I gave a PowerPoint presentation in class which includes figures from a textbook. Can I post it on Queen's learning management systems (Moodle/Desire2Learn/Medtech etc.)?

I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.


In most cases, yes. In some cases, textbook publishers will allow you to include copies of figures in your PowerPoints and online classrooms, but usually only when the textbook is a required text for the course. You should check with the publisher first before posting the figures and comply with whatever conditions they attach to your use of the work. 

If you don’t have permission from the publisher, you may still be able to include the figures if  your use does not constitute a substantial part (see Copyright for Instructors) of a copyrighted work or if you satisfy the fair dealing exemption and your use, in terms of its scope, duration and distribution, is fair. At a minimum, you should abide by the following limitations:

  • Ensure that the excerpts used fall within the definitation of "short excerpt" listed in the Queen's Fair Dealing Policy;
  • ALWAYS include a credit to the author and source of the figures;
  • Only include figures that are necessary for the purpose of the course and try to limit it to as few as possible;
  • Limit access to the site to students enrolled in your course;
  • Include a notice on the site which makes clear that you are providing the figures using the fair dealing exception in the Act;
  • Take measures to protect the security of the site, such as passwords and encryption, so that other users cannot access the file;
  • Remove the figures from the site as soon as the course/series of courses are finished.

The Fair Dealing Policy does not permit copying or communicating a copyright-protected work for a lecture or presentation that is open to the general public, i.e. a lecture or presentation that is not restricted to students specifically enrolled in a course of study. Depending on the circumstances the fair dealing exemption may however apply where the lecture or presentation is open to the public. For information about whether the exemption applies in particular circumstances contact the Copyright Advisory Office at copy.right@queensu.ca or 613-533-6000 ext. 78510.

If you want to post your presentation in a location that allows for perpetual access (eg. an open website), you should obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright in the Digital Classroom

Ask Us

For help locating resources, using the library, or to request a research consultation, try our Ask Us service.

ask us more