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COVID-19 Library Services Update


MacEwan University Copyright Office


Blackboard and eReserves

All uploads to Blackboard and eReserves need to follow the Canadian Copyright Act and MacEwan University copyright guidelines. There are numerous options to legally share materials for an educational purpose. 

Fair Dealing

An excerpt from a copyrighted work  - up to 10% from a work such as a book or a video, one chapter from a book even if it exceeds 10%, or an entire article or artwork, for example - may be posted to Blackboard and eReserves following the MacEwan University Fair Dealing Guidelines. This applies to both required and optional readings and covers audio and video excerpts in addition to published works. Review the Guidelines for more details.

Internet Content

Content on the Internet is subject to copyright. Use by individuals and by educators is often covered by an implied licence, which would allow use without direct permissionparticularly when a site provides tools for copying, sharing and embedding content. Fair dealing can also apply to many uses of works from the Internet, although it is often difficult to judge what is fair. Linking to Internet content avoids any copyright issues, but you should not provide students with a link to infringing content, such as an illegal post of an entire book.


Internet Exception

The Copyright Act Internet exception allows the use of freely available web content for an educational purpose, including making copies of works such as articles, pages and video clips and posting them to Blackboard or eReserves. Freely available means that it is not password protected, behind a paywall or otherwise restricted. The exception applies only if the content is legally posted and there is no clearly visible notice specifically disallowing educational use. See the Copyright Basics Exceptions page for more details.

Streaming Audio and Video


Uploading Copyrighted Video

Clips from copyrighted video sources can be uploaded to Blackboard, including Kaltura, following the MacEwan University Fair Dealing Guidelines (“Guidelines”). The Guidelines allow clips of up to 10% of a video work to be provided to students for an education, research and private study purpose. In some cases, the uses of portions of video that exceed the guidelines may still qualify as fair dealing. Contact the Copyright Specialist for an assessment. Larger excerpts or entire videos can be provided as streams using eReserves as outlined below.


Streaming Entire Videos

A streaming version of all or part of a video or musical work can be provided through Library eReserves. This is possible through an exception in the Copyright Act. The conditions of the exception must be met in order for the streaming copy to be legal. The Library process ensures that all requirements are met. The Library will create the streaming copy from provided DVDs, Blu-rays and CDs. Please submit requests through eReserves.


Self-Created Video

Excerpts from copyrighted works such as text, images, video and audio can be included in self-created videos and uploaded to your courses. Amounts following the MacEwan University Fair Dealing Guidelines will qualify, although amounts that exceed the guidelines will likely qualify in this context. Other exceptions in the Copyright Act may also support the use of copyrighted works in this context. Contact the Copyright Specialist for advice if you wish to use amounts that exceed the Guidelines. 


Embedding Video

When a platform provides tools for embedding video, this may be used in Blackboard and is equivalent to a link. Take reasonable steps to ensure that the posted content is legal. In order to ensure that this content is available through the entire term, you have the option to make a copy of a freely-available, legally-posted Internet video as a backup under the Internet exception and post that copy to Kaltura or eReserves as a replacement should the original video be taken down.

Library eReserves

MacEwan University Library eReserves provide another option to provide digital learning materials to students. You can submit digital files or have the Library create digital scans or rips for you from materials you provide or ask to have pulled from the Library collection. All items submitted are given a copyright assessment. Items that are within the MacEwan University Fair Dealing Guidelines will be approved quickly for posting. eReserves submissions that exceed the guidelines will be given an automatic fair dealing assessment and be approved if they qualify. Permissions can be obtained or alternative options discussed for items that do not qualify. Students can access their reading directly from eReserves or through a page created in Blackboard using a plugin. Details on the eReserves page.

Advantages of using eReserves:

·       High quality scanning of print works and capture of video by Library staff

·       Automatic copyright assessments to ensure legal posting

·       Automatic posting of full copies of works from the Library databases when terms allow it

·       Library staff will ensure there are no access limits on submitted Library subscription resources

·       Whenever possible, resources are modified to ensure they are accessible for students with perceptual disabilities

Visit eReserves for more information.

Non-Commercial User Generated Content

Some uses may also be covered under the non-commercial user-generated content provision of the Copyright Actwhich allows a new copyrighted work created by an individual to include portions from other copyrighted works and be publicly posted without infringing copyright. Student multimedia assignments, for example, can include portions of copyrighted works and be posted to Kaltura and other Blackboard sharing platforms or on public websites as well. See the Exceptions section for more information.

Library Database Content

The MacEwan Library licences journals, eBooks, images and video. In most cases you can post full copies of this material to Blackboard and eReserves. Some databases require you to use persistent links instead. Send citations to the Copyright Office for a quick assessment of how the material may be used.


Linking to website or Library database content remains the simplest way to avoid any copyright or Library database terms-of-use issues. You should not provide your class with a link to a work you know has been posted illegally. Some illegal posts look very legitimate. If unsure, contact the Copyright Office for advice.


You may always use material with the permission of the copyright owner. Keep in mind that if you have permission to copy a work in print format, it may not necessarily allow you to digitize the work and post it. The MacEwan University Copyright Office can arrange for permission to post copyrighted works that do not qualify under the above exceptions. See Permissions for more information.

This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International license. For exceptions, see the Library Copyright Statement.