Copyright @ UNB

The Federal Court of Canada issued its decision in the litigation between Access Copyright and York University. The text of the decision is available online. UNB along with most institutions across the country are currently reviewing this decision to determine what impact it might have on our established Copyright policies and procedures.

UNB Libraries have been charged with supporting the university community to work within the limits of the Canadian Copyright Act. While UNB Libraries continue to facilitate copyright compliance on campus, it is the responsibility of all faculty and staff members to ensure that any distribution of copied materials follows the rules set out by the law.

The copying and distributing of published, copyrighted materials is permitted under certain circumstances. The concepts of fair dealing and educational exceptions in the Canadian Copyright Act or the licences for UNB Libraries' electronic resources provide the legal framework for copying for educational uses.

Before copying, ask yourself the following questions:

Does the copying fall within one of the eight specified purposes of the Fair Dealing Exemption? These are research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire, and parody.

Proceed to the next step.

Obtain copyright permission/clearance or contact or call us at 447-3378.

Is the material I am copying more than a “short excerpt”?

Within the limits of fair dealing, instructors and faculty can provide short excerpts of copyrighted content to students via handout, e-mail communication, D2L, lecture presentation, and classroom display.

Use the definition of short excerpt to gauge the length of your copied material or allow the Course Reserves staff to make this determination. You can distribute a short excerpt of a copyrighted work to your students in whatever format you see fit.

If the material exceeds the definition of a short excerpt, contact Course Reserves. The Course Reserves staff will assess the material, request copyright clearance if it is needed, and render the material available to your students.

Is the material I am copying owned/licenced by the UNB Libraries or from my personal, legally obtained, collection?

Classroom use of electronic resources (e-books or e-journals) licenced by UNB Libraries is generally permitted within the terms of the licence. If in doubt, check with Course Reserves staff whether your use of the material complies with the licence. Course Reserves staff can include a durable link to the resource among the reserves for your course or you can post a durable link to the resource for your students in D2L.

If the material is a print resource from the library’s collection or your own legitimate copy (not a publisher's sample copy), follow fair dealing guidelines and copy no more than a short excerpt.

If the material needed is not in your own or UNB Libraries' collection, contact Course Reserves. The Course Reserves staff will order the item(s), request copyright clearance if it is needed, and render the material available to your students.

To learn more about copyright in research and education please consult the UNB Copyright Policy, the Universities Canada Fair Dealing Guidelines and UNB Libraries' Role.


What is the difference between uploading content to D2L or UNB Libraries' Course Reserves?
Both systems effectively deliver course content to your students, however, D2L is best suited for delivering materials that are the intellectual property of the instructor, UNB Libraries' licenced electronic resources or content that is feely available from the web. When uploading materials to D2L, you are responsible for ensuring that any copied content meets the limits of fair dealing, respects the terms of digital licences, and is removed at the end of term. A major advantage of using the UNB Libraries' Course Reserves system is that reserves staff handle all copyright concerns related to your course materials. Also, if any of the materials exceed the parameters of fair dealing or library licences, reserves staff secure the necessary permissions for class distribution.
Can I provide photocopies of copyrighted material for my entire class?
Yes. The Supreme Court of Canada has allowed instructors or someone acting on their behalf to provide a copy of a published work according to the rules of fair dealing to students for educational purposes. If there is any question whether the copy is fair, contact UNB Libraries for assistance at
Can I make copies from workbooks for students?
No. Material such as workbooks or business case studies are considered consumables and may not be reproduced under any circumstance without the copyright owner's permission.
Can I place materials on Library Course Reserve for students?
Yes, any original material (e.g. book or journal issue) can be placed on Course Reserve. Placing copies of readings on Course Reserve must either meet the limits of fair dealing described above or, in the case of electronic resources, fall within the terms of UNB Libraries' licences. If the course material exceeds the parameters of fair dealing or library licences, the Course Reserves staff will secure the necessary permissions for class distribution. Please submit your reading list or syllabus to your Liaison Librarian or the Course Reserves staff.