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Educational Use of Publicly Available Material (PAM) on the Internet

Section 30.04 of the Copyright Act allows faculty, staff and students of an educational institution to save, download and share Publicly Available Material (PAM) from the Internet.

Publicly available Internet material

  • must be posted by the content creator or copyright owner
  • must not contain any digital locks or technological protection measures (TPMs), such as a password, encryption system, digital locks or similar technology designed to limit access
  • must not contain a clearly visible notice that prohibits educational use
  • any Internet materials that are used must be properly cited.


If you find a resource on the Internet that you want your students to read or watch outside of class, provide a hyperlink to the material. In 2011, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that hyperlinks “are, in essence, references…Hyperlinks and references both communicate that something exists, but do not, by themselves, communicate its content” (Crookes v. Newton, 2011, at paras 4-5).

Follow the guidelines below when providing hyperlinks to your students:

  • Only provide hyperlinks to resources that were uploaded by the copyright owner.
  • If providing the link via eConestoga, set the link to open in a new window
  • As always, cite/reference your source

Articles from Library Databases

Licensing agreements between the College and the database vendors do not allow PDFs originating from article databases to be posted directly online or sent as an email attachment. 

Instead, link to the article record in one of the Library's article databases for distribution to other licensed users (i.e. other current Conestoga students, faculty, and staff). Permanent URLs are normally provided by the database and instructors are permitted to post these links on password-protected course sites, such as eConestoga, allowing their students to easily link to the articles.

Use these tutorials to learn the process of finding and inserting permanent links, or for more assistance, contact your Program Liaison in the Library.