Every song comprises two distinct copyrights: the musical composition (includes lyrics) and the sound recording (performance of the composition).

  • The reason that the rules for using music are more complex than for other works is that the two rights may be owned by different people.

Teaching and Events

Legally purchased CDs from a library or personal collection can be played in class but not shared in Blackboard.

The following music sources can be used in class and also in Blackboard:

  • The Library's Music Online database
  • Creative Commons websites
  • Vevo music videos

iTunes note: songs from personal subscription and music locker services like iTunes, Google Play Music, etc. cannot be used in teaching because the licence is only for a members' personal use.

For Events

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) distributes royalties to composers of music. Re:Sound distributes royalties to record companies and performers.

You must have permits from SOCAN and Re:Sound when you play live music, recorded music or music videos at an event. These permits may involve fees.

Music Source: Internet

Alan wants to play Drake's song "Hotline Bling" for his students. He does a search in Google and gets the results shown below.

Title 1: Download Drake - Hotline Bling

  • URL:
  • Description: Feb 27, 2016 - hotline bling free torrent drake hotline bling kickass hotline bling drake sharebeast

Title 2: Hotline – Bling Mp3 Download | MP3GOO

  • URL:
  • Description: Oct 30, 2015 - Free download Hotline Bling Mp3. To start this download lagu you need to click on [Download] Button.

None of these websites can be the source of the song because they are not affiliated with the artist and therefore do not have the right to distribute his music.

How can you know?

  • The clues are the website URL and description.
  • For example: mp3goo is not a reputable site.

What source can Alan use for the Drake song?

  • The artist's website.
  • Vevo because it includes videos from the copyright holders.
  • However, since there is no download option, "ripping" the song from Vevo is not allowed but linking or embedding is.

CC Music

If Alan just wants music to play during class start-up, he could look for Creative Commons music instead. Music and sounds from these sites can be downloaded.

Copying Music

  • Songs: Faculty can copy and share 10% of a song but not an entire song without permission.
  • Musical scores: Faculty can copy 10% of an individual musical score not the entire score without permission. However, (as stated in Humber's Fair Dealing policy) you can copy an entire single musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other musical scores (e.g. a commercially published Real Book compilation of lead sheets for jazz standards).
  • Transcribing: to transcribe a recording is to make a copy of the entire item which is not allowed under fair dealing.

Choose from the list to find eResources specific to that type.