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Copyright @ CNA-Q

What is copyright?

By definition... the right to copy.

The intent of copyright laws is to protect content owners from unauthorized copying and reproduction.

The balance between the rights of content owners and the users of copyrighted materials is a matter of statutory exemptions, judicial decisions and  legal agreements.

Who has the right to copy?

Creators have the sole right to reproduce, publish or perform their original works.  The law establishes their moral and economic rights to protect their intellectual property.

Users rights to reproduce and use a copyright owner's content is allowed under specific circumstances.

When does copyright protection stop?

In Qatar and Canada*, a work is protected for the life of the creator plus fifty years - although there are some exceptions. 

A work enters public domain when the period of copyright protection has ended. You can use a work in the public domain without permission and at no cost.

*The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), “includes a life plus 70 years requirement. Canada negotiated a 30 month transition period with no need to extend the copyright during that term." - Michael Geist, February 24th, 2020

What is protected by copyright?

Use of Films on Campus

Movies, documentaries, and online films are very popular and can be a great teaching tool. Some basic guidelines to follow are:

  • You can show movies in the classroom, with some exceptions for streaming services with specific license agreements.
  • You cannot show movies outside the classroom. You need to purchase public viewing rights for all movies shown for non-educational and training purposes. This applies even if you are not charging admission.
  • Public viewing rights are obtained through the film distributor and can take weeks to obtain, so plan ahead. In Qatar, Filmbankmedia is one of the companies that you can contact: They will require a special screening enquiry form and will then request the film studio's approval. They will then require the license fees to be received before the screening date.
  • Licensing does cost money, although there are often discounts for Educational institutions.
  • Our DVD collection in the Library does not have public viewing rights, but if it is being used in the classroom you do not need to purchase the rights.
  • Make sure you are downloading videos from a legal source. Many videos on YouTube are fine to use, but there are also many that are posted by someone who is not the legal copyright holder.

Copyright exceptions and exemptions

The law makes some exceptions to copright infringement.

The fair dealing exception allows you to use works protected by copyright in certain circumstances.

The law also allows certain groups (i.e. educational institutions, libraries, archives and museums) to infringe on the rights of content owners in order to ensure access to copyrighted materials.

Copyright Licenses

Canadian copyright collectives administer the economic rights on behalf of copyright owners and rights holders who belong to the collective.

Access Copyright licenses photocopying in schools.

SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) collects fees and distributes royalties for performances of music.

VEC/Criterionand Audio-Cine Films license public performance of films in schools.

In the U.S. the CCC (Copyright Clearance Centre) licenses text material and offers different kinds of licenses for different uses, e.g. academic and business.

Academic Advisory

The Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) monitors copyright legislation in Canada and examines its impact on educational institutions.

They publish an excellent booklet entitled Copyright Matters! Some Key Questions and Answers for Teachers by Wanda Noel. The 3rd edition covers the Copyright Modernization Act.