The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the making of multiple copies to hand out to students for the purpose of education is considered a "fair dealing" under the Copyright Act. However, the amount of material handed out is important. Instructors should limit their handouts to "short excerpts" of copyrighted works. Typically this means a single chapter from a book or a single article from a journal or periodical. See the MRU Fair Dealing Guidelines for more details.
In order to gain access to some e-resources, Mount Royal University must sign license agreements with distributors. Occasionally, these agreements prohibit in-class handouts of material from the e-resource. However, many MRU Library-licensed electronic resources do permit in-class handouts. Speak to your Subject Liaison Librarian or see the Library's Journals by Title list (see below for more info) to see if handouts are included in the permitted uses for the journal you wish to use.
Alternatives to class handouts include:
If you want to provide articles or excerpts from a book to students on a regular basis, for example, every year that you teach the course, and you know what articles or excerpts you want to distribute in advance, you should consider contacting your subject liaison librarian about using the library reserves system, uploading into MRU's learning management system (Blackboard) or creating a print course pack instead.
If you need to distribute more than a short excerpt of a copyrighted work to a class, the Copyright Advisor will seek permission on your behalf directly from the copyright holder, which is typically the author or the publisher. You can contact the MRU Copyright Advisor by emailing MRUcopyright@mtroyal.ca. A specific request will need to be made which includes information such as:
Given that these are educational uses we request royalty-free usage in most cases. However, copyright owners sometimes request a royalty payment for use of their material, and it is within their rights to do so. For more information on seeking permissions and the information included in permission requests, click here. If you seek permission yourself, you must keep a copy of the permission for as long as you use the copyrighted material.
You may be able to print copies of your PowerPoint Slides and distribute them as class handouts, but it depends on the content of your lecture slides. If you created the PowerPoint slides and they are text-only, then you can distribute copies to your students. Things get tricky if your PowerPoint slides contain images. Please refer to the Lecture Slides & Recordings - Distributing Lecture Slides section of this LibGuide for more information on distributing your lecture slides as class handouts.
Yes. Students should be advised, when they are assigned class presentations or similar assignments, of the responsibilities associated with copyright compliance – particularly around in class handouts and video public performance rights.
Any job submitted for printing must be copyright-compliant, and each individual member of the MRU community has a responsibility to comply with the Copyright Act. If you have permission to copy the item from the copyright owner, please provide documentation for the permission when submitting your order to the Digital Media Centre (Document Services). If you do not have permission, please contact the MRU Copyright Advisor at MRUcopyright@mtroyal.ca for further assistance.
Where necessary, the librarian may ask the Copyright Advisor to seek permission from the copyright holder to copy items for reserve purposes. Faculty should be aware that additional time to seek permissions or purchase an original of the work may be required, and should account for this time when making requests for the library reserves. Click here for more information on Setting Up Course Reserves through the MRU Library.
Yes, original works can be placed on reserve without any concern for copyright. The Library currently reviews course textbook lists and places items held in the collection on reserve to ensure the best access for students. However, material taken from electronic resources (such as journal articles or chapters of e-books) may be restricted by the terms of a license agreement.
Yes. The Library is happy to accept your personal copies, provided they are not complimentary sample textbooks for instructor review. No photocopied materials (book chapters, articles etc.) may be placed on reserve without obtaining copyright permission. In some circumstances, the Library may purchase original works to place on reserve; please speak to Library reserve staff about such purchases.
If you wish you to include a journal article taken from an electronic database or another electronic resource as part of your course material, you must comply with the terms of the license agreement. Each electronic item is governed by a license agreement, and we must comply with the terms of the license when using electronic material.
Click here for more information on license agreements, how to use electronic resources or journal articles taken from electronic databases in your course pack.
When compiling material for your course, please note that the university or faculty member must be in lawful possession of the Work from which the copy of the Short Excerpt is made. Being in lawful possession includes the following:
The Fair Dealing Guidelines do not permit copying or communicating a Work for a lecture or presentation that is open to the general public, i.e. a lecture or presentation that is not restricted to students specifically enrolled in a course of study at MRU. Depending on the circumstances, the fair dealing exception may apply where the lecture or presentation is open to the public, but a separate fair dealing analysis is required to make that determination. For information and assistance, contact the MRU Copyright Advisor at MRUcopyright@mtroyal.ca.
If, after browsing this guide, you still have questions or require additional information please contact MRUcopyright@mtroyal.ca, or 403.440.6618.
The Copyright Advisor is also available in EL1132 for drop-in office hours: