Using Digital Resources

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Digital works are copyrighted and for the most part have the same copyright protection as print materials. As with print works, most digital works are copyrighted whether the universal copyright symbol appears or not. Examples of digital works include:


  • Webpages
  • Document files, such as PDF or Microsoft Word
  • Clip-art, images and photo files, such as jpg, bmp, and gif images
  • Audio files
  • Video files
  • DVDs and CDs
  • Streaming media, such as YouTube videos


Visit our Copyright Friendly Resources page for a list of digital resources that feature less restrictions and expanded reproduction opportunities. Or, check out these special Copyright Act Exceptions related to the Internet, mashups, and compilations:


Works available through Internet: Section 30.04

  • Permits reproduction of Internet resources under certain conditions. Reproduce and communicate works available on the Internet for educational purposes provided that:
    • Your purpose is education
    • There is no clearly visible notice that prohibits reproduction for educational purposes
    • There is no “technological protection measure” such as a password, encryption or similar device that restricts access or reproduction
    • You must not know or you must not have any reasonable cause to believe that the material was posted without the permission of the copyright owner
    • You must supply the source including the author, if given


Check out this University of Regina infographic to learn more about educational use of works available through the Internet.   


Non-Commercial User-Generated Content (the “Mash-Up” Exception): Section 29.21 

  • An individual can use a published or otherwise publicly available existing work to create a new work, providing that:
    • The new work is being created for only non-commercial purposes.
    • The existing work being used is a legally-obtained copy.
    • The existing work being used is cited and the citation includes the source of the original work and the name of the author or creator if their name is available.
    • The use of the existing work does not substantially adversely affect the copyright owner of the existing work, financially or otherwise.


This website provides educational information. It does not provide legal advice. 


Source: University of Saskatchewan. (n.d.). Exceptions in the Copyright Act. Retrieved from  [Reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.]