Skip to content

Accessibility and Copyright

The Faculty of Media and Creative Arts is a community of content creators -- a community that exists in part due to the protections bestowed by copyright. While some people believe that if something is available for free on the Internet, it is "in the public domain" and can be used without restriction, the truth is that any creative work is automatically protected by copyright in Canada. Notable exceptions are situations where the duration of copyright has expired, or the creator has released certain rights by using a Creative Commons license.

Balancing the rights of creators with the need for accessibility is one of the challenges faced by the Accessible Media Department. To that end, we have created some best practices for FMCA faculty and staff.

Humber-produced content

Video and audio material created by faculty, staff, or any agent of Humber College can be transcribed, captioned and described by the Accessible Media Department. The transcripts, captions and descriptions provided by Humber's Accessible Media Department can be used in any manner the legal copyright holder of the original material sees fit.

Students are responsible for creating captions and descriptions on their own projects.

Online content (YouTube, etc.)

If you are going to link to online content in your course material or other project, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires that captions are available. If the video you've selected doesn't have captions, consider another video. Alternatively, a captioned version may be available from another source. A news story on YouTube, for example, might not have adequate captions, but the same story may be available with captions on the original broadcaster's website.

While the Accessible Media Department cannot provide captions or audio descriptions for videos found online, in cases where there is no suitable captioned material available, we may be able to provide a transcript. Email the accessible media department if you need transcripts for online video.

To include a short online video such as a commercial, movie trailer or news clip into your recorded lecture, it may be permissible to play the video while recording with your screen capture software. In this case, the copyrighted work would become part of a larger work (your lecture) for the purpose of education, and would fall under the fair dealing provision in copyright law. To ask if your intended use of a copyrighted video in your lecture would be considered fair dealing, email the Humber Libraries copyright team.

It is a violation of copyright law and most video hosting sites' terms of service to use third-party websites or software to "rip" videos directly from a server. This practice should be avoided.

Commercially available content

Any content that is available commercially should be acquired through the Humber Libraries. Visit the Humber Libraries Accessibility Support page for more information.

Keep in mind that these are suggestions only, and are not to be taken as legal advice. Refer to Humber's Copyright Policy or email the Humber Libraries copyright team to address any specific concerns.