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Copyright Guide for Students


Access Copyright
A copyright collective that grants licences to photocopy works and collects fees on behalf of its members.
Berne Copyright Convention
An international treaty extending copyright protection in member countries to nationals of other member countries. Canada is a signatory to this treaty.
Copyright infringement
Violation of copyright through unauthorized copying or use of a work or other subject matter under copyright.
A set of exclusive rights, including the right to copy a work, a performance or a sound recording.
Distribution right
The exclusive rights of copyright owners to authorize the first transfer of ownership (such as by sale) of each copy of the protected material.
Fair dealing
A feature of Canada's copyright law that permits individuals and businesses to make certain uses of copyrighted material in ways that do not threaten the legitimate interests of copyright owners but that could have significant economic, societal and cultural benefits.
Format shifting
Copying content into other formats and onto other devices (e.g., transferring content from a CD to an MP3 player).
Legal agreement granting someone permission to use a work for certain purposes or under certain conditions. A licence does not constitute a change in ownership of the copyright.
Moral rights
Rights that authors and performers retain over the integrity of a work or sound recording, and the right to be named as its creator even after the sale or transfer of the copyright.
Private copying
The copying of pre-recorded musical works, performers' performances and sound recordings onto a blank medium, such as audio tape or cassette, for personal use.
Rights holders
Individuals, businesses or organizations that own the copyright on a work or other subject matter (e.g., authors, performers, producers, video game publishers, photographers, visual artists).
Time shifting
The recording of programming (e.g., a TV show) to a device or medium to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time.
User groups
Groups of persons, businesses or organizations with common interests (e.g., consumers, educators, libraries, archives, museums, researchers, software developers) that use copyrighted work or other subject matter in the course of their usual activities.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet Treaties
The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty are commonly known as the WIPO Internet Treaties. These 1996 treaties update international copyright standards for the Internet era.


Please note: This guide does not provide legal advice. It is intented to give guidance about acceptable use of copyright protected materials.