The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre (‘the WRSBC’) attempts to keep the information on this Internet web site current, accurate and complete but reliance upon any materials on this site shall be at your sole risk. All such information should be verified independently before being used or relied on. The WRSBC assumes no responsibility for any damages arising out of the use of this site.

The materials on the WRSBC’s web site are provided ‘as is’. The WRSBC does not make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on this web site or otherwise relating to these materials or on any sites linked to this site. Links or references to other web sites or organizations do not imply endorsement or approval by the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre.

By using this web site you are agreeing to be bound by the then current version of these Terms of Use. WRSBC reserves the right to change or modify this site at any time without notice.


The text, images, and data (the ‘Materials’) provided by the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre (herin called “WRSBC”) are the property of  WRSBC or affiliated groups and may be subject to the rights of third parties. These organizations make no representations or warranties with respect to the ownership, copyright, or other moral rights to any of the images or contents.

Access to and use of the Materials are subject to the acceptance of the following covenants, terms and conditions together with strict compliance with the Copyright Act:

  1. Users may download one copy of the Materials for the sole purpose of non-commercial private use or study if and only if all copyright and ownership notices contained on the Materials are retained and displayed together with the URL www.waterlooregionsmallbusiness.ca the URL displayed in connection with the Material.
  2. In the event that the Materials are cited as having third party rights, the Users shall ensure that they obtain the express written permission of the owner of that copyright before making use of the Materials and shall ensure that ownership is cited.
  3. The User shall not in any way alter, manipulate or modify the Materials or otherwise distort the Materials. The User hereby indemnifies the Waterloo  Region Small Business Centre and/or its affiliated groups for any actions, damages, costs, losses or claims brought or assessed against it for any inappropriate use of the Materials.
  4. In the event that the User wishes to make use of the Materials in any other way than is permitted herein, express written permission must be obtained. The right is reserved to deny such requested access, at the owner entity’s sole discretion.



Most of the information accessible on the WRSBC’s website does not require you to identify yourself at all. You may access it anonymously. However, the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre does collect personal information about you when you choose to provide it. We endeavour to collect only as much personal information as is absolutely necessary to assist you in conducting business with the WRSBC via the website.

The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre endeavours to provide you with multiple service ‘channels’ for conducting WRSBC business (e.g. walk-in, mail-in, fax-in, phone-in, etc.) in addition to the Web. If at any time you have concerns about using the Web channel to conduct your WRSBC business, you can rest assured that we will always provide you with an alternative (traditional) service channel as an option.

Purposes for Which We Collect Personal Information
We collect and retain personal information for the following purposes:

  • To process your requests for services, products or further information
  • To communicate with you regarding services or products that you have requested – for example to send you a statement or a receipt
  • To identify you if you have a query or concern about the service or product that you have requested
  • To advise you about changes to our web service offerings and of service interruptions
  • To meet legal and regulatory requirements

Correcting/Updating Personal Information
If your personal information changes (eg. name, address, postal code, telephone number, etc.), or you no longer desire our services, we will endeavour to provide a  way to correct, update or remove this information. Details of how to do this are usually provided on the web page where the information is collected or displayed.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre is the sole owner of the information collected on its site. We do not use or retain personal information that you provide to us for any secondary purposes unless we clearly notify you and gain your permission first. We will not sell, share, rent or otherwise disclose your personal information to any organization or individual outside the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre unless we first notify you and ask your permission. The exceptions to this policy of non-disclosure are stated below.

The WRSBC may disclose your personal information:

  • To companies contracted to process your requests
  • For law enforcement purposes
  • For the purpose of acting in an emergency or in compassionate circumstances to facilitate contact with your next of kin or friend if you become injured or take ill.

We use IP addresses to analyze trends, administer the site, track clients’ movements, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information. We may occasionally report aggregated demographic information in the form of reports and statistics but this is not linked to any personal information that can be used to identify any individual person.

Some of the WRSBC’s sub-systems require the use of ‘cookies’. For example, we use cookies when you purchase goods or services over the Internet to save the contents of your ‘shopping basket’ as you proceed from one screen to another. The WRSBC uses ‘per-session’ cookies only. Per-session cookies are small files that are temporarily stored in your computer’s memory and are deleted when you leave the WRSBC’s web site.

