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Legal Considerations

While moving to a digital space does not really change the legal considerations, it may be something you have thought little about in your traditional delivery. We have assembled some guidance here on copyright, the use of creative commons to protect your work, and intellectual property.

Copyright

The rules regarding inclusion of copyrighted materials are the same whether they are provided online or in print. You can provide a limited amount of material under the Fair Dealing guidelines, which you will find on the copyright guide. If you have questions about inclusion of copyrighted materials in your course materials, please contact the copyright team (copyright@kpu.ca).

A good general principle to follow:

Course materials for which fair dealing will be claimed should be posted on course management sites that limit access to currently enrolled students, rather than posting on the open Internet. We recommend that you post copies on Moodle wherever possible. This reduces the risk of infringement since access can be restricted to students in a specific class. It is also an option to email materials directly to students.

Creative Commons

You can find many materials online that have a Creative Commons license. Most of these are Open Educational Resources (OER) and have been specifically designed for use in teaching and learning. They are freely available at any time and you can provide them to your students via any means, whether through Moodle, email, or the open internet. Depending on the kind of Creative Commons license, the materials can often also be revised and remixed.

You can also assign a Creative Commons license to your own work. CC licenses help you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world. Using a CC license, you retain the copyright for your materials while allowing others to copy and distribute your work, provided they give you credit — and only on the conditions you specify. CC licensing uses four basic restrictions, which creators choose from to apply to their work.

To find out more about Creative Commons licenses, what rights are associated with each one, and how you can assign a CC license to your own work please visit https://www.kpu.ca/open/creative-commons.

Additional Resources

Intellectual Property

Faculty:

Faculty own the IP and copyright to any curriculum or instructional materials, instructional strategies, creative work or other materials that they produce in the course of their normal duties, regardless of whether they make these available in print or online. 

The exception to this is if the faculty member has been hired specifically to create the materials, in addition and outside of their normal work duties.

Student:

Students own the IP and copyright for any materials they create (including assignments, projects, papers, theses, dissertations, and examinations submitted to the University for evaluation) during their term at KPU. If the materials were created in the course of employment by the University, ownership will be determined by agreement beforehand.

For more information, please see section 18.02 of the KFA Collective Agreement, as well as the KPU RS5 Intellectual Property Policy and RS5 Intellectual Property Procedure.

Privacy and Security

When selecting tools for teaching and learning, it's important to know the privacy and security behind the tool you plan to use with your students. Take a look at the Technology Tools Selection section on the Course Design Resources page to easily identify which tools are safe to use at KPU and how to best select new tools to use in your classroom.