Skip to Main Content


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

Copyright Considerations for the Use of Generative AI Tools

Generative AI tools are evolving quickly and their impact on teaching, learning and research is significant, posing both opportunities and challenges. The following section addresses copyright considerations for faculty, students, and staff at Centennial College.

If you have questions about copyright or need further support, please contact us at

Are there copyright considerations I need to think about when using Generative AI tools?

Yes. There remains significant legal uncertainty with the use of Generative AI tools and copyright. This is an evolving area and our understanding will develop as new policies, regulations, and case law become settled.

Some of the concerns surrounding Generative AI and copyright include:

  • Input: The legality of the content used to train AI models is unknown in some cases. There are several lawsuits originating from the US that allege Generative AI tools infringe copyright and it remains unclear if and how the fair use doctrine can be applied. In Canada, there also remains uncertainty regarding the extent to which existing exceptions in the copyright framework, such as fair dealing, apply to this activity.1

  • Output: Authorship and ownership of works created by AI is unclear. Traditionally, Canadian law has indicated that an author must be a natural person (human) who exercises skill and judgment in the creation of a work.2  As there are likely to be varying degrees of human input in content generated, it is unclear in Canada how it will be determined who the appropriate author and owner of works are. 

Considerations for Using Generative AI Tools for content generation:

Ownership of Outputs

Have an understanding that while you can use these tools to create content, you may not own or hold copyright in the works that are generated 


Be Mindful of Inputs

Never input confidential information, or significant portions of intellectual property you do not have the rights or permissions to into tools such as Generative AI. This includes avoiding the input of student work and library-licensed resources. 

All content entered may become part of the tool’s dataset and may inadvertently resurface in response to other prompts

Understand the Terms of Use  Review the terms of service of each tool: These terms will dictate the use and ownership of inputs/outputs and they are subject to change without notice

Be explicit in how you have used these tools to create your work. Keep a record of prompts and any IP you have used in the creation of output.

Review attribution guidelines according to the style guide you are using (refer to the Centennial Libraries APA Style and MLA Style LibGuides to get started). 

If you are publishing your work, review any requirements or policies that address the use of generative AI tools in your research. These policies will indicate whether AI can be used and how the use of these tools should be disclosed.


Can I use full-text library-licensed e-resources (such as journal articles or eBooks) in Generative AI tools like Chat GPT?

No. The library signs contracts with different vendors and publishers, which set out specific terms and conditions that users are responsible for complying with when accessing content. While what is permitted is not uniform across all resources, agreements do not allow for the uploading of copyright-protected works to third-party platforms, including generative AI tools.


Can I use the full text of openly licensed material (such as Creative Commons content) in Artificial Intelligence systems?

Yes. The Creative Commons FAQs on AI and CC Licenses indicate that “if someone uses a CC-licensed work with any new or developing technology, and if copyright permission is required, then the CC license allows that use without the need to seek permission from the copyright owner so long as the license conditions are respected.” Please refer to this Creative Commons resource for further guidance.


What material can I use in a Generative AI tool?

For those interested in exploring Generative AI tools, consider using content that is your original work, openly licensed, or in the public domain.


If you would like assistance determining whether you can use content in Generative AI tools please contact for support with your request.



  1. ISED, “A Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things” 2021, Online: ISED Canada  
  2. CCH Canadian Ltd. v Law Society of Upper Canadasupra note 17; Setana Sport Limited v 2049630 Ontario Inc. (Verde Minho Tapas & Lounge), 2007 FC 899, at para. 4, Online: CanLII

Resources for Faculty


Material on this page has been adapted from: Generative AI tools and Copyright Considerations by University of Toronto Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license. 


Generative AI by Centennial College Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license. 

Contact us


General Inquiries:

Gosha Trzaski
Senior Library Technician
Progress Campus
416-289-5000 ext. 5406




chat loading...