From time-to-time our site may request information from you via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and you have a choice of whether or not to disclose the information requested. Survey information will be used solely for the purposes of monitoring and/or improving the use and satisfaction of this site. If you choose not to participate in surveys, you will still be able to use our site or request services or products from us.

Protection of Personal Information
The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre takes every precaution to protect your personal information on the Internet. We protect your account information by requiring you to enter a unique Login ID and Password each time you want to access your account information. Your Password should never be shared with anyone.

Questions about the collection of personal information should be directed to the WRSBC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Coordinator.  Email, phone and mail addresses can be found under Exceptions below.

The WRSBC uses SSL encryption technology to protect personal information (eg. credit card numbers, etc.) during transmission. A security icon will appear in your browser window to indicate that you are using a secure site.

If you have any questions or concerns about the security at our website, you can send an email to info@waterlooregionsmallbusiness.com

There may be certain exceptions to the WRSBC’s Privacy Statement. Any and all exceptions will be CLEARLY identified at the moment that information is being gathered.

For more information, or if you have questions or concerns, please contact the WRSBC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Coordinator:

By email at: info@waterlooregionsmallbusiness.ca
By telephone at: 519 741-2604 or
By mail at: Freedom of Information & Privacy Coordinator, Office of the WRSBC, Waterloo Region Small Business Centre, 200 King St W, Kitchener, Ontario

Notification of Changes to the Privacy Statement
If we decide to change our privacy statement, we will post those changes on the WRSBC’s home page so that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under which circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

Links to Other Websites
The WRSBC’s website contains links to other sites (eg. community links, business links, etc.). Please be aware that the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre cannot be held responsible for the privacy practices of other sites. When you leave our  site, we encourage you to read the privacy statement of each and every website that you visit before you provide any personal information. The WRSBC’s privacy statement applies solely to information collected on the WRSBC’s website.


The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre’s Web Site utilizes discussion forums. Discussion forums are a place for citizens to participate, by expressing their opinions & viewpoints and to allow others to respond. Forums are NOT meant to be an interactive discussion (chat) with WRSBC employees. If participants would like WRSBC staff to answer specific questions, please use the Contact Us  page.

Discussion Forum Guidelines:
While The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre is committed to the concept of free speech, that speech should, at all times, be responsible, free of insults, and respectful of others. Participants in discussions must not:

  • Defame, abuse, harass or threaten others;
  • Make any bigoted, hateful or racially offensive statements;
  • Advocate illegal activity or discuss illegal activities with the intent to commit them;
  • Post or distribute any material that infringes and/or violates any right of a third party or any law;
  • Post or distribute any vulgar, obscene, discourteous or indecent language or images;
  • Advertise, sell to or solicit others;
  • Use the online discussion groups for commercial purposes of any kind;
  • Post or distribute any software or other materials that contain a virus or other harmful component;
  • Post material or make statements that do not generally pertain to the designated topic or theme of the discussion group; or
  • Impersonate other participants or public figures.

All posts are pre-moderated by WRSBC staff who may review, edit, or delete any message. If a submission violates discussion forum guidelines, or is any other way inappropriate, the submission will not be posted. Waterloo Region Small Business Centre staff may, on occasion, participate in certain discussion threads.

Participants must login to post messages or replies. Typically the WRSBC reviews, approves and posts messages within 48 hours.


This information is intended as an overview and guide, and should not be considered a legal opinion or in any way conclusive of the provisions of the Copyright Act. In the event that a User requires clarification or wishes to pursue a specific issue, a qualified legal opinion should be sought.

The Copyright Act is complicated and in particular those rules relating to photographs, sound recordings, and audio-visual materials (ie: films and video-tapes) have many nuances. If a User intends to use any of those materials for a purpose other than research or private study, the WRSBC requires that a User seek appropriate clarification before making any use whatsoever of the material.

