Handling Copyright Works on Canvas

While the Copyright Ordinance permits fair dealing exception on the use of copyright works on Canvas by Instructure at CityU, we like to remind you that the following criteria apply.

  1. Appropriate security measures have been adopted; and
  2. ensure the work is stored for not longer than 12 months.

Hence, you are advised to (1) confirm the use of copyright works comply with the fair dealing conditions, (2) never provide public access to copyright works, and (3) purge copyright works afterward when distributing course materials and other contents via Canvas.

According to the information provided by the law firm representing the Hong Kong Reprographic Rights Licensing Society Limited, major factors to determine the act of fair dealing includes:

  1. the purpose and nature of the dealing, including whether the dealing is for a non-profitmaking purpose and  whether the dealing is of a commercial nature;
  2. the nature of the work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion dealt with in relation to the work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the dealing on the potential market for or value of the work.


Examples are also provided to help you understand the fair dealing.

Case 1: likely to constitute fair dealing

"A teacher includes in a presentation a very short excerpt of a documentary on the relevant subject to illustrate certain important points to be brought out in his presentation. The title of the documentary and acknowledgement of its authors are included. The presentation will be given by the teacher for giving instruction in a course of study to a class of students."

Case 2: unlikely to constitute fair dealing

"A teacher compiles a course-pack by extracting different chapters from different textbooks, without seeking authorization or obtaining license from the relevant copyright owners."


Please note that the above applies to all staff and student users on Canvas. Course instructors may approach CityU Press to compile course-pack from different copyright works legally where students can purchase the course-pack in hardcopy. Colleagues in the Office of Education Development and General Education can help you to identify Canvas ready e-course contents available directly from publishers. The Library disseminates information related to copyright law, delivers year round intellectual property awareness training as well as helps monitor the usage of copyright information.  Documents associated with the Policy on University Intellectual Property and Related Matters are posted on http://go.cityu.hk/ippolicy. Please contact the e-Learning Team for more information.