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Information about respecting Canadian copyright law in your work at Centennial.

General guidelines

You can show music and videos without permission under the following conditions:

  • The materials are being shown for educational purposes, not for profit on Centennial 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. (Your personal Blu-Ray of Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
  • Show television and radio programs while they are being aired. You can also tape news programs and commentary and show them later. (A live or taped CBC/Radio-Canada interview with a marine biologist)
  • Show taped copies of television series or documentaries, but you must pay royalties to the Education Rights Collective of Canada (ERCC). (A taped episode of The Nature of Things, royalty payment required)

You can borrow or stream many films and television shows through the library for audience comprised of Centennial authorized users, for educational purposes.


Per the Canadian Copyright Act:

29.5 It is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution or a person acting under its authority to do the following acts if they are done on the premises of an educational institution for educational or training purposes and not for profit, before an audience consisting primarily of students of the educational institution, instructors acting under the authority of the educational institution or any person who is directly responsible for setting a curriculum for the educational institution:

(a) the live performance in public, primarily by students of the educational institution, of a work;

(b) the performance in public of a sound recording, or of a work or performer’s performance that is embodied in a sound recording, as long as the sound recording is not an infringing copy or the person responsible for the performance has no reasonable grounds to believe that it is an infringing copy;

(c) the performance in public of a work or other subject-matter at the time of its communication to the public by telecommunication; and

(d) the performance in public of a cinematographic work, as long as the work is not an infringing copy or the person responsible for the performance has no reasonable grounds to believe that it is an infringing copy.

Legal copies vs. licensing

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

Film Screenings

Film screenings on campus for a non-educational event require the purchase of public performance rights. Groups wishing to host film screening events on campus of cinematographic works, such as movies and television shows, are responsible for ensuring that their screening is copyright compliant.


Most Public Performance Rights (PPR) can be obtained from two collective societies in Canada: Audio Cine Films (ACF) and Criterion Pictures. Each collective represents different titles.


If you are unsure if your film screening requires the purchase of Public Performance Rights, please get in touch with us at with details of your event.


How to Purchase Public Performance Rights:

Step 1: Search each of the organization's websites for the title you wish to show at your event. 

Search:                      Audio Cine Films Criterion Pictures

Step 2: Begin by filling out the form on the respective organization's site that represents that title to obtain a quote for the purchase of PPR for your event. You will be asked details about your event such as the number of attendees, date and location. 

Quote Request Forms:  Audio Cine Films Criterion Pictures




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