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Copyrights© -- A Guide for the Schools
Revised April 2007


Literary Works Dramatic Works Musical Works
Artistic Works Software & Internet Audio Visual Works

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Literary works include books, collective works, anthologies, dictionaries, letters, newspapers, magazines, charts, exam questionnaires, forms, contracts, etc.


An AGREEMENT concerning duplication of literary works in educational institutions (preschool, elementary and secondary, adult and vocational education) was reached between the Ministry of Education (MEQ) and la Société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction (COPIBEC).

Under this agreement, users may duplicate any literary work, in whole or in part, by photocopy, fax, manual transcription or drawing, on paper or acetate. However, literary works listed as excluded in the attached appendix cannot be duplicated.

Duplication of literary works is authorized for educational, administrative and information purposes in order to meet educational institutions’ needs. Users can also duplicate works in larger print version if they, due to impairment, cannot read the works in its original format.


The agreement authorizes educational institutions to duplicate:

• 25 pages or 10% of a work, whichever is the lesser;

• the whole of a tale, short fiction, story, poem or play included in a collection, provided the total of duplicated pages does not represent more than 25 pages or 10% of the work, whichever is the lesser;

·         the whole of a newspaper article or of a periodical, the whole segment of an encyclopedia or of a reference work;


·         25 pages or 10% of a selection of music coming from a book or a periodical that is not a publication of music sheets; whichever is the lesser;

• works of art (prints, graphics, photographs, etc.) included in the works;

• a school textbook, a teaching guide or a workbook; however, reprographics cannot replace the textbook.

Notwithstanding the above section, users can exceed the limits mentioned in the agreement and even duplicate a whole work, but only if it’s duplicated in larger print version and meant for impaired students who cannot read works in their original formal.  


The agreement covers French and English material from Québec, Canada and abroad, including among others France, Germany, United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Excerpts may be included in exams but it is forbidden to include them into instructional material produced by teachers unless getting a specific authorization from the author’s representatives.

Individuals making photocopies must indicate on each, or on each bunch, the author’s and the publisher’s name, the title of the work or the name of the periodical, the number of pages reproduced, as well as the date and location of publication. Of course, a bunch cannot be a workbook, an anthology or anything forbidden by the AGREEMENT. 


The agreement forbids :

• duplication of works appearing on the exclusion list;

• duplication of sheet music;

• duplication of non-published works;

• duplication of photographs or graphics that are not part of any literary work;

• sale for profits to students or other individuals; however, sale at cost price is allowed.

• duplication of a work on digital media (CD-ROM, CDI, databank, etc.);

• adaptation and public performance of a work.

·         adaptation, performance and public performance of a work

·         Duplication meant to replace a work available on the market is not allowed.

·         The agreement does not allow systematic and cumulative duplication of a same work that would constitute a duplication exceeding the limits mentioned in the above section “what is allowed”.

Duplication of a protected work cannot be inserted, attached or added to other documents, hence it is forbidden to produce collections of texts or anthologies; this prohibition does not apply to excerpts used for examinations, tests or evaluation.


Educational institutions users must indicate on every duplicated document:

• the work’s title;

• the author’s and the publisher’s names;

• the date and place of publication;

• the duplicated page numbers.

Each school board must designate a representative in charge of the application of the agreement on literary works duplication and inform COPIBEC of that person’s name.


Users must request a specific authorization from COPIBEC for any duplication not described in the agreement or for any duplication that exceeds what is allowed. The educational institution must cover any related cost.


COPIBEC, in collaboration with the MEQ, collects data periodically using target groups, composed of members of the teaching and administrative staff to quantify the duplication done and identify the duplicated works.


Works protected by copyrights can be duplicated with a photocopier only if the duplication is authorized:

a) The copyright act for fairness or if they constitute an exception foreseen by the act;

b) by the owner of the copyrights;

c) by an agreement, giving a licence between this institution and managing company or by a rate, depending

For further information concerning authorized duplication, please consult the agreement regarding the licence, the applicable rate and for any other pertinent information that are available to a member of the staff. The copyright act foresees civil and criminal prosecution in case of infringement.

By-law warning foreseen at the article 8 of the “règlement sur les cas d’exception”   regarding teaching institution, libraries, museum and archival services.

The agreement between the MEQ and COPIBEC is the licence for the institution.

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Dramatic works include plays, musical comedies, choreographic works and entertainments in dumb-show, the scenic arrangement or acting form of which is fixed in writing or otherwise, as well as cinematographic productions (including video), collections of dramatic works, etc.


Under Section 29.5 of the Copyright Act, educational institutions may perform as many times as they wish, domestic or foreign dramatic works, without having to request authorization nor having to declare performances and without having to pay royalties, providing these performances abide by the following conditions:

• that they are held in educational institutions’ facilities, for pedagogical purposes and not for profit;

• that the performers are mainly students from these institutions;

• that they are performed for an audience mainly comprised of students, teachers and persons in charge of the curriculum from these institutions.

Note: Section 29.5 of the Copyright Act also allows public performance of various categories of works, subject to the same conditions as above.


An AGREEMENT concerning performance of dramatic works in educational institutions (preschool, elementary and secondary, adult and vocational education) was reached between the Ministry of Education (MEQ) and l’Association québécoise des auteurs dramatiques (SOQAD).

The agreement financially covers dramatic work performances that are held in educational institutions for extra-curricular purposes, as well as pedagogical purposes that do not fulfil the conditions required in Section 29.5 of the Act.

Under this agreement, the performance of a dramatic work consists in acting or reading in public a dramatic work, in whole or in part, in front of a public gathered for this circumstance and coming from within or outside the institution.


The agreement covers all dramatic works from the Québecois and Canadian repertoire (plays, musical comedies, French and English translations of plays and dramatical adaptations), with the exception of works listed on the appended exclusion list, which cannot be performed.

The agreement authorizes schools to charge an admission fee, providing such fee only covers production and administrative expenses.

The agreement authorizes schools, students and parents, for archival purposes or as keepsake, to record Québécois and Canadian dramatic work performances. Recordings may not be done for profits.


The agreement forbids:

• the performance of a dramatic work appearing on the exclusion list;

• photocopying of dramatic works, whether for study or practice purposes, unless the agreement for literary works allows it, and according to limitations therein.

• The agreement does not cover performances executed by an exterior group.

This agreement does not apply to performances of dramatic works from the list administered by the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD). Schools wishing to perform plays from that list must therefore contact SACD directly to obtain the necessary permission and must forward a copy of the invoice to the SoQAD. The SoQAD will pay the royalties due to the SACD.


Any school wishing to perform a play from the Québec and Canada repertoires must fill out the declaration form attached and forward it to the SoQAD. This obligation does not apply in all cases where performances are authorized under Section 29.5 of the Act.


Any school that wishes to perform a dramatic work for the purpose of fund-raising must first obtain a special licence from the SoQAD and pay the amount of royalties.

A school wishing to photocopy dramatic works which are not published must inquire with COPIBEC.

The agreement also covers performances of plays from foreign repertoires, except as authorized. Schools wishing to perform works from a foreign repertoire or translations or adaptations of foreign works must inquire with SoQAD.

Schools wishing to record dramatic works from foreign repertoires must get permission from SoQAD


It is forbidden to modify or adapt the text of a dramatic work, unless having obtained permission from the SoQAD.

However, the following do not constitute a modification to the text of a dramatic work:

• performances of an excerpt or excerpts of a play;

• performances of play excerpts with other play excerpts from same or different authors;

• performances of a condensed form of a play, which does not modify the form or the content.

Association québécoise des auteurs dramatiques (SoQAD)
Telephone : (514) 596-3705 Fax : (514) 596-2953
e-mail : info@aqad.qc.ca Web site : www.aqad.qc.ca

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The Copyright Act describes a musical work as being any musical work or composition, with or without lyrics, and any compilation thereof.

