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Copyright Information: Print material

Can I photocopy copyrighted print materials?

You are typically permitted to photocopy short excerpts of copyrighted print material. Much of the photocopying that we do at MRU is allowable under the Copyright Act's Fair Dealing exception. See MRU's Fair Dealing Guidelines for what constitutes a "short excerpt". Copying Guidelines are also posted beside every photocopier on campus.

Note: If you have a photocopy as the original source, you should not use it. Always create copies that (a) fall within the fair dealing limits, and (b) come from an original, legally obtained source.


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Can I photocopy a musical score?

A single musical score from a collection or anthology of musical scores may be photocopied under the Fair Dealing exception. Where a musical score is published as a standalone piece, only a short excerpt (less than 10%) of the score may be photocopied. 


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Can I include copies of copyrighted print materials in a course pack?

It depends. Material photocopied from print resources (books or print copies of journals) may be included in a course pack provided it complies with MRU's Fair Dealing Guidelines). If you would like to amounts that exceed fair dealing, you will have to seek permission or a license to include the materials in your course pack.

Please direct any questions about course packs to the MRU Copyright Advisor.

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Can I distribute photocopied journal articles in class?

Print Journals - A single article from a print journal may be distributed to students in a class.

Electronic Journals - There are licensing considerations when distributing printed copies of articles from electronic journals. Many of our license agreements with the publishers and vendors of electronic journals and e-books allow copying for classroom use, posting to a secure course website (Blackboard), and other educational uses. Since the permissions vary from vendor to vendor, it is necessary to check MRU Library's licensing information before making copies. You can determining individual license requirements by looking at Using MRU Library's Electronic Materials, or contact your subject librarian for more information and assistance in determining the licensing restrictions on a particular article.

Suggested alternatives to handouts:

  • provide students with a citation that they can use to find the article in the library;
  • provide students with a link on Blackboard to the article via the library's subscription databases; or
  • project the article on a screen in class.


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Can I scan/digitize copyrighted print materials?

The Supreme Court of Canada has emphasized the need for copyright law to be technologically neutral. The digitization of print materials results in a new copy being made, and so the same considerations apply as would apply to the creation of a new print copy. Similarly, when an electronic copy of material is distributed to a class, the same considerations apply as would apply when printed material is distributed to a class. 


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Content on this page has been copied and adapted from the "Copyright at UBC" website, created by the University of British Columbia under a CC BY 4.0 International License.

Have a copyright question?

If, after browsing this guide, you still have questions or require additional information please contact, or 403.440.6618.

Student drop-in office hours on the main floor of the RLLC will resume in September, 2019.