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Copyright & Fair Dealing

Can I show videos from an online site in a class, or post their links in Moodle?

You can show any of the Mount Library owned streamed videos or streamed videos from the Films On Demand, National Film Board and Criterion on Demand collections, as well as streamed video from a number of free sites, in the classroom. View our Finding Videos guide for more information on the Mount's video collections.

Streaming video cannot be downloaded and made into a hard copy of any kind.

Please Note:
Personal "on demand" subscriptions (iTunes, Bell, Rogers, Netflix, etc.) cannot be screened in class due to licensing restrictions.  The terms of the agreement between the subscriber and the subscription service govern whether movies from subscription services can be shown in the classroom.  If the agreement states that use is limited to 'personal' or 'household' use then classroom use is not permitted.

Before using an online video in your class it is prudent to ask the following questions:

  • Are there any explicit warnings or limits stated?
  • Was the video posted online by the copyright owner?
    For example, you cannot show a PBS documentary, posted on YouTube by someone called EnthusiasticFan000345.
  • Does the site’s Terms of Use allow you to stream their videos for educational use?
    For example, the CBC Doc Zone streaming site Terms of Use states, "You may not use content on CBC/Radio-Canada digital services for institutional, educational or non-profit purposes without a prior written licence. A licence will set out authorized uses, term and territory among other relevant conditions."
  • Does the video contain uncredited, copyrighted information from another source (for example, music, pictures, or charts)?
  • Is the video allowed to be shown in Canada? (there will be a message if it is not).

Can I copy portions of a film or other recording and use in an instructional video?

Yes, using a short clip of a film (or a clip of any audiovisual work or sound recording) copied for use in an instructional video for educational purposes is allowable under fair dealing. The clip should be cited and must be posted via a learning management system available to students enrolled in the class. 

For larger clips or to screen a full film please consider linking to a legal copy in a streaming format. For films licensed by the Mount please check our Videos, Images & Music Guide.  



Can I show videos/DVDs in the classroom?

Yes,  you are able to show videos in the classroom:

  • all DVDs and streaming videos from the Mount Library collection 
  • DVDs borrowed from public libraries or video stores
  • DVDs that have been privately purchased (i.e they can be from your private collection as long as they are legal copies)

 All videos/DVDs must be legal copies (cannot be taped/copied off television or copied from borrowed or rented videos).

You cannot copy a work (e.g. burn a copy or convert to streaming without permission from the copyright owner).

Public Performances at MSVU

MSVU has public performance licenses that allow you to stream ​content at your events, even if it's not for an educational purpose. Audiences must not be charged admission to see the film. Check for studios represented and covered by license for Audio-Cine and Criterion

You can also check the Novanet Library Search for videos owned by MSVU, as they often have performance rights purchased at the time of their acquisition by the Library.

If you would like to show a video on campus but you're not sure what to do, please contact for more information.

Non-commercial user generated content exceptions in the copyright law a.k.a the mashup exception or YouTube exception

Non-commercial user generated content exceptions in the copyright law  a.k.a the mashup exception or YouTube exception

The Copyright Modernization Act Section 29.21, allows individual to use existing works in the creation of a new work, under certain conditions.
  • Must be solely for non-commercial purposes.
  • You must cite all sources used.
  • Do not use material acquired through a contract or license that prevents using the item in a mashup (e.g. iTunes, iStock Photo).
  • Do not break a digital lock to use the material (e.g. you can’t rip a DVD that has encoding that prevents copying)
  • It must be original! The mashup cannot be substitute for, or does not have a substantial adverse effect, financial or otherwise, on existing works.

Seneca Libraries (2014 June, 16). Copyright in "Mashups" [Video file]. Retrieved from

​An Example of a mashup:

Justin Trudeau Singing Work by Rihanna

CBC Music (2016 March, 9). Justin Trudeau Singing Work by Rihanna [Video file]. Retrieved from