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Copyright for Students

Be aware of copyright and protect yourself and the College from copyright infringement.

Respecting copyright and avoiding plagiarism is simple: Research and write your own work, and always acknowledge others when you use their work. 

Canadian copyright laws protect your work, prevent others from sharing it without your permission, and ensure that you receive proper credit and payment for your efforts.

Here are some examples of copyright-protected works you might have created:

  • Personal blogs or websites
  • Posts on forums and social media
  • Essays, book reviews, presentations
  • Dance performances or visual art
  • Computer code

Copyright Myths & Facts

Myth: Online material isn’t copyrighted. 

Fact: Authors can share their work online, but they still keep control over how others share it.

Copyright is important, and everyone should know how it works. As a user and creator, you have rights and responsibilities.

Copyright vs. Plagiarism

What is the difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism?

Copyright infringement happens when we copy another person's work without permission or payment. When we infringe copyright, we steal from copyright holders.

Plagiarism happens when we claim another person's ideas as our own, which is an academic offense and unrelated to copyright. Whenever you do not mention using another person's ideas in your work, you commit plagiarism.

For information about plagiarism, consult the Centennial College Academic Honesty and Plagiarism Policy.

You can follow Canadian copyright laws and still commit plagiarism. For example, you can perform the following actions legally, but still commit plagiarism if you do not acknowledge the source:

  • Read an online journal article through the Library website, then restate the argument in your own words for a group presentation
  • Copy an entire e-book chapter under the fair dealing exemption for education, then submit it as a research paper
  • Include one paragraph from an Open Access publication for an assignment
  • Adapt several diagrams from a public domain print book for a report

Citation

For information about how to cite your sources, visit the library's citation guides.