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What Can I Copy/Include...?

Can I copy portions of published works to use as class handouts? 

YES: a single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work may be provided or communicated to each student enrolled in a a class or course at KPU as a class handout. To see the definition of a 'short except' click on the 'Fair Dealing'  tab

If the source is:

A print item or e-book: copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright holder provided that the amount copied falls within the parameters of fair dealing. You are permitted to copy or adapt all or part of a work that has expired into the public domain. If the item has a Creative Commons license then you can do with it what the license allows.

The Internet: copying is permitted unless the site is protected by a digital lock (i.e. a password) or there is a clearly visible notice denying reproduction for educational purposes. The source must be cited. Do not copy works that you suspect have been posted online without the consent of the copyright holder.

A Library database: use of licensed materials is governed by contractual agreement. Check the library site for terms of use before copying.

Class handouts can also be emailed to students.

Under Fair Dealing, a single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work may be provided or communicated to each student enrolled in a class or course at KPU as a posting to a learning or course management system that is password protected or otherwise restricted to, and accessible only by, students in the specific course, unit or program, such as your Moodle site.

To see the definition of a 'short except' click here.

Can I scan a print article or chapter from a book to a PDF and post to my course website?

As long as you adhere to the amounts that may be copied under Fair Dealing you may scan and post it on your course website.

It is important to note that Fair Dealing does not allow you to scan material and add it to a website unless that website is password protected and restricted to students enrolled in your course. If you want to scan a copyright protected work for inclusion on an open website, you will need to obtain permission from the copyright owner or use materials with an Open licence.

If you do post copyrighted material, copied under fair dealing limits, it is good practice to include a clearly visible notice on all materials you post that states:

This item has been copied under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act

What About Library Licensed Databases?

Use of licensed materials is governed by contractual agreement. Check the Library site for terms of use before copying.

Best Practice:

  • make links to content rather than uploading. See the 'Articles in Research Databases' tab.

What About Images?

Permitted uses of images include: 

  • Posting to your course management system (proper attribution required) and some restrictions apply.

Non Permitted Uses:

  • Posting to a public website

Click on the 'Images' tab for more information.

What About YouTube or Streamed Video?

Instructions for linking to subscription streamed videos, such as from "Films on Demand" or "National Film Board" can be found on the Library Resources for Remote Delivery subject guide from the Library website.

Free online video sites (including YouTube) can be embedded in your course website. The videos must have been legitimately posted; the site must not contain an explicitly worded prohibition against copying and there must be no digital lock on the work.

For more information click on the 'Audiovisual Resources' tab.

What About Material From the Internet?

Reposting a work from the Internet to a password protected course website is permissible, as long as you follow the following rules (which are derived from section 30.04 of the Copyright Act):

  • the material is publicly available through the Internet
  • you did not break or circumvent a digital lock (e.g. a password)  to access or obtain a copy of the work
  • there is no clear and visible notice on the website or on the material itself that prohibits the use or reproduction of the material (the notice has to be more than just a copyright symbol)
  • you do not suspect that the material was posted without the consent of the owner of the material (e.g. the website is generally reputable and the person who posted the material appears to have a connection with the content

What is a digital lock?

A digital lock means any effective technology, device or component that, in the ordinary course of its operation, controls access to a work, a performer's performance fixed in a sound recording or a sound recording, and whose use is authorized by the copyright owner.

Can I link to a freely available internet resources on my course website?

Generally Yes. Making a link does not constitute making or distributing a copy and is permissible unless a site expressly prohibits such linking. You should not link to a resource that you know, or suspect, is not legally posted.

Best Practices

  • Make links to content rather than uploading.
  • It is good academic practice to cite your sources.   

Course Manuals are custom packages of materials collected for a course. They can be used to supplement or replace a textbook. All assembling and printing of course manuals is handled through the Bookstore. For more information on course packs contact the text office of the Bookstore at or call 604 599-2492.

