Review and Permissions

Copyright Clearance Service

The Copyright Office provides a copyright review and permissions service for course-related copying. This service applies to use and dissemination of copyright materials in print and digital format for teaching and learning. This includes all forms of copyright-protected works, such as books, movies, recorded music, art, photographs, dramatic works, etc.

As part of this service, the Copyright Office provides individual and group consultations for advice on general copying rights and freedoms, exceptions permitted for educational copying, as well as compliance with the U of A Library site licences for digital holdings, Creative Commons licenses, U of A Fair Dealing Guidelines, and other permission sources. Where no pre-authorization exists, we will contact the rightsholders to request permission. See below for information on copyright clearance and payment of clearance fees.

As several factors influence the time necessary for clearing copyright, in particular publisher response times, we recommend you submit your request well in advance of your course start date - typically 6-8 weeks in advance is sufficient. Please note that the number of requests we receive in the month immediately preceding each academic term increases significantly. While we do our best to accommodate all requests, processing time may be delayed when a high volume of requests are in progress.

Payment of Permission Fees

From time to time, it may be necessary to contact a copyright owner or their agent for permission to reproduce and distribute their work. This may be the case when a book is out-of-print, or no licence or exception authorizes copying. In those instances, the Copyright Office will contact the rightsholder on your behalf to request copyright clearance. If the copyright owner requests payment for use of their work, we will inform you of the cost in advance when the amount requested appears unusually high. Upon your authorization, we will continue with the transaction and notify you when your file is completed.

Responsibility for payment of the fees is as follows:

  • Print course-packs (sold by U of A Bookstore) - The fee is recovered in sale price of the coursepack and paid by students.
  • Digital Copies (provided via any method/platform of delivery) - Department will be billed. Payment via indent is required.

Seeking Permission

Alternatively, you may choose to contact rightsholders or their agents directly. Ensure all requests and grants of permission are made and received in writing. Provide copies of your permissions along with your Copyright Review Request Form.

  • Formulate the permission request (see sample permission letter). Include all potential uses as well as the format and medium of distribution.
  • Permission must be in writing; communication via electronic mail satisfies this requirement.
  • Pay assessed fee, if any.
  • Retain permission to verify authorization.
  • Provide a copy to our office via email or in campus mail to the address below:

Copyright Office
University of Alberta
5-07 Cameron Library
Edmonton, AB T6G 2J8

Printing and Distribution of Course Packages

Information about the printing, distribution, and sale of course packages can be found on the SUBprint website. Note that the content of all printed course packages sold to students needs to be reviewