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Quick Help Guide for Online Courses: Home

The library's guide for faculty transitioning to online instruction

Contact us



Tel.: (705) 524-7333
Text: (705) 996-1104

Library & Learning Commons
Cambrian College
3rd Floor, Room 3021

1400 Barrydowne Road
Sudbury, Ontario P3A 3V8

Virtual Workshops

During the period of time classes are moved online, library staff are available to provide virtual research support via Zoom.

This could include:

  • Directing you to existing available online resources and supports (e.g. library guides, videos, online modules) that can be integrated into your online course

  • Providing information literacy support materials or live online information literacy instruction through virtual meeting software

Some existing resources include:

APA Style Guide
The Learning Portal

Please see our Library Staff Directory for contact information.

Information on this page

The information on this page has been adapted from Centennial College's Copyright Guide and Library Continuity of Services Guide.

This site was designed solely for informational purposes for Cambrian College faculty and staff. All other users are encouraged to check and confirm the information with their institution.This site is prepared by library staff and is not reviewed by legal counsel.

Continuity of Library Services

The Cambrian College Library & Learning Commons staff are here to support students, staff and faculty. Contact staff by email, phone, or chat:

  • Chat with us: Click "Chat with Library Staff" (in the Contact Us box, left), or text us at 705-996-1104 for live research help. 
  • Send your questions by email to or review our Library FAQs.

Online Resources Through the Library

You may want to add links to articles, books, videos, and other Library content to a web page or your course pages.

Items Retrieved in "Search ALL"

You cannot cut and paste the link to the article from your browser because it may not work off-campus and may change. A simple way to make links to any article, video, digital or print book is to use Search ALL, which includes most of the Library's resources including all physical materials, and all e-journal and e-book databases.

In the Search ALL hit results, choose the desired item and click on "Preview", then "Permanent Link".  Copy and paste the URL to your web page. This URL works both on-campus and off-campus.

Material Not Indexed in "Search All"

There are a number of specialty databases that are not indexed in Search ALL. These databases generally do not contain ejournals or ebooks, but instead data sets, interactive software, etc.  

For these resources, it is best to link directly to the full database.

  1. Find the database on this page and right-click to copy the link.

  2. If your students will be accessing the link from off-campus, add this prefix to your URL:

For the database, Statista
the stable URL is:
the link on your web page for on- and off-campus access is:


The prefix allows students to access the content from off-campus.

Delete the section or from the middle of the link, if present.  

Be sure to test your links to ensure that they work on-campus and off-campus.

The Library has subscription access to several sites for streaming videos. Hover over the "info" icon for information about each site.

For licensing requests, please contact Marnie Seal. For assistance with creating a permalink to a video, please consult the Permalinks tab in this box.

The Library has access to over 200,000 ebooks. You can link permalink to the books or even to individual chapters. The information page for each eBook will outline any print/save/copy restrictions (i.e. print up to 100 pages). 

You can search for ebooks in Search ALL and select "ebooks" from the material type filter on the right-hand panel, or search our individual eBook databases:

An alternative way to find course materials is to look online for free to use teaching resources like Open Educational Resources. Just remember to attribute!

For more information about using OERs, or for a list of where to find OERs, check out these links:

Copyright Considerations

With the college's decision to move classes online, you may be in a situation to rapidly switch from in-person to online teaching. 

There are a lot of pedagogical and technical issues that make the shift from in-person to online teaching challenging, but copyright is not a big additional area of worry!

Most of the copyright considerations are the same in both contexts. If it was okay to do in class, it is often okay to do online, especially when your online access is limited to the same enrolled students.

See our guidance on how to use various types of content in a compliant way below.

Copyright & Specific Content

Stable links ensure that your students will never lose access to important library resources, such as e-books, journal articles, and images. We recommend linking to library materials whenever possible, since this bypasses copyright entirely: no copying occurs, and students access materials on their own. It also helps Library staff to be aware of which resources are frequently being used when making collections decisions. Please consult the Permalinks box above for detailed instructions.

However, databases licensed through the library may have usage restrictions. Please consult the College Libraries Electonic Access Rights (CLEAR) database to check usage rights before sharing licensed material with your students, or ask library staff.

Please consult the Images tab for more details about linking to licensed artistic works like tables, charts, and photographs.

Making copies of new materials for students (by downloading and uploading files, or by scanning from physical documents) can present some copyright issues, but they're not different from those involved in deciding whether to share something online with your students when you are meeting in-person.

It is not permitted to make copies of entire works. Copying portions of works to share with students will often be fair dealing.

For more information, see Cambrian College's Copying Guidelines and Fair Dealing Guidelines

Recording video of yourself, live-casting lectures, etc:

Slide Images

If it was legal to show slide images in class, it is likely legal to show them to students via live video conferencing or in recorded videos.  This may be a surprise if you have heard that there is a big difference between class lecture slides and online conference slides - but the issue is usually less offline versus online, than a restricted versus an unrestricted audience.

As long as your new course video is being shared through secure course websites limited to the same enrolled students (Moodle), the legal issues are fairly similar.

Many instructors routinely post a copy of their slides as a file for students to access after in-person course meetings. In any case, this should only be done when all material within the slides is copyright-compliant.

Multimedia viewing/listening

Here, the differences between online and in-person teaching can be a bit more complex. Playing audio or video of legally-obtained physical media (music or audio visual materials like DVDs or CDs for example) during an in-person class session is permitted under Section 29.5 of the Copyright Act. However, that exemption generally doesn't cover playing the same media online. If you can limit audio and video use for your course to relatively brief clips, you may be able to include those in lecture recordings or live-casts per the Fair Dealing Guidelines. For media use longer than brief clips, you may need to have students independently access the content outside of your lecture videos.

Alternatively, Cambrian Library has licensed streaming video content, which you are welcome to use in your online course. See the Streaming Videos box above. 

Legal Info

Per the Canadian Copyright Act:

30.04 (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (5), it is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution, or a person acting under the authority of one, to do any of the following acts for educational or training purposes in respect of a work or other subject-matter that is available through the Internet:

(a) reproduce it;

(b) communicate it to the public by telecommunication, if that public primarily consists of students of the educational institution or other persons acting under its authority;

(c) perform it in public, if that public primarily consists of students of the educational institution or other persons acting under its authority; or

(d) do any other act that is necessary for the purpose of the acts referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c).


You can show YouTube videos provided that:

  • The videos are being shown for educational purposes on Cambrian grounds to an audience mainly comprised of students.

  • The video was uploaded by the copyright holder or with their consent.

  • There are no clearly visible notices prohibiting educational use.

  • You cite the source.

You should use common sense to verify whether videos were uploaded by the copyright holder: click on the name of the uploader, just below the playback window, and you can explore their channel to find out more information about them—the About tab will probably provide you with good information. Some channels, especially for large companies like the CBC, may have been verified by YouTube—verified uploaders have a grey box with a checkmark next to their name.

Some videos may include source attribution and a statement that no copyright infringement is intended, but they are nevertheless illegal uploads and should not be shared with your students.

The Standard YouTube License applies to most videos, but other rights exist, such as Creative Commons licences. Click "show more" below the playback window to find licensing information for YouTube videos. YouTube uploaders are responsible for obtaining copyright permissions for any copyright-protected material found in their videos.

For more information, visit YouTube Copyright Tips or watch this video from the YouTube Copyright School.

Other Online Videos

These rules apply to all online video content, but you should avoid websites with technological protection measures (TPMs), sometimes called digital locks. They limit access to content through mechanisms such as password protection and pay walls, and you cannot share protected content with your students.

You should also check website usage terms or copyright notices to ensure that educational use of their content is not expressly prohibited.

Streaming Services

Streaming services like Netflix and iTunes temporarily upload content to your devices and delete it after playback—they are not copies. When you subscribe to streaming services, you do not own content.

The terms of use for streaming services are usually limited to personal use only. These licences trump exemptions for educational use in the Copyright Act, because their services restrict access to content through technological protection measures (TPMs), or "digital locks". 

If you are unsure whether you can show streamed content in class, check the licence terms for phrases like "personal use only" and "telecommunication or broadcast", or contact us for assistance.

When you cannot show streamed content to your students, you may instead direct students to access the content on their own

You can show music and videos under the following conditions:

  • The materials are being shown for educational purposes on Cambrian grounds to an audience mainly comprised of students.

  • The materials were legally obtained and are not infringing copies.

  • You cite the source.

