Photocopying Guidelines

Photocopying Guidelines

NOTE: These guidelines pertain to printed and electronic works as directed by the Supreme Court of Canada's rulings which have placed greater importance on technological neutrality.

Copyright applies to all original works. "Copyright" literally means the right to copy, but is commonly interpreted to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work. Under the Copyright Act of Canada, the owner of copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce all or a substantial part of a work. Individuals are prohibited from making copies of all or substantial parts of copyright protected works without the consent of the copyright owner. For this reason, someone who copies such works without the permission of the copyright owner may be in violation of the Copyright Act.

Please note that Dalhousie University is not responsible for acts that violate copyright committed by an individual using a photocopy machine or scanner installed on the premises of the university.

The Fair Dealing provision described in section 29 of the Copyright Act is an exception to the rule. Copying done within the limits of fair dealing is not an infringement of copyright. Fair dealing describes copying done for the purpose of research, private study, education, satire or parody.

Under the Fair Dealing guidelines, faculty and staff of the university are entitled to copy the following for the above purposes:

1. Subject to section 2 below, up to 10 per cent of a Published Work , or one of the following:

a.) an entire chapter from a book provided;
b.) an entire article from a periodical publication;
c.) an entire short story, play, poem or essay from a book or periodical publication;
d.) an entire entry from an encyclopedia, dictionary, annotated bibliography or similar reference book;
e.) an entire reproduction of an artistic work from a book or periodical publication; and
f.) a single musical score from a book or periodical publication.

2. No copies may be made of the following:

a.) any of the works referred to in paragraphs 1(b) to 2(f) of these guidelines where the publication containing the work does not contain other works. For example, no copy may be made of a play from a publication containing the play but no other work;
b.) unpublished works;
c.) proprietary workbooks, work cards, assignment sheets, tests and examination papers:
d.) instruction manuals;
e.) newsletters with limited circulation intended to be restricted to a fee-paying clientele; or
f.) business cases which are made available for purchase.

Please note that in certain circumstances, copies may be made of unpublished works. Copies may also be made that exceed the Fair Dealing limitations described in these guidelines without the consent of the copyright owner. Requests for making such copies should be directed to for evaluation. The Copyright Office will determine if the proposed copying is permissible. It is possible that the request may be refused.

Questions or comments?

We'd be happy to help out. Please send us your copyright questions and comments.

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