The WRSBC, and its affiliated groups hold a variety of material for which the ownership of copyright may be uncertain. One of the difficulties is to identify and locate the owners of copyright in order to ensure that the appropriate right to use materials is acquired.

It is not the WRSBC or its affiliated bodies’ responsibility to interpret the Copyright Act or to provide legal advice in respect of same. Users, by their use of this site and the materials thereon, accept responsibility for determining copyright.

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Copyright?

At its most basic, copyright is just that – the right to copy. It establishes the right for authors to be paid for the use of their works. The Copyright Act is the legislation that applies to a myriad of original works, from books to music to photographs or even to unpublished letters or diaries.

What does the Copyright Act do?

The Copyright Act was established to protect the rights of authors of original works and to ensure that those authors have the right to be paid when a third party wishes to use their work in some way beyond some very limited purposes. For further information and guidance on copyright, we refer Users to the Practical Guide for Researchers.

The legislation provides that authors create works in which they hold a bundle of ownership rights for a certain amount of time. The works are divided into different areas and the rules for determining the owner of the copyright and the length of ‘ownership’ varies between areas. The holder or owner of the copyright has the sole right to:

  • produce or reproduce a work or a substantial part of that work in any way;
  • publish the work or a substantial part of same; and
  • perform the work or a substantial part of it in public.

Once the specified time period has passed, then the copyright expires and the work is said to be in the ‘public domain’ and can be used in any way without the authorization of the copyright holder.

What is ‘Fair Dealing’?

The Copyright Act states that it is not an infringement to use material ‘fairly’ for the sole purposes of private study or research, review or criticism or news reporting. However what constitutes ‘fair’ is open for interpretation and is not defined by the legislation. What is considered to be ‘fair’ will depend on the circumstances of each use.

What responsibilities does a User have with respect to copyright?

What a User is required to do with respect to copyright largely depends on the use intended of the material. And remember, copyright varies from type of material to type of material.

The WRSBC, the Board, and its affiliated groups require that Users agree to the WRSBC Portal Conditions of Use statement.

We provide below some broad copyright guidelines for some of the material you may find on our portal now or in the future:

Photographs (Artistic Works):

  • Who is the author of a photograph?: The ‘author’ is the person or company who owned the initial negative or photograph (for digital photographs) when the image was taken.
  • Accordingly, in order to determine the status of copyright of a photo, you must determine the author of the photo or the negative:
  • If:
    • the author is a person then the term of copyright is the life span of that person plus 50 years;
    • the author is a company where the majority of the voting shares are owned by the person who ‘took’ the photograph, then the copyright term is the life span of that person plus 50 years;
    • the author is a company in which the majority of shares are not owned by the person taking the photograph (ie: a newspaper-staff-taken photograph), then the term of copyright is 50 years from the taking of the photograph.

Permitted Exception: Fair Dealing

Published Text (Literary Works):

Books: the ‘owner’ of the copyright is the author. The term of the copyright is the life of the author plus 50 years
Magazine Articles: The copyright term is the author’s ‘life plus 50’. The holder of the copyright may either be the author or the magazine, if copyright has been transferred by agreement

Newspaper Articles: the term of copyright is the life of the author plus 50 years. The holder of the copyright will either be the author or the newspaper, if copyright has been transferred by agreement.

Permitted Exceptions: ‘Fair Dealing’ and in the instance of newspaper or magazine articles which are more than one year old, then one copy of the article may be made for research or private study

Unpublished Text (Literary Works):
While the general copyright term of ‘Life of the author plus 50 years’ applies to unpublished text (ie: private letters, memoirs, reports, or manuscripts), there are a series of specific rules which apply in this area for material whose authors died on or before December 31, 1988. We suggest you seek guidance in this area.

Permitted exceptions: ‘Fair Dealing’ and one copy of the article be made for research or private study

Maps and Plans (Artistic Works):

Unpublished or published maps and plans: the holder of the copyright is either the author of the material or if the person is employed (ie: a WRSBC employee) then the employer becomes the holder of the copyright. Term of the copyright is the life of the author plus 50 years

Permitted exceptions: for WRSBC maps and plans a User may make a single copy for research or private study purposes