Copyright on Campus
Note: TWU is operating under an interim agreement with Access Copyright, so the information below is current.
Copyright Flow Chart
The flowchart below illustrates the process for determining what is permissible under our Access Copyright licence. Key terms on the chart are linked to sites with fuller explanations.
Flowchart graphics by Duncan Dixon based on information in the AUCC/CARL document Copying Right.
Public domain works are those on which copyright has expired or which the creator or copyright owner has chosen to release as public domain.
According to the Copyright Act C-42:
6. The term for which copyright shall subsist shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by this Act, be the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.
For example, Robert Service died September 11, 1958, so copyright on his works expired in Canada on December 31, 2008. There are a number of exceptions, however. See this page created by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for more information.
29. Fair dealing for the purpose of research or private study does not infringe copyright.
Criticism or review
29.1 Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review does not infringe copyright if the following are mentioned:
(a) the source; and
(b) if given in the source, the name of the
(i) author, in the case of a work,
(ii) performer, in the case of a performer’s performance,
(iii) maker, in the case of a sound recording, or
(iv) broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal. (Copyright Act C-42 section 29)
For further assistance contact:
- Duncan Dixon (general copyright
questions) Phone: 3923; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Abraham Brake (Reserve Collection questions) Phone: 3920; E-mail email@example.com
- Virtually any materials you use are protected. The copying of print
materials that have been published is governed by the Copyright Act and our Access Copyright licence.
- Be sure that any copying falls within Fair Dealing.
Reserve Collection/class distribution
1. Each photocopy distributed in class or submitted for inclusion in the
Reserve Collection must contain a complete bibliographic citation. The following
instructions apply to photocopies submitted to the Library for the Reserve Collection:
Books. For essays, chapters, plays, poems, items of print music,
etc. from books: attach to each photocopy a copy of the title page and back of title page
(or other page that contains date and copyright information).
Journal Articles. For articles from magazines, journals, etc.:
attach to each photocopy a copy of the cover and/or masthead (page containing information
such as title of journal, date, volume/issue number, and, including the identity of the
2. Provide only good quality copies to the
Reserve Collection, i.e., don’t cut off
tops or bottoms of the page, include all footnotes and endnotes, etc.; suggestion:
if the page is too big for the paper, set the photocopier to copy at 95% or 90%. Students are unnecessarily frustrated by poor or incomplete photocopies.
3. Submit photocopies for copyright evaluation as early as possible.
Copies that exceed the limits specified in our licence may be delayed in getting to the
Reserve Collection while we apply for additional permission to photocopy.
Some databases allow us to post an electronic copy (PDF) of an article on a password protected site such as MyCourses. See this page for information about specific databases.
What does Canada's copyright law mean to universities?
Most creations, including such diverse items as inter-office memos, books, computer programs, databases, sculptures, songs, films, even a drawing scribbled on the back of an envelope are subject to
copyright. That means the right to copy, including the right to photocopy, belongs to the
creator. Users wanting to make copies of the work must get permission from the copyright
owner. Moreover, copyright law is international. If a work is protected in any one of over 100 countries, it's protected by copyright here.
Situations when permission to photocopy is unnecessary.
- Copyright protection in Canada for published works
generally lasts for 50 years following the death of the creator. After that, most
published works are in the public domain and can be copied freely.
- Some of the photocopying done by universities can be
covered by a concept in copyright law known as fair dealing.
No permission is needed for copying done as fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism, review, or newspaper summary. Fair dealing applies to photocopying as well as other methods of reproduction - including the making of slides, microfiche, or transparencies as well as to faxes and other methods of electronic transmission. However, fair dealing isn't defined in the current law and knowing just what you may do isn't easy. (For assistance, contact Duncan Dixon [local 3923;
What if I need to copy more
than fair dealing allows?
What is Access Copyright?
Access Copyright, is a not-for-profit organization established by the Canadian writing and publishing community to administer photocopying rights and other reproduction rights on a collective basis.
What is the Access Copyright licence?
The licence your university has signed with
Access Copyright allows professors, students, and staff at your
institution to make the copies necessary for teaching, studying, and administration. View the full text of the TWU-Access Copyright agreement here.
What's not covered?
Some categories of works are not covered by your
Access Copyright licence. Permission to copy these types of
works must be requested directly from the copyright holder unless the work is in the public domain or the copying in question falls under fair dealing. Among the categories of works not covered by the licence are:
- works in which © has expired
- works in which the University has ©
- any copying covered by fair dealing
- government publications
- originals of artistic works
- photographic negatives
- workbooks, tests and other "consumables"
- instruction manuals, including teachers' guides
- newsletters restricted to fee-paying clients
- print music for use by choirs, bands, etc.
