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VP Academic Letter October 27, 2015: Home

VP Academic Letter

October 27, 2015


To:  Members of the University Community

From:  Andrew Hakin, Vice-President (Academic) & Provost

Subject:  Impending Copyright Changes


Access Copyright Licence Non-Renewal

I am writing to inform all members of the University of Lethbridge community that the University’s blanket licence from Access Copyright expires on December 31, 2015 and will not be renewed. Several considerations militate against renewal of the licence.

One is the inclusion of “education” as a new fair dealing purpose in amendments to the Copyright Act passed in 2012. Fair dealing is an example of copyright infringement exceptions, which the Supreme Court of Canada has suggested are more properly understood as users’ rights integral to the Copyright Act. Copying that is shown to be fair dealing does not require copyright owner permission or fee payment.

Another is a 2012 Supreme Court decision that ruled teachers’ copying of copyrighted works for students’ purposes of research and private study can qualify as fair dealing. The University’s Guidelines for Copying under Fair Dealing reflect an approach to educational fair dealing now followed by most Canadian public educational institutions outside of Quebec.

Licence Requirements Upon Expiry

The licence requires that, on expiry, the University “shall immediately use reasonable efforts to (i) prevent access to Digital Copies of Repertoire Works made under this agreement and stored on a Secure Network under its control, and (ii) inform all Authorized Persons [University faculty, staff and students] that the [University] no longer has a licence from Access Copyright for the use of the Repertoire Works.”

As academic staff are responsible for ensuring that all copyrighted material used for course or teaching purposes complies with relevant legislation and licensing usage terms, after the blanket licence expires, each instructor will be asked to take the following steps.

  1. Review the content of all materials uploaded to Moodle or another University of Lethbridge secure network to identify published works. Instructors do not need to be concerned about their own notes or other unpublished materials.
  2. Determine whether each published work is covered by fair dealing or a permission source (other than the Access Copyright licence) allowing its use in Moodle. The following resources can help with this determination:
    1. University of Lethbridge Guidelines for Copying under Fair Dealing
    2. University of Lethbridge Library Copyright Permissions Look-up
    3. University Copyright Advisor office: or 403-332-4472
  3. For a published work lacking a permission source other than the Access Copyright licence, it is necessary to determine whether the work is in Access Copyright’s Repertoire. The Access Copyright Title Search and Permissions Tool can help with this determination:
  4. For works appearing to be within the Repertoire that are not covered by fair dealing or an alternative permission source, from January 1, 2016 instructors will need to ensure copyright owner permission or a transactional licence is in place or be prepared to remove the works. Please contact the University Copyright Advisor office for assistance in seeking permissions or transactional licences. As obtaining permission takes time and it may not be possible to secure all needed permissions in a short timeframe, instructors may wish to explore alternative materials that are already licensed or meet the University’s fair dealing guidelines.

Copyright-Compliant Course Materials

Please keep in mind that there are a variety of ways in which copyright-compliant course readings may be distributed to students, including the following:

  • submission of a coursepack request to the Bookstore (copyright permissions are assessed by the University Copyright Advisor office)
  • placement of copies meeting the University’s fair dealing guidelines on Library Electronic Reserve or Print Reserve (copyright permissions are assessed by the University Copyright Advisor office)
  • linking to electronic resources available through the Library’s licensed databases via Moodle or Electronic Reserve (check the Library’s Copyright Permissions Look-up tool to verify permitted uses under the relevant licence)
  • use of open access materials such as those available in the Directory of Open Access Journals ( and Directory of Open Access Books (

Copyright Assistance

The University’s Copyright website contains a variety of copyright information and tools ( As well, personal assistance from the University Copyright Advisor office is available to all faculty, students and staff (e-mail:, office: 403-332-4472).

The cooperation of everyone in meeting our institutional obligations upon expiry of the Access Copyright licence is greatly appreciated. Copyright compliance is a responsibility we all share. Working together to protect owners’ rights while exercising users’ rights appropriately will make our shared task much easier.


Andrew W. Hakin
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Contact Us

University Copyright Advisor office
Phone: 403-332-4472

Rumi Graham
University Copyright Advisor
L1154, University Library

Nanda Stannard
Library Operations Specialist
L1156, University Library

Mechelle McCalla
Library Operations Specialist
L1146, University Library

Copyright Blog

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