The musical work category comprises the melody and harmony components of these works, as well as lyrics when the work (song, opera, oratorio, musical comedy) comprises a text, and any compilation thereof.


The Copyright Act allows the performance of a musical work for pedagogical purposes. An AGREEMENT was signed between the MEQ and the SOCAN to cover the performance of musical works for other purposes.

This agreement applies to all schools at the preschool, primary and secondary levels offering general or vocational education to youth or adults.

The agreement authorizes the performance of musical works for the following purposes:

• student radio;

• events without dance;

• the school band concerts, concerts given by the students or the school personnel;

• dances, Halloween, Christmas and Easter parties;

• staff parties;

• proms, when held at the school;

• award galas and students’ fashion shows;

• winter sports class, rural discovery class;

Musical work performances must be held on the school board’s premises. If a school does not have the appropriate facilities for an event, it is allowed to hold the event in another school or building of the school board.


Reproduction of sheet music is forbidden without the writers’ and composers’ authorization or that of the publishers.

Modification and adaptation of sound recordings and of reproduced musical works are also forbidden.

It is forbidden to reproduce a musical work or a sound recording from audiovisual media or multimedia such as video recordings, video clips, CDs, softwares, hard drives, etc., as well as from radio or t.v. programs, information highways or the Internet.

It is forbidden to broadcast on information highways or on the Internet musical works or sound recordings reproduced according to the agreement. However, it is authorized on the school internal network (intranet).


The agreement with SODRAC and SOPROQ does not give access to the whole world repertoire, but the repertoire covered holds hundreds of thousands of musical work titles, recorded by numerous phonogram publishers.

To determine whether users can reproduce a musical work and its sound recording, they must follow these instructions:

All songs interpreted in French may be reproduced, as well as their sound recordings.

As far as musical selections and songs that are not interpreted in French, one must first refer to the writers and composers’ data bank on the SODRAC Web site. If the writer’s or composer’s name is listed in this data bank, it is allowed to reproduce this work (as well as all the musical works of this same person), as well as its sound recording. Only the musical works of writers and composers appearing in this data bank may be reproduced.

In the case of non francophone songs, it is sufficient that only one name is listed in the data bank, that of the writer of the lyrics or that of the composer of the music, to have the right to reproduce these musical works.

Here is the procedure: enter the SODRAC Web site (http://www.sodrac.com), click on “English”, then click on “Who we represent” and follow the instructions.



• when concerts and shows (including stand-up comedians and musicians shows) are performed by executants or performers other than the students or the staff (1);

• when events with or without dance are held in facilites rented or lent to individuals or organizations (2);

• when dances or parties are held for the public: public activities, fund-raising activities (such as spaghetti dinners, bingos, etc.);

• when events gather staff’s friends and/or spouses;

• when proms are held outside of the schools (e.g. at an hotel or reception hall, etc.; in this case the licence is issued directly to the reception hall owner);

• when public galas or fashion shows are held by an outside organization.

The agreement with SOCAN covers the musical part of musical comedies, but only if they are excerpts. To perform a whole musical comedy, one must obtain an authorization from the copyright holder or inquire with the SOCAN.


(1) The licence request form made available by SOCAN must be filled out and returned to SOCAN accompanied by the official agenda of the event or the list of works to be performed.

(2) The amount related to the type of activity (with or without dance) is indicated in the appropriate place on the form made available by SOCAN.

Event with dance $57.55

Event without dance $28.75

Schools must collect due amounts from the facility users and forward them to SOCAN every six months.


Under the terms of the agreement between the MEQ, the SODRAC and the SOPROQ, schools may reproduce for educational services and extracurricular activities purposes, musical works and their sound recordings, from the French repertoire (international and québécois) and from the foreign repertoire of more than sixty countries, without any limitation as to their number or duration. (See Restrictions)

Students, teachers and administrators, hereinafter called “users”, may reproduce on audio and audiovisual (analog or digital) media, musical works and sound recordings from the repertoire covered by the agreement, from sound media (fine groove records, compact disks, cassettes, etc.) legally available on the market : for instance, songs dubbing in order to get an audio assembly for a mother tongue or second language class, or a school radio; a music and images synchronization to produce a video during a scientific activity or a field trip.

Users can also reproduce on audio and audiovisual media musical works executed or interpreted by students or staff: for instance, an audio recording of songs interpreted during a music class; a video recording of a student show or recital.

There is no limit in the number of musical work and sound recording reproductions users can do.

Users can keep, reproduce and re-use as many times they wish audio and audiovisual media on which they reproduce musical works and sound recordings.

It is allowed to sell audio and audiovisual documents produced according to the agreement, but only to students attending the schools where these documents have been produced, and their parents: for instance, a video recording of a show performed by the students or of a year-end award ceremony.

However, the documents thus sold cannot consist of musical works compilation, and the sale price should only cover the production cost of the documents. Thus, it is forbidden to sell documents for commercial purposes or to make a profit.

Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
600, boul. de Maisonneuve
Montréal (Québec) H3A 3J2
Telephone: (514) 844-8377 or 1-800-797-6226 Fax : (514) 844-4560
Web site : www.socan.ca

Society for reproduction rights of authors, composers and publishers in Canada (SODRAC) Inc.
759 Victoria Square, room 420
Montréal (Québec) H2Y 1W7
Telephone: (514) 845-3268 Fax: (514) 845-3401
Web site: www.sodrac.com

Société de gestion collective des droits des producteurs de phonogrammes et de vidéogrammes du Québec (SOPROQ)
6420, rue St-Denis
Montréal (Québec) H2S 2R7
Telephone: (514) 842-5147 Fax: (514) 842-7762
e-mail: info@soproq.org

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Artistic works include paintings, drawings, sculptures, architectural works, prints, photographs, maps, plans, artistic work compilations, etc.


Copyright Holder

The photographer is always the author of his photograph. However, the copyright holder on the photograph is

• the owner of the photograph at the time of its making or

• the individual who orders and pays for the photograph to be taken.

On the other hand, the photograph of an architectural work, a sculpture or an artistic work executed by craftsmen, permanently erected in a public place or building, does not constitute a breach of copyright. However, publishing a photograph of any artistic work without the consent of the copyright holder is not allowed if the work is still copyright-protected.

Privacy Protection

Every one has a right to privacy and especially to protect his/her image. Thus, using a person’s photograph for a news story, a publication or a film shooting without his/her consent constitute a breach of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.


An artistic work is copyright-protected during the lifetime of its author and for 50 years after his/her death. However, for a photograph, some nuances can exist to this effect, depending if the owner is an artificial person or not.

N.B. The student has a copyright on the artistic work he/she created.

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Audiovisual works include motion pictures, slide presentations, videodisks, videocassettes, television programs, etc.


Videocassettes rented in video clubs by institutions holding a license from Films Critérion or Audio Ciné Films inc. (1) :

Unlimited screening allowed for motion pictures from producers represented by these two companies. Every semester, the school drafts a report giving the screening date, the school’s name and the picture’s title, and forwards the report to the head office, to the attention of the person in charge of copyright application.

An annual licence can be acquired from Films Critérion and audio CinéFilms inc.

Work bought by the School Board with public screening rights : unlimited screening allowed.

A work borrowed from a regionalized audiovisual center detaining de rights for public representation can be presented unlimitedly.

A work borrowed from a specialized firm authorized in renting to educational institution (video club are not such firm) can be presented unlimitedly.


Videocassettes rented in video clubs by institutions not holding a license:

a) One must note:

– the title;

– the producer’s name;

– the screening date(s).

b) Contact Films Critérion or Audio Films inc. to request screening authorization when the producer is represented by one of these two companies. In other cases, contact the producer directly.

c) Keep a copy of the authorization of representation.

NOTE : The Régie du cinéma does not consider the screening of a videocassette as public, when done in a class situation or in a framework aiming at physical, intellectual, emotional, social or moral development of children. Thus, an operating license from the Régie du cinéma is not required in this case.

On the other hand, if the screening is for leisure or entertainment purposes, then the procedural requirements of the Cinema Act must be met. An operating license from the Régie du cinéma is mandatory.



The first exception (Section 29.6) allows schools to register, in a single copy, news clips and current affairs programs (excluding documentaries) and to view the recording with students, for pedagogical purposes, for unlimited times, without getting permission from the copyright holder and without paying royalties, for one year after the recording. At the end of this period of one year, the schools must either destroy the recording or, if they keep it, pay royalties for an amount to be determined. Please note that the Act has no definition for the terms “news clips”, “current affairs programs” and “documentaries”. Nonetheless, the SCGDE and the education world agreed to limit the extent of this word (See guidelines).

The second exception (Section 29.7) allows schools to register, in a single copy, any other type of program, i.e. all programs that are neither news clips nor current affairs programs. The recording can be kept for 30 days from the recording date to allow teachers to evaluate if it could be helpful in the classroom for pedagogical purposes, but the Act does not allow them to show it to the students during this period. At the end of the 30 day period, the schools must either destroy the recording or pay the royalties for an amount to be determined. If the recording was to be shown during the 30 day period, it would lead to the obligation of paying the royalties.

Obligation related to information to kept and transmitted to the SCDE

Since the 31 of August 2001, educational institutions are required, under a by-law adopted by the copyright commission, to fill a form (See information form) each time they present a radio or television show for pedagogical purposes. They are exempted of this obligation only when they present current affairs program or comments on actuality and that the recording is destroyed in 72 hours of its recording.

Educational institutions have to give a number of reference or an identification code to each recording of a show and inscribe this number on a label that is located on the or on its case. After, these information must be written on an history card containing various information regarding the show, the public performance and the time it was destroyed.

A copy of these history cards must be sent to the SCGDE every January 31, May 31 and September 31 of each year.

When an educational institution erases or destroys a recording of a show, they must keep the original form filled as required for 2 years or send it at SCGDE.

Finally, the educational institutions must transmit the following information:

-       The name, the address, the phone number, the fax number and the e-mail address of the person in charge of receiving the notice, the bills and other documents of the institution;

-       The number of fulltime students (FTS) at preschool, elementary, high school (for counting, one FST equals two preschool students and one elementary or high school students).

The SCGDE address is:

31, rue Adelaïde Est, C.P. 658

Toronto (Ontario) M5C 2J8

Télécopieur : (416) 368-8324

Courriel : info@ercc.ca


For further information :

Films Critérion 1-800-361-2788

Audio Ciné Films inc. (514) 493-8887

Régie du cinéma (514) 873-2371

Radio-Canada (CBC) (514) 597-6000

Télé-Québec (514) 521-2424

Télé-Métropole (TVA) (514) 526-9251

CTV News (514) 270-8223



The educational institutions that duplicates radio or television shows have two choices to pay the royalties and fees.  This choice can be made retroactively for the years 1999 to 2002 and can also be made for the period starting January 1st 2003. It can also be modified but only once a civil year.


If the educational institutions chose the fixed price contract, they must pay $1.73 per considered full time student, per civil year. According to this formula, the institutions can duplicate all the shows they want and present them as much as they want and as long as they use this rate. 


If the educational institutions rather choose this option, they must pay $1.60 per minute for a television show and ¢13 ($0.13) per minute for radio show. According to this formula, shows duplicated can be kept and presented for the lifetime period of the media containing the recording.

It should be notice that educational institutions are reputed using the variable tariffs (see above section), unless they notify the SCGDE, before a report period, of their decision of using the fixed price contract. The report period according to the rate is from January to April, from May to August and September to December.  


For further information on the SCGDE tariffs, please consult the SCGDE website for the tariffs of the years 2003 to 2006 applied to any work or any other information concerning copyright policies that have been communicated to the public by educational institutions or people acting on behalf of them. Website address:


For further information concerning the regulation of the information that has to be documented with the duplicated shows, please consult the regulation policy that is available on the web at:



It has to be said that educational institutions that does not follow their obligation stated by the Educational Program, Work and Other Subject-matter Record-keeping Regulations,  or do not respect the Tariffs  approved by the Copyright Board are violating the law, therefore punishable by the Law.

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The Copyright Act describes software programs as being an assembly of instructions or statements designed, however they are expressed, secured, hard-coded or stored, to be used directly or indirectly in a computer for an particular result.

It is forbidden to reproduce any software, as well as any accompanying document, except in certain very particular cases.


The owner of a software may:

• do one backup copy of this software;

• make only one copy for adaptation, modification or conversion or by translation in another computer language in order to ensure compatibility with a particular computer.

This copy must be limited to the owner’s personal use and must be destroyed when one is not the owner any more.


A software owner only has a right of user or user license for particular purposes. Any other use must be negotiated at the time of purchase.

Licenses may be granted for group, school, department or board’s use. Such use must be negotiated to allow for limited or unlimited copies.



It is forbidden to duplicate any software and any documents that come with it, except in certain particular cases.


The Copyright Act grants exclusive rights to the copyright holder on a work:

The right to reproduce the work, the right to perform or show the work in public, the right to transform or adapt it, the right to translate it, the right to publish it, the right to make a media in order to reproduce it, the right to transmit it to the public through telecommunication. Such exclusive rights are deemed “economic”. The right to autorize the above mentioned acts is also granted to the holder.

In addition to these economic rights which belong to the copyright holder, the Act grants moral rights to the author, that is paternity right, i.e. the right to be recognized as the

author of the work, as well as the right to the work’s completeness, i.e. the right to prevent the work from being deformed, garbled or otherwise modified, and the right to prevent using the work in relationship with a product, a cause, a service or an institution.

Anyone using a copyright-protected work, whether it is to reproduce it, perform it, transmit it to the public by telecommunication or to modify it in any way, without the owner’s or the copyright holder’s authorization, commits a breach of copyright.

Such an infringement may be related to a work set on a traditional or analog medium (book, audio tape, video cassette, etc.) as well as a work on a digital medium (CD, diskette, hard drive, etc.) available through the Internet.


The Copyright Act allows for some exceptions for schools, i.e. particular situations where the exercise of one of the exclusive rights granted to the author or copyright holder of a work, without his consent, is not construed as a copyright infringement. However, none of these exceptions applies to the Internet.

Thus, if an Internet user reproduces, without permission, a work available from a Web site (for instance, a magazine article or a literary text, a photograph or a graphic, a song or a musical selection, etc.) he or she commits a breach of copyright, unless otherwise specified in the Web site. As well, if someone reproduces without authorization a copyright-protected work and distributes it on the Internet (for instance when opening a Web page or site), there again there is copyright infringement simply because reproduction and distribution to the public through telecommunication are two exclusive rights belonging to the author or the copyright holder of a work.

Agreements between the Ministry of Education and copyright societies do not apply to the Internet.

The agreements signed between the Ministry of Education and COPIBEC, SoQUAD, SOCAN, SODRAC and SOPROQ do not allow the use of copyright-protected works available on the Internet or to use copyright-protected works to make them available on the Internet.

Source :Internet et le droit d’auteur

            Jacques Laurendeau

            Direction des ressources didactiques

            Ministère de l’Éducation

            Gouvernement du Québec

            February 2000



Under the provisions of the Act, the copyright holder has civil remedies (compensatory damages, injunction, etc.) or criminal remedies (criminal prosecutions that may lead to fines or imprisonment) in case of a breach of his economic rights. The author of a work also has the same civil remedies to have his moral rights respected.

A three-year limitation of actions, from the date of the infringement, is provided for in the Copyright Act for civil remedies. For criminal remedies, the limitation is usually of two years.

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