- letters to the editors and advertisements
- business cases available for purchase
In addition, a few authors and publishers have specifically
excluded some or all of their works from coverage under the licence. There is a short list
called an "exclusions list", attached to the licence and available through your
university's administration, which sets out these excluded items. If you want to copy, do
a quick check of this list to be sure the licence covers the work involved. In most cases,
it will, but if not, you need to get permission from the copyright holder directly or
through Access Copyright. Note that it is still permissible to copy insubstantial portions of even items on Aces Copyright's exclusion list under the fair dealing exception.
What are the copying limits of the Access Copyright licence?
Because the purpose of the licence is to provide access to published works, not to replace their purchase, there are limits to the amount of a work that can be copied.
The general rule is: you can copy up to 10 or 15 per cent of a work (depending on whether the copies are for personal use or are to be sold), or the whole of a chapter, short story, poem, journal article, or newspaper
article, whichever is greater.
In the case of textbooks which are copied for inclusion in course packs, there are further restrictions on copying. For details on the restrictions that apply, consult your licence.
Be aware that repeated, systematic and cumulative copying from the same published work--copying that would eventually result in more than the permitted maximum of that work being copied--is not permitted by the licence.
Check your dates. Generally, in Canada if 50 years have passed since the year in which the creator died, the work is in the public domain and can be copied freely. Note that materials in the public domain may still copyright material, e.g., if an editor has added an introduction, notes, or commentary. In such cases, the material in the public domain may be copied freely, the editorial material may not.
Remember, every edition, translation, or adaptation of a
work has its own copyright. For example, a translation of a work by Balzac would enter the public domain in Canada 50 years after the death of the translator.
It's not permissible to copy letters to the editor or newspaper
advertisements without permission. The individual who wrote the letter or
prepared the advertisement holds the copyright, not the newspaper.
It's not permissible to change a copyrighted work in any way while copying -- by
combining two separate texts, for example, or by editing or changing the phrasing.
Creators retain the moral rights to the integrity of their own work, which prohibits changes.
With regard to government publications, anyone can copy federal laws and judicial decisions without charge, and without asking permission, provided the copy is accurate and it is not represented as an official version. "Permission to reproduce Government of Canada works, in part or in whole, and by any means, for personal or public non-commercial purposes, or for cost-recovery purposes, is not required, unless otherwise specified in the material you wish to reproduce" (GoC).This also applies to statutes, regulations and judicial decisions of the Province of Ontario. At this time, copying other provincial or territorial laws or judicial decisions requires the permission of the appropriate government.
If you have any doubt, contact the government publisher and ask for permission. You may seek permission to use or reproduce works of the Province of British Columbia through this form.
Copyright and the Internet
Much of the material on the Internet is protected by copyright. This includes postings to news groups, e-mail messages, images, photographs, music, video clips and computer software. The general rule is that you must get permission from the owner (usually the person or organization that created the material) to use text, graphics, images, sound and video that have been created by others, outside of what is permitted under Fair Dealing. There are some things that are not usually protected by copyright, for example, facts, information, titles, ideas, plots, and short word combinations; neither are works in the public domain.
Licensed e-journals and databases
TWU Library has purchased licence agreements with many publishers of electronic journals and other information that permit limited downloading and printing from these licensed resources. Each resource is governed by the terms of a specific licence. See this page or contact a reference librarian for details.
See the licence for full details.
Materials for Library Reserve shelf (contact Abraham Brake -- firstname.lastname@example.org [local 3920]).
General copyright questions (contact Duncan Dixon, -- email@example.com [local 3923]).
Course Pack Information
Before creating a course pack, check to see if the library already has access to the material through an electronic database. Contact a reference librarian for help if you're not sure. If there is electronic access, see this page for instructions on how to link to the articles with permanent links (sometimes called persistent or durable links). These links will allow students to access articles for free with one or two clicks and reduce the cost of course packs.
What is a course pack?
A course pack is a collection of published works compiled together for one group
of students which may include any of the following works:
- a series of writings from a book or periodical
- a play from a book of plays
- an original manuscript, writings or a book in process
- a combination of all of the above
- NB we can also reprint out-of-print books
What are the advantages of using course packs?
- price is usually cheaper than a corresponding textbook used for that course
- readily available from the printer
- out-of-print books can be brought back to life
- free desk copy
- eliminates competition for
Reserve Collection materials in the Library and therefore more convenient for the student
What do I need to do to prepare a course pack for printing?
