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Common Copyright Mistakes

Faculty and staff frequently deal with copyright-protected material in the course of their everyday work. Are you making one of these top three copyright errors when it comes to your educational materials? 


1) Too Much of a Good Thing

In general, you should not exceed sharing 10% of a given resource for fair dealing purposes. Contact the Copyright Office or consult the University of Winnipeg Fair Dealing Guidelines for more guidance and six factors to consider when using excerpted copyrighted material.

To fairly use articles from journals for educational purposes, limit your use to one article from a particular issue.

To fairly use chapters from a book, limit your use to one chapter.

2) Not Citing Your Sources

Full citations for all course materials, images, and other media are just as important for you to use as they are for your students.

For more information about citing images and other formats, please see our Format Specific Guidelines

3) Downloaded Content

Sharing videos, images, PDFs, and other resources you have downloaded or copied yourself may be an infringement of copyright.  Sharing a link or a URL to licensed or public domain content is the safest way of ensuring you are not providing access to infringing content.


Best Practices when Using Copyright-Protected Material


Library Links

The Library pays for licensed content which can be shared by a link to the item in the Library catalogue.  Licenses for materials that exceed what is allowable under fair dealing can also be obtained through the Copyright Office.

Open Access

Public Domain and Open Access resources are freely available on the web with no login required.  You should always share a link or URL to a resource, rather than a copy of a resource.

Fair Dealing

Short excerpts can be shared for educational purposes under fair dealing.  This use is outlined in the University of Winnipeg Copyright Policy.  



To find out more: