The answer is yes! According to the Copyright Act, schoolwork is considered original content. That means it’s protected by copyright. You and your classmates own the copyright on the work you do.
As a result, you’re free to use the content however you like, and any third party who wants to reproduce or republish it must get permission from you first.
Think about all those hours spent researching, writing, reviewing, correcting… The final product was created through your talent and efforts. It’s normal that you’d be able to use that content as you see fit.
Does my educational institution have a copyright?
Certain educational institutions grant themselves a non-exclusive licence to use the content produced by their students. Under that kind of licence, your institution could be able to use your schoolwork even though the copyright belongs to you.
Those licences are usually limited but it’s important to read your institution’s rules so you’re aware of what the copyright policies are.
Even students should respect copyright
Your schoolwork is original content under the Act and the same applies to all the documents you used as references. You have to respect the rights of the content creators when you include references to their work.
The Copyright Act allows certain exceptions so students can reproduce excerpts from copyrighted content without asking for permission. However, it may be necessary for you to request permission from the copyright owners and even pay royalties, especially if your work is distributed or published after you’ve submitted it.
Citing your sources is always compulsory but it’s not always enough in terms of copyright compliance.
Don’t forget that using someone else’s content without permission or appropriating it as your own constitutes copyright infringement.
You wouldn’t want your work to be published somewhere without your knowledge. By applying best practices when it comes to copyright, you’ll be respecting content creators like yourself.