Do your course materials need a copyright review?

This page provides a 3-step summary of the factors to consider in order to determine whether or not a copyright review is required for the materials you have selected for your course. For more comprehensive information, see Course Materials and Review and Permissions.

Review These 3 Steps

Step 1

Check the extent to which the course materials you want to use are available as licensed library resources. This is most easily done through the U of A Library Reading List Service. Resources that are available for use as course materials under a library licence require no further copyright review. In addition, instructors might consider consulting with U of A Library staff regarding the online availability of course materials (including ebooks), or adopting online course materials that are available free of charge and free of legal reuse restrictions (i.e., open educational resources (OER)).

Step 2

Course materials that are not licensed library resources or free of reuse restrictions (e.g., OER), but which are to be made available to students through the LMS, should be checked against the limits of the University of Alberta Fair Dealing Guidelines. Materials that are within the limits of the Fair Dealing Guidelines and that are made available via the LMS do not require a specific copyright review, although the Copyright Office is pleased to assist with any questions about the interpretation of those guidelines.

Step 3

The following course materials require copyright review:

  1. all course materials to be distributed in print format that are reproduced from a copyright-protected source publication (these are often printed at SUBprint and distributed through the U of A Bookstore); and
  2. course materials that are to be distributed in electronic format where the intended selection is not within the University of Alberta Fair Dealing Guidelines or where there are other indicators that permission to distribute the selection is required (e.g., e-licence terms which do not allow for the proposed use).

Requesting a Copyright Review

Once you have determined that your course materials are subject to copyright review, submit a Copyright Review Request Form for those readings and related materials (a separate form for each course) to The Copyright Office will review your list and, if needed, obtain transactional licences for specific readings.

Given that there may be materials that require separate licences or permissions for the intended use, please provide as much lead-time as possible when submitting your Copyright Review Request Form (we normally recommend 6-8 weeks before the beginning of the relevant academic term).

Access to Materials

Please note that the Copyright Office does not supply digital copies of the copyright-protected material our office reviews. Scans of chapters or articles (subject to copyright limitations) held in print at the U of A Library may be available through the Library.

Materials that are subject to a licence fee, or which require Digital Rights Management (DRM) measures, can be made available to students in electronic format via the Campus eBookstore. For more information about this option, contact the Copyright Office.


For additional details or clarification around current practices, see the Use of Copyright Materials Procedure (UAPPOL), and the Course Materials Copyright Information Document.

Consult the Course Materials page for additional information about using copyright-protected materials for instructional purposes.


If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact Copyright Office staff at