Differentiating Protected from Non-Protected Work at Your Institution Based on Copyright Act Guidelines

The Canadian Copyright Act provides guidelines for determining what is considered protected work.

Click to turn the following cards for more information on differentiating protected work vs. non-protected work.



It is important to know the difference between protected and non-protected work, as this will help you determine what materials can be used without permission, and what materials will require permission or a license.

Remember that under Canadian copyright law, expressions of ideas in fixed forms such as written or recorded works are protected, while the underlying ideas themselves are not.

  • This means that the curriculum, lectures, lab procedures, diagrams, and other fixed expressions of ideas created by college and university staff are protected by copyright, while the underlying ideas they convey are not.


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Copyright Toolkit for Manitoba Post-Secondary Institutions Copyright © 2023 by Josh Seeland and Sasha White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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