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Fair Copying Guidelines


Copying (e.g., photocopying or scanning) of any works can be carried out under any one of the following circumstances:

  1. The work is in the public domain. 
  2. Copying is explicitly allowed by the rights holder through a Creative Commons or Open Access license or similar statement.
  3. The work is appropriately licensed by the Library (see below under Online materials).
  4. The person making the copies has secured the permission of the rights holder, usually the author and/or the publisher.
  5. The copying falls under the educational exceptions or fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

Print materials (that fall outside categories 1-4 above)

You may copy:

  1. One entire short story, play, poem, or essay from a book containing such works
  2. An entire newspaper article or page
  3. One article per journal issue
  4. One chapter of a book, but only up to a maximum of 10% of the total pages of the book

If you would like to copy more than one chapter of a book, contact Sandy Ayer to see if the library might be able to purchase an e-book version licensed for unlimited simultaneous users.

Online materials that the Ambrose Library licenses

  1. Create a persistent link to the article on the Moodle site for your course
  2. Please contact Sandy Ayer to determine whether the Library's license for a particular database allows for posting copies of articles on Moodle.
  3. If linking is not possible, and Ambrose does not have a license to post PDFs, faculty members may make electronic copies to post to Moodle, but they must respect the principles of fair dealing.

Materials that you mostly made yourself but that include some third party material (like a PowerPoint you made that includes images you got from elsewhere)

  1. You must credit the source for each third party item used within the document
  2. Keeping to the amount guidelines for print materials (see above) is likely to be fair for images that come from a larger work (e.g., a single picture or illustration from a book)
  3. Otherwise, you need to determine that your use is covered by fair dealing or else obtain permission from the copyright holder. See UBC's recommendations for some minimum limitations and more information.

Materials you found on public websites

Content on websites can be displayed in class or linked to through Moodle, unless there is a statement on the site expressly forbidding such use.

Other situations

Follow the guidelines offered by these links

Or do your own fair dealing analysis using University of Waterloo’s Fair Dealing Flowchart.