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Administrative & Staff Copyright Guide

Copyright and Fair Dealing applies to the videos, images, audio, and recordings used and created by administration and staff. Please explore the following sections to determine whether you are using media appropriately inside and outside of class: 

Films & Video


Audio (sound recordings)

Recordings (lecture recordings or live-castings)

Please note that library-licensed materials are generally only accessible by current VIU students and employees (unless the work is openly licensed) and require a VIU login and password. This means if you link to these materials for a website, social media post, or email, a non-VIU user clicking on the link may encounter a VIU Library login page or a paywall (i.e., will be prompted to pay a fee for access). 

Films & Video

Films for non-educational purposes

If you want to show a film or video for entertainment purposes (including fundraisers, film festivals, club activities, etc.), then you would be required to obtain a license. Contact Criterion Pictures and Audio Cine Films to find out more about public performance licenses from their collections.

Please note that Library-licensed videos, many Internet videos, and other videos such as physical DVDs do not allow public performance for entertainment purposes.

Please contact the Copyright Office if you are unsure if your intended use is for educational or entertainment purposes.


Images, including photographs, paintings, tables, graphs, figures, maps, screenshots, drawings, digital art, etc., are protected by the Copyright Act from the moment they are captured in a fixed form. Ensure you have the right to use and display these images in publications and online. Many famous works of art are protected by museums and other institutions (who are the copyright owners); make sure to check the website of the institution or copyright holder to determine appropriate use. 

Note: just because an image is available online, does not mean you are permitted to copy and use it in publications or online. 

You are able to use images in your work, as long as it meets on one these criteria: 

Please ensure you also ensure that the following is in order:

  • You did not break or circumvent a technological protection measure (digital lock) that restricts access to the work or to the internet site
  • You do not suspect that the image was posted without the consent of the owner of the image or the models within the image (if people are present)
  • You identify the source of the work and, if available and applicable, the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster of the work

Copyright Act, Sections 29.5 and 41

To learn more, check out UBC's Image Source site to explore free images you can use for commercial purposes. 

To find images in public domain or under a permissive license, explore these sites and databases: 

Audio (sound recordings)

The Library has both streaming and physical audio recordings that are licensed for use in courses.

Commercial streaming services such as Apple, Spotify, etc. are for individual users, who must comply with their Terms of Use. For example, you wouldn’t be able to play audio from these services to students in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, if students are individual subscribers of a streaming service, then they would be able to listen independently with their own accounts. However, some students may not have access to those services and streaming services may have different content available in various countries.

Sound recordings can be played on campus without permission, provided that:

  • The performance is for educational or training purposes
  • The audience consists primarily of VIU's students, staff, and faculty
  • The performance is not for profit
  • The sound recording is legally acquired
  • You identify the source of the work and, if available and applicable, the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster of the work

All other uses of sound recordings on VIU premises requires permission and may require a license through SOCAN and/or Re:Sound. Contact the Copyright Office for assistance.

If you are looking for music to make videos or for other uses, these music communities provide music shared under various licenses (always read the license to see if it applies to your use).

Copyright Act, Section 29.5

Recordings (lecture recordings or live-castings)

Most of the copyright considerations are the same whether teaching in-person or online, except for audiovisual works and musical works/sound recordings, especially when access is limited to students enrolled in your course. When recording or live-casting lectures that include slides or other content, you will be copyright compliant when using third-party materials if:

You may be able to use the Copyright Act’s educational exception for reproducing works available through the Internet (s. 30.04) or for reproducing a lesson for e-learning (s. 30.01). Both uses have certain conditions that must be met to not violate the Copyright Act. Please contact the Copyright Office if you have any questions or concerns. 

Copyright Act Sections 30.01 or 30.04


Do you have questions? Want to learn more? Contact the Copyright Office

The information on this website is provided as guidance for educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. 

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