It is the responsibility of the faculty member who submits material for inclusion in a course pack to ensure that they are copyright compliant. The following information provides some guidelines. If unsure please do not hesitate to contact the Library Copyright Librarian at for assistance.

Including Copyright Protected Material in a Course Pack

Follow the Fair Dealing and Copying Guidelines (see the various links on the Copyright Guide) to determine if copyright protected works can be included in your course manual.

Copying outside of the Fair Dealing guidelines or without a license, and Open license, or permission may result in personal liability for copyright infringement and/or copyright infringement claims against the University.

If you are unsure? There is always an option to request permission from the copyright holder if you are unsure if you can copy for inclusion in a course manual or if the material falls outside the parameters of Fair Dealing. See the box below for tips on obtaining permission.

Best Practices:

  • Submit the articles or book chapter as a PDF from the original; do not reformat or repackage.
  • Include a full citation to the item.
  • Rather than scanning and including the PDF, consider including a link to the item. Making a link is not considering copying so you avoid the copyright restrictions.

Consider alternatives. For example:

  • If the poem is from a website that does not allow copying, you may be able to find a copy of that same poem in a collection of poems in print format---this would be allowed under Fair Dealing.
  • If the article is from a research database that does not allow inclusion in a course pack, this same article might also be found in a research database that does allow course pack inclusion. The same journal can often be found in more than one database.
  • Consider using Open materials in your course. For more information see the Library OER guide.
  • Ask your liaison librarian for help in finding alternatives


What Can I Include In My Course Manual?

If the source is a print item

Copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright holder provided that the amount copied falls within the parameters of Fair Dealing.

You are permitted to copy or adapt all or part of a work that has expired into the public domain.

If the source is from Library Licensed Databases:

Use of licensed material is governed by contractual agreement. 

You can reproduce content from a licensed KPU database ONLY IF our license allows copying for course packs. Check the “Terms of Use” for an online journal or research database on the Library website. 

This is a two step process:

  1. First, you have to identify if the journal is part of a larger package (most are).
  1. From the library homepage, click on the “Journal Titles” tab above the main search bar. Then search for the name of the journal. For example, Canadian Journal of Criminology.

You’ll get a result screen that looks like this:



  1. The names of the bundles the journal is included in are in red. Locate the bundle that has the corresponding dates of access for the article you want. For example, an article from 2017 would be included in Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text.


  1. Now, you have to look up the permissions allowed for that bundle. 
    1. To do this, go back to the library home page and click on the Research Databases tab above the main search bar. Search for the name of the bundle – Criminal Justice Abstracts. You’ll get a result that looks like this:


  1. Click on “permitted uses for this database” to see what’s allowed. In this case, course packs are not permitted:

Most of our journals are from large bundles, which you can look up using the Research Databases search. However, we have some titles to which we subscribe individually. In these cases, you won’t find the bundle when you search for the name in the Research Databases search. To find out the licensing terms for those titles, please contact your librarian.

Note: each database has its own terms of use so it is possible that if one database does not allow inclusion in course packs, another one might---ask your librarian for help.

If the license agreements do not permit copying for course packs, you can still post a persistent link on your course website.

If the source is publicly available material from the Internet:

Copying is permitted unless:

  • the site is protected by a digital lock (eg. a password)
  • there is a clearly visible notice denying reproduction for educational purposes. This notice can often be found by looking at the Copyright, Permissions or Terms of Use links generally found at the bottom of the website.
  • you suspect the work has been posted online without the consent of the copyright holder. There may not be a notice prohibiting use but, in a surprisingly large number of cases, the website did not have permission to post in the first place. If the website does not hold the copyright, permission is required to post on a publicly accessible website.

When using works from the Internet the source must be cited. (URL and author/creator if available)

Remember: the assumption that works from the Internet can be used freely is a false assumption. If the terms and conditions do not permit copying or reuse, you may want to consider just including a link to the website.

The above information relates to publicly available material on the Internet. If you wish to use items that you found through a personal subscription you need to check the terms and conditions as generally use will be restricted to your personal use only.