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EGAAA Copyright

Adopted: May 18, 1989
Reaffirmed: October 7, 1996


Employees shall not duplicate, without the permission of copyright holders, print materials, computer software programs, video or audio materials that are protected by copyright; nor shall school store or use duplicated materials that are in violation of copyright laws.

In the event of litigation resulting from copyright violation, the Board will not assume respon­sibility for actions of an employee who has contravened the District copyright policy.


1.   Definitions: In this policy,

a.   “Copyright” means the legal protection of a creator's original work. Copyright law does not protect ideas, only the form in which they are expressed.

b.   “Copyright infringement” means publishing, adapting, exhibiting, translating, editing, performing in public, communicating by telecommunication, copying or converting to another medium without permission of the creator.

c.   “Works covered by copyright” means all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.

Examples include: books, writing, encyclopedias, photographs, films, dictio­naries, statistical data, newspapers, reviews, magazines, translations, tables, compilations, examination questions, speeches set down in writing, any piece that can be recited, choreographs, harmony, melody, lyrics, paintings, drawings, sculptures, works of artistic craftsmanship, engravings, architectural works of art, maps, plans, charts, records, cassettes, tapes, sound recordings, television programs and electronic resources such as computer software, on-line programs, CD-ROMs, laser disks and computer programs stored on any media.

d.   “Dubbed off-air” means making a copy of any television program during broadcast.

2.   Employees shall not contravene the copyright law by illegally copying or duplicating texts, workbooks, periodical materials and/or musical works, printed or recorded. Works covered by copyright may only be reproduced by District employees with oral or written permission from the copyright owner or authorized agent. (See Exhibit 1.)


1.   Print Resources

a.   An employee may duplicate, for personal use only, a single copy of an article, short poem or other work for private study or research.

b.   If an employee wishes to make multiple photocopies, the employee shall:

i.   Determine if the publication is covered under the Can Copy Agreement; or

ii.  Determine copyright privileges granted by the publisher on the back of a book's title page or a magazine's table of contents page; or

iii.  Contact the copyright owner by telephone followed by a written request;

iv.  If verbal permission to photocopy is granted, indicate the grantor, time and date on the letter of request; and

v.  If a fee to reproduce materials is required, acquire permission from the principal/administrator before proceeding with reproduction.

2.   Video Resources

a.   Television programs may only be dubbed off-air with permission from the copyright owner. (ACCESS Network's catalogue lists titles of videos that may be dubbed off-air.)

b.   Only video programs and feature film rentals with public performance rights may be shown in schools. (A site license must first be obtained from the Canadian distributor.)

3.   Electronic Resources

a.   Electronic resources (computer software, CD-ROMs, on-line programs, electronic bulletin boards, freeware, shareware and computer programs stored on any media) may only be used as specified in the license agreement.

b.   The Board will make every effort to purchase multiple copies of electronic resources or site licenses for electronic resources. (One back-up copy, adaptation, or translation of a computer program is permitted by law and does not require special permission from the copyright owner; school librarians may lend the original program but not the back-up copy.)

4.   Music Resources

a.   Audio recordings may be played in schools if the public performance rights were purchased. (Audio recordings obtained from Canadian distributors include public performance rights in the purchase price.)

b.   Musical works may be performed in the course of teaching and learning without obtaining permission from the copyright owner.

5.   “Public Domain” Resources

Works that are in the “public domain” may be reproduced without permission. Works become part of the “public domain” 50 years after the death of the creator except when the rights are passed to others.

6.   Ownership of Copyright

a.   Employees own the copyright on works they develop on their own initiative and on their own time even though the materials may be the result of ideas generated by the employee's work.

b.   The Board owns the copyright on work developed by an employee on the Board's time or as part of their duties with the Board.

c.   The Board may copyright any works produced at the direction of the Board.

i.   The Superintendent may grant others the right to reproduce work copyrighted by the Board under such terms as may be appropriate. The reproduction must include the copyright and give acknowledgment to the authors;

ii.   The Superintendent may enter into an agreement with others to produce, in part or in whole, a work for the Board. This agreement shall specifically address copyright of the work produced;

iii.  The Board may market Board material at a cost that shall cover printing, mailing and royalty;

iv.  The Board may enter into an agreement with a private publisher to publish Board material for sale and distribution; and

v.   If the Board markets a resource profitably, it may compensate the creative employee.

d.   Students own the copyright on anything that they create and parental permission to reproduce their work should be obtained if the student is under 18. Student permission is required if the student is 18 or over. Permission is not required to display student work within the school.

i.   Each school will request and file permissions from parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year to record and/or tape their child(ren) for possible performance. A sample parental permission form is included in Exhibit 1;

ii.   Parental approval shall be obtained to display any student work outside the school at such sites as teachers' conventions, conferences, public libraries, central office or shopping centres; and

iii.  The copyright in photographs taken by students for school publications with equipment and supplies provided by the school are usually the property of the school.

7.   Each site-based administrator shall ensure that reproduction equipment (photocopiers, computers and records) are labelled with warnings that reproduction is not permitted without permission from the copyright owner.


Legal Reference:

Alberta School Act: Sections, 44
Copyright Act

Cross Reference:

EGAAA Exhibit 1 - Sample "General" Copyright Release Permission Form
EGAAA Exhibit 2 – Sample "Specific" Copyright Release Permission Form
EGAAA Exhibit 3 – Copyright Permission Form
EGAAA Exhibit 4 – Parental Permission Form
EGAAA Exhibit 5 – Sample Copyright Information Labels

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