The Story

Background >

In Winter 2012, Canada's Copyright Act had few educational exceptions and the Fair Dealing provisions did not support copying for teaching.

  • Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, was being debated in Parliament.
  • No one knew when the new Act would pass or what exceptions might be added to support education.

Humber took this opportunity to review its existing copying practices. During many conversations with faculty, library copyright staff noticed that faculty's apprehension with the legal aspects impeded the discussion about what material they use in the classroom.

To get past this fear, how copyright is perceived needs to change -- and so began i copy right.

Mark Hanna, from the Business School, joined copyright staff to develop the strategy for making this change happen.

Mark came up with the statement "i copy right" out of recognition of two key points:

  • It is up to each individual to take responsibility for their copying practices.
  • Respect for intellectual property is a vital part of professional practice.

A logo, website and bookmark were created to visually represent the "i copy right" concept. Shahina Meru, a student in the Multimedia Design Diploma Program, created the web animation which reinforces the concept.

The bookmark was given to Humber faculty, support staff and administration because each has a role to play in changing how the institution perceives copyright.
icopyright bookmark

Current Situation >

By January 2013, the new Copyright Act includes more educational exceptions, and Humber updated its copyright and fair dealing policies based on advice from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges' legal team.

The copyright team, realizing that the "i copy right" concept is as relevant today as it was in 2012, created the i copy right faculty pocket guide as an overview of the copyright changes.

The pocket guide summarizes the details on this copyright website which includes the content from the original site.

Every Humber faculty was given a pocket guide in Spring 2013.
pocket guide cover

In order to further support faculty's understanding of copyright, a Blackboard training module was developed by the copyright team. Since the spring of 2016, all full-time and contract Humber faculty are required to complete this training.

Faculty Testimonials >

The testimonials from Christina, Evelyn and Ken were written in 2012 before the Copyright Act changed. They are included because we want to build a community of support where Humber faculty can learn from each other.

We thank them for agreeing to share their stories. Do you want to share yours? We'd love to hear from you.

Christina Clements

Professor, The Business School

Christina Clements

Looking for online resources? Can't find what you need for your course? Look no further than your keyboard and send an email to, or sit down with the library copyright staff for creative solutions you did not consider!

YouTube? Sure you can use YouTube, just pick a clip from a good source. A blog? Let them show you how. RSS feeds? Let's see how it works in Blackboard. A new online database? Perhaps it already exists ....

These are just some of the ways copyright staff have helped me. They are my go-to people for creative online solutions and course content that is current, real, easy to use, and free of copyright issues - let them help you!

Evelyn Wexler

UNB-Humber Nursing Professor, School of Health Sciences

Evelyn Wexler

The library copyright staff at Humber have assisted me over the years in my efforts to provide my students with high-quality content that is easy to access and that also adheres to sound copyright practices.

Whether it has involved creating customized reading pages that link to library database articles or guidance on how to evaluate whether a web-based resource can be copied freely or if permission is required, they are able to clearly layout the options available and suggest some sensible solutions.

While the rules around using content may seem like they are getting more complex, the copyright staff have helped me in my transition from print-based content delivery to a greater reliance on digital content.

Learning more about all of these issues has also helped me to model appropriate citing and source evaluation for my students.

Ken Wyman

Coordinator, Fundraising & Volunteer Management Program, School of Media Studies and Information Technology

Ken Wyman

Copyright? I have a love / hate / love relationship with that!

Love? As an author, journalist and public speaker (I've written or contributed to 9 books and countless newspaper and radio stories, a TV series, and lots of training sessions for charities), I know that protecting intellectual property is important. Not that the royalties amount to much more than coffee money, but when you work hard creating material you don't want people stealing and using it without attribution.

Hate? As a teacher (more than twelve years at Humber), I wish I could just scan, photocopy, or cut and paste other people's resources without a second thought. What a pain to have to get permission or find alternatives! It's a nuisance to have to post just a link to a news story on a website (which might change) instead of downloading it in full and slapping it up on Blackboard. When I'm rushing to tart up my PowerPoint slide show to keep the students awake, it would be way easier to grab the first good photo or graphic I find instead of searching for Creative Commons versions. I'm being dragged into the new system grumbling all the way.

Love? Since I don't want to be sued, or put the institution at risk, and I do respect creative rights, I sure am glad the library copyright staff are so knowledgeable and nice! I email them questions and get fast answers. I can access news stories through the library databases instead of worrying about temporary links or subscription blocks. I also send articles I want to use and they make the arrangements. They do it fast and they make it pleasant. So I can't grumble too much.

Students can borrow the equipment listed below from the Library or Learning Commons. Bring your student card to the relevant desk to get the items.