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Providing easy access to help navigate the ins and outs of Canadian Copyright Law. Information contained herein is just that, and should not be a substitute for legal advice.

Can I Screen DVDs and videos in the Classroom?

Because of a new exception in the Copyright Act, it is now considered legal to screen a video, film or DVD in the classroom, without the need to have permission of the copyright owner. There are conditions that must be met in order to qualify under the exception and these include: a) the screening must be for educational or training purposes, b) the performance must take place on the premises of the educational institution to c) an audience consisting mainly of students and d) the copy must be legally acquired.

It is important to note that this exception does not cover the screenings of films by societies and other organizations on campus.

Public performance of DVDs or videos for these situations is limited to titles that have been cleared for on-campus screening. Most DVDs purchased commercially do not include public performance rights, unless specified. For further help, please contact the Copyright Office ( or phone 902-494-4346.

Films shown by student societies and other groups on campus may require permission from the copyright holder or a license. Two common sources of licenses are:

Audio-Ciné Films:

Criterion Pictures:

A Note About the Rebroadcast of Classroom Sessions

When a classroom session has made use of copyright-protected material (video, text projected to a screen, music, etc.), this material must be removed or permission of copyright holders obtained prior to any form of rebroadcast taking place.