Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property: Overview

What is intellectual property?: A novel? A film script? A joke? A cook book? A character in a TV show? A painting? The lyrics to a song? All of these are intellectual property.

Intellectual Property: Key Concepts

Intellectual property - Anything that comes into being through invention or artistic creation. When an intellectual property is also real property, it is possible to own one but not the other – so that owning a painting (real property right) does not automatically give you the right to make copies of it (intellectual property right).

Intellectual Property Ethics

Some of the most common ethical decisions youth face online revolve around intellectual property, but teaching kids to respect intellectual property can be particularly challenging because they may not see this as an ethical issue.

Fair Dealing for Media Education

In Canada, consumers have certain rights to use copyrighted material without permission or license from the owner of the copyright. These rights are defined in the Copyright Act as Fair Dealing exemptions and were redefined in the 2012 changes to the Act. A good knowledge of Fair Dealing can be extremely helpful in understanding what you and your students can do with media in class. It's important to note that the Copyright Act provides very little definition for many of these terms; instead, most of the specifics of Fair Dealing have come from court rulings, and the new exemptions and other changes done in 2012 will likely also be further defined in the same way.


Closely associated with intellectual property – but slightly different – is plagiarism.

Responding to Plagiarism

While youth actively participate in copying, with 95 percent of students in a 2017 survey admitting to participating in some sort of cheating,[i] they have trouble seeing their acts of plagiarism as having a victim. Ultimately, if nobody is hurt then we are unlikely to feel empathy and without that it’s hard to see something as being morally wrong.