors: you are strongly encouraged to use Blackboard to distribute and post course materials. Blackboard has the advantage of being password protected and automatically manages student access.
  • All images, videos, and text resources used in your courses and slides need to be legally obtained.
  • Legally obtaining a work means that you have found a version that has been posted/uploaded/presented by the creator or copyright holder.
  • Look for watermarks, copyright information, and other identifiers that tell you whether that work was meant to be uploaded on the site you found it.
  • Try a reverse image search to find the source/creator of an image (TinEye, Google Search by Image).

Citing and Attributing Works

Be sure to cite and/or attribute all works used.

Learn more about citing and attributing copyrighted works.

Permissions - For Educators

If you are concerned that your use of a work is not covered by Fair Dealing Guidelines, the Library can help you to request permission from the copyright holder to use the work.

Want to learn more about when and how to request permission? Watch the University of Alberta's Asking Permission and Transactional Licences (5:28).

Below are two sample letters to help you get started with your request for permission:

If you have questions or need help with copyright, please contact us!