Thanks to technology, online training enables us to link to many, many resources including documents, online presentations, videos, podcasts and more. It also lets us be creative by incorporating graphics or photographs in training materials. A simple mouse click can add interest to a presentation if we find just the right picture or it can provide a wealth of factual information to back up a point. However, although information and a multitude of resources are available on the Internet, they are not always available for general use.
Some material, particularly artistic material like photographs and graphics, as well as written material including excerpts from manuals or other texts, are copyright protected. Before linking to anything or adding something to your online training, check to see if it is available for you to use. Unless you see a specific statement that the material can be used without restriction, you should request permission to use it because copyright protection in Canada is automatic once something is created. Therefore, even though you may be able to download material and copy it, this doesn't mean that you have permission to use it. A good rule of thumb to follow is “when in doubt, ask”.
For more information about copyright issues, read this informative article from The Association of Community Colleges: www.accc.ca/english/advocacy/digital_copyright_issues.htm. For information from the Government of Canada, please refer to this Question and Answer page about ongoing copyright reform: www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/crp-prda.nsf/eng/h_rp01153.html.