Open Educational Resources (OER)

2. Ownership and Sharing

2.1. Copyright

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To understand Open Educational Resources, it is important to first recognize how they relate to copyright and the public domain.

As defined by the Canada Copyright Act, copyright in relation to a work is:

"the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form whatever, to perform the work or any substantial part thereof in public or, if the work is unpublished, to publish the work or any substantial part thereof, and includes the sole right

  • (a) to produce, reproduce, perform or publish any translation of the work,

  • (b) in the case of a dramatic work, to convert it into a novel or other non-dramatic work,

  • (c) in the case of a novel or other non-dramatic work, or of an artistic work, to convert it into a dramatic work, by way of performance in public or otherwise,

  • (d) in the case of a literary, dramatic or musical work, to make any sound recording, cinematograph film or other contrivance by means of which the work may be mechanically reproduced or performed,

  • (e) in the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, to reproduce, adapt and publicly present the work as a cinematographic work,

  • (f) in the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, to communicate the work to the public by telecommunication,

  • (g) to present at a public exhibition, for a purpose other than sale or hire, an artistic work created after June 7, 1988, other than a map, chart or plan,

  • (h) in the case of a computer program that can be reproduced in the ordinary course of its use, other than by a reproduction during its execution in conjunction with a machine, device or computer, to rent out the computer program,

  • (i) in the case of a musical work, to rent out a sound recording in which the work is embodied, and

  • (j) in the case of a work that is in the form of a tangible object, to sell or otherwise transfer ownership of the tangible object, as long as that ownership has never previously been transferred in or outside Canada with the authorization of the copyright owner,

and to authorize any such acts."

Canada Copyright Act.  Retrieved from

NOTE:  Unless the author indicates otherwise, copyright is vested immediately and automatically in his or her work.  The author does not have to indicate that the work is subject to copyright and does not have to add the copyright symbol.  Copyright applies to the internet.  If an internet page does not indicate otherwise, you must assume that the content on that page is copywritten and follow appropriate measures if you want to reproduce the content from that page.

For more information on copyright, please view the NAIT library copyright page by clicking HERE.