- bring in camera ready photocopies of the material on 8.5" x 11"
- ensure there is a ½" margin on all sides for proper binding
- a proper bibliography of the materials to be copied (see below)
- information on how you want the finished product to look
- number of desk copies desired
What items do I need to include in the bibliography?
- title of book/periodical
- date of copyright
- ISBN (if a book)
- ISSN, volume number and date (if a periodical)
- number of pages in the book or periodical
- exact page numbers being copied (e.g., 1-3, 7-8, etc.)
Access Copyright Post-Secondary Exclusions
List - April 2010
In accordance with Clause 5 of the university and community college licence, Access Copyright may semi-annually revise Schedule A (the "Exclusions List") of the licence. Please note the latest changes will take effect on April 2, 2010. To help you quickly identify these changes, we have highlighted them in bold print in our Post Secondary Sector list.
We are pleased to announce that Anker Publishing Co. Inc., Pearson Custom Publishing, Heinemann (William) Ltd., McGraw-Hill Contemporary Learning Series, (formerly McGraw-Hill/Dushkin) and Ten Speed Press have been removed from this exclusions list, meaning you may now copy from their works under the terms and conditions of your institution's licence with Access Copyright.
For your convenience and ease of use, below are downloadable PDF versions of the sector-based Post Secondary Exclusions List in both English and French:
Please note that the "Excluded Titles List" can be provided to you upon request. As well we can provide you with a full Master Exclusions List that will include exclusions relevant to all of our sectors. Please contact Kristy White at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to receive a copy either of these lists.
Access Copyright has been notified that Bruce Curtis has requested to be added to their Exclusions List. This means that licensees must contact him directly for permission to use his copyright protected works. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
Terms of Copying
(Clause 2(a) of the Agreement)
1. All copies shall be made onto paper except for Copies made onto acetate or similar transparent material, slides, microfiche and microfilm.
Copies made onto slides, microfiche and microfilm shall only be made in accordance with the additional terms and conditions of the Agreement.
2. Except as otherwise specifically provided in the Agreement, no copying shall exceed 10% of a Published Work or the following, whichever is greater
(a) an entire newspaper article or a page;
(b) an entire single short story, play, poem, essay or article from a book or periodical issue (including a set of conference proceedings)
containing other works;
(c) an entire single item of print music from a book or periodical issue containing other kinds of work;
(d) an entire entry from an encyclopedia, dictionary, annotated bibliography or similar reference work;
(e) an entire reproduction of an artistic work (including drawing, sculpture, painting, prints, architectural works of art or works of artistic craftsmanship) from a book or periodical issue containing other works;
(f) an entire chapter which is 20% or less of a book
Access Copyright shall use reasonable efforts to clear requests to copy in excess of these limits. It is understood that such clearances may be subject to additional payment of royalties. In these cases, royalties will be calculated using the
tariff for copies made pursuant to clause 2(b) of this Agreement.
3. Access Copyright shall use reasonable efforts to clear requests to copy works published in excluded countries or by excluded publishers and excluded works. It is understood that such clearances may be subject to additional payment of royalties, calculated using the tariff for copies made pursuant to clause 2(b) or any other tariff set by the rights holder.
4. The Institution shall only make a sufficient number of Copies to provide one for each Student, two for each Professor and such number required by the Institution for administrative purposes.
5. The Institution shall not make Copies of any Published Work which to the knowledge of the Institution of the person doing the copying or ordering the Copies is commercially available as a separate publication at a reasonable price and within a reasonable period of time.
6. The Institution shall not engage in systematic, cumulative copying of the same Published Work for a single course or program in one academic year beyond the limits set out in clause 2 or this Schedule.
7. The Institution shall not assemble an Copies of Published Works into an Anthology.
8. The Institutions shall include on at least one page of all multiple Copies made pursuant to clause 2(a) of this Agreement for the purpose of distribution to Students and on all Copies made pursuant to clause 2(a) of this Agreement for the purpose of interlibrary loan, the international copyright symbol ©, a credit to the publisher, the artist or illustrator of any artistic work reproduced (where known) and the author or authors (where known) and, when possible, shall display the following prominent notice:
"This material has been copied under licence from Access Copyright. Resale of further copying of this material is strictly prohibited."
Photocopying Information & Instructions for the agreement between Access Copyright and Trinity Western University and its affiliates extending from September 1, 2003 to August 31, 2010
Legal Disclaimer - The information on this page is for information only and should not be construed as legal advice.
© 2011 Trinity Western University
Maintained by the Library -