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Copyright Guide for Faculty and Staff

Course Pack Ordering & Guidelines

Faculty are encouraged to submit their course pack request to the Bookstore and Print Center as early as possible. The Print Center and the library will then work together to ensure copyright compliance.

Some course packs require transactional licenses be sought before they can be produced. On average, a course pack will take 5 weeks to prepare; however, some rights holders may take several weeks to process a transactional license. Please submit your requests as soon as possible to avoid any delays in production.

Once the course pack has been evaluated and any necessary permissions obtained the course pack will be produced and will be available for students to pick up, as per normal, at the University bookstore.

Alternatives to Course Packs

There are a number of alternatives to course packs that can allow you to provide your students with access to content in a timely and cost effective manner. We would be happy to discuss how to make the best use of our licensed resources, and can provide other options for access to the content you want to share. Please contact the Copyright Office, or learn more about our syllabus service.

If the content you would like to provide to your students is unavailable for reproduction in a course pack for any reason (licensing restrictions for example.) please contact the library to explore further options for providing the content. Brightspace or Library reserves may provide you with an alternative method that will enable you to share the desired content.

Course Pack FAQ

  • Do I need to obtain permission to use copyright material in my course packs?

Under fair dealing, short excerpts of copyright-protected material may be included in course packs without permission. See the Fair Dealing guidelines for details. In addition, some material covered by licences that the Library has for electronic resources may be included in course packs.

Any materials that you would like to include in course pack are assessed by the library staff for copyright clearance requirements. Providing details such as book/journal title, author name, ISBN/ISSN number, page range and total number of pages in a book will help to confirm permission more quickly. If you have any questions about copyright materials you would like to include, email the library.

  • If I have permission to put material in Brightspace, does this mean I can also put it in a course pack?

If the copy posted to Brightspace is covered by fair dealing, it is likely that the copy can be included in courseware without permission. If however the copy posted to Brightspace is permitted under a license agreement between SMU and the publisher, it is necessary to consult the license agreement to determine whether a copy may also be included in courseware. Some copyright holders will grant users permission to put information on password-secured websites, like Brightspace, but not to put the information in print format. The library can help you determine if extra permission is needed to use the content in a course pack.

  • Why is there sometimes a fee for copyright materials in a course pack?

Copyright holders and creators of works have the right to charge a fee for the use of their materials unless the use is otherwise covered by fair dealing, another exception, or a Library license. These fees vary, usually based on the number of pages or excerpts copied and the number of copies made. The library can help you determine if any sort of fee would apply.

  • What if I have a question about using a work in a course pack?

You can ask the library.

Adapted from Waterloo Copyright FAQ by University of Waterloo licenced under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International


Please note: This guide does not provide legal advice. It is intended to give guidance about acceptable use of copyright protected materials.