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Copyright Guide for Students

Electronic Book and Article Use at Saint Mary's

The Patrick Power Library, individually and through consortia, has licensing agreements with publishers and vendors for access to electronic resources such as e-books, e-journals and databases. These agreements control the use of the resources and material accessed through them. "Terms of Use" can be read on each database site. Any question about the use that can be made of electronic content should be referred to the library.


E-books may be displayed and read on the computer screen. E-book software often restricts printing or downloading of E-book materials to a portion of the complete e-book. We are licensed to display e-books to class groups for teaching and study purposes (In some cases e-books may also be downloaded to a portable e-book reader for a specified period of time).

Using any means to print or download more than allowed portions of e-books is not permitted. Sequential or systematic downloading of small portions in order to download complete works is not permitted as per the license agreement.

E-book and E-journal publishers monitor all use of their licensed content by internet address. They will discontinue campus access if they see evidence of downloading of complete works. The University is obliged to take action to forestall unauthorized copying or downloading of e-books.

Electronic journal articles:

Databases permit the printing of individual journal articles for teaching, study and research. However, the systematic downloading or copying of sets of journal articles is a license violation and is not permitted.

Copyright Obligations:

License restrictions on the use of e-books and e-journal articles are in addition to the regular copyright restrictions which must be observed. Canadian copyright protections do not permit the copying of complete books or complete journal volumes. Individual articles and small portions of books may be copied for individual study and research (license permitting) under the fair dealing exception in the Copyright Act. Further details can be found on the Fair Dealing page.


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