Provided that you meet these requirements, you can:

  • Show copies of cinematographic and musical works. 

  • Show television and radio programs while they are being aired. You can also tape news programs and commentary and show them later. 

  • Show taped copies of television series or documentaries, but you must pay royalties to the Education Rights Collective of Canada (ERCC)

You can borrow or stream many films and television shows already licensed through the library. See the Streaming Videos tab in the box above.                          

Canadian copyright laws protect artistic works, a term which “includes paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, photographs, engravings, sculptures, works of artistic craftmanship, architectural works, and compilations of artistic works” (Copyright Act, 2).

Images are artistic works, whether they come from print or online sources.

The fair dealing exemption in the Canadian Copyright Act states that you may reproduce or display images for the purposes of education or training, as long as the audience primarily consists of students at Cambrian, without infringing copyright. The exemption also covers several other activities: research, private study, criticism and review, news reporting, parody, and satire.

However, copying substantial portions of works without permission is not permitted (Copyright Act, 3.1). The table below should help you evaluate whether you can use a copyright-protected image.

Always remember to cite the source.

See our Copyright & OER Guide and the Cambrian College Copying Guidelines and Fair Dealing Guidelines for further information. If you have further questions, please contact Marnie.



Library databases

The use of database content is governed by the licenses Cambrian signs with database vendors. You should check CLEAR for usage restrictions before using images from our databases.

Where possible, we recommend creating permalinks rather than copying images.


The guidelines permit you to copy and share one image from a copyright-protected work with many images, such as a book or journal article. You should only make one copy per student.

Share images with your students by:

  • Uploading scanned versions to Moodle

  • Handing out photocopies in class

  • Including them in slide presentations

Check for clearly visible notices that prohibit educational use. Copying beyond the fair dealing limits requires permission from copyright holders.

Online—most work

Most online works are copyright-protected, including artistic works such as photos, charts, and tables - even those not accompanied by the copyright symbol. The guidelines permit you to copy and share one image from a copyright-protected work with many images, such as a website. You should only make one copy per student.

Share images with your students by:

  • Uploading scanned versions to Moodle

  • Handing out photocopies in class

  • Including them in slide presentations

You should also ensure that any images you share are:

  • Posted by the copyright holder or with their consent

  • Freely accessible with no technological protection measures ("digital locks") (Copyright Act, 30.04 (3))

Where possible, we recommend linking to online images rather than copying them.

Check for clearly visible notices that prohibit educational use. Copying more than one image per work, even when the excerpts represent less than 10% of the work, may require permission from copyright holders.

Online—open access

You can freely share many online images with your students, including works:

  • Licensed under Creative Commons

  • Published by the United States government

  • Within the public domain (please see our Copyright Guide for an explanation of public domain)

  • Not eligible for copyright protection

You should always double-check image rights before use, especially when modifying them. You should only distribute one copy per student.

Share images with your students by:

  • Uploading scanned versions to Moodle

  • Handing out photocopies in class

  • Including them in slide presentations

Please consult our OER Guide for more information about finding shareable images online.

Microsoft Office—clipart

You can share clipart from Microsoft Office with your students, but you must include the following citation: “Used with permission from Microsoft.”


You should be able to meet most of your instructional needs by using the following resources:

  • Library e-resources and freely available online content—stable links recommended

  • Open access resources and public domain materials—copying or linking

  • Other copyright-protected works—copying short excerpts only

Consult the Cambrian College's Copying Guidelines and Fair Dealing Guidelinesto learn more about fair dealing limits. When you need to copy beyond those limits, email Marnie Seal for further guidance.


  • #1: Access - The proper way to access our databases is through the Library web site. Always go through the library website to get onto the databases, otherwise you may encounter authentication issues.

  • #2: ILL - If there is an item that you cannot access through our current subscriptions, you can submit an InterLibrary Loan Request. Alternatively, you can contact us to investigate licensing options. 

  • #3: Guides - Faculty can post links to our Research Guides in Moodle to give easier access to program-specific resources. 

  • #4: Problems - If you encounter any issues with accessing Library resources, please contact the Library team right away. It is helpful to include as many details as possible, i.e. error messages, screenshots, etc. 

The Learning Portal

The Learning Portal provides a wide variety of open learning resources, tools, and learning supports, accessible to any student taking a course at any college, at any time province wide.