Copyright Home > Using Copyrighted Materials > Exceptions


In addition to fair dealing, the Copyright Act provides users of copyrighted materials with a variety of other exceptions. These exceptions allow copying without permission for specific purposes. Exceptions exist for educational institutions, libraries, archives, museums, and persons with perceptual disabilities.


Exceptions for Educational Institutions

An educational institution or people acting under its authority (e.g., faculty members, teaching staff, instructors), are permitted to do the following:


  • News and commentary: Section 29.6
  • Performances, Reproduction of broadcasts: Sections 29.5 and 29.7
  • Reproduction for display and instruction in the classroom: Section 29.4(1)
  • Reproduction for lessons by telecommunication: Section 30.01
  • Reproduction for examinations and tests: Section 29.4(2)
  • Showing a film in class: Section 29.5
  • Work available through the Internet: Section 30.04


Exceptions for Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Libraries, archives, and museums may copy published and unpublished works protected by copyright in order to maintain and manage their collections. This includes:


  • Management and maintenance of collection: Section 30.1
  • Research or private study: Section 30.2
  • Machines installed in educational institutions: Section 30.3


Exceptions for Persons with Perceptual Disabilities

Persons with a perceptual disability (e.g. difficulty comprehending, reading, or hearing) or a person acting on their behalf, may copy a work protected by copyright in alternate formats such as braille, talking books or sign language.


  • Reproduction in alternate format: Section 32


Other Exceptions

Other exceptions in the Act include:


  • Back-up copies: Section 29.4
  • Format shifting because of obsolete technology: Section 29.22
  • Non-commercial user-generated content (the Mash Up/YouTube exception): Section 29.21


Learn more about the Act’s exceptions from the University of Saskatchewan or our Using Digital Resources page.    


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


Source: University of Saskatchewan. (n.d.). Exceptions in the Copyright Act. Retrieved from https://library.usask.ca/copyright/general-information/exceptions-in-the-copyright-act.php,.  [Reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.]