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Images

Canadian copyright laws protect artistic works, including “paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, photographs, engravings, sculptures, works of artistic craftsmanship, architectural works, and compilations of artistic works” (Copyright Act, s. 2).

Images are artistic works, whether they come from print or online sources. 

The fair dealing exception in the Canadian Copyright Act states that you may reproduce or display images for the purposes of education or training, as long as the audience primarily consists of students at Centennial, without infringing copyright. 

Share images with your students by:

  • Uploading scanned versions to eCentennial
  • Handing out photocopies in class
  • Including them in slide presentations
  • Creating course reserves through the Library

The table below summarizes the permitted uses for various types of images:

Images: Permitted Uses
Image Source Explanation
Library databases The licences Centennial signs with database vendors govern the use of database content. You should check CLEAR for usage restrictions before using images from our databases.
Where possible, we recommend creating stable links rather than copying images.
Print

Under Fair Dealing you can copy and share one image from a copyright-protected work with many images, such as a book or journal article. You should only make one copy per student.

Check for clearly visible notices that prohibit educational use. Copying beyond the fair dealing limits requires permission from copyright holders. You can contact the Copyright Team to arrange clearance.

Online—most work

Most online works are copyright-protected, including artistic works such as photos, charts and tables. Under Fair Dealing, you can copy and share one image from a copyright-protected work with many images, such as a website.

You should only make one copy per student.

You should ensure that any images you share are:

  • Posted by the copyright holder or with their consent
  • Freely accessible with no technological protection measures ("digital locks") (Copyright Act, 30.04 (3))

Where possible, we recommend linking to online images rather than copying them.

Check for clearly visible notices that prohibit educational use. Copying more than one image per work, even when the excerpts represent less than 10% of the work, may require permission from copyright holders. 

Online—open access

You can freely share many online images with your students, including works:

  • Licensed under Creative Commons
  • Published by the United States government
  • Within the public domain
  • Not eligible for copyright protection

You should always double-check image rights before use, especially when modifying them.

You should only distribute one copy per student.

Microsoft Office—clipart  You can share clipart from Microsoft Office with your students, but you must include the citation: “Used with permission from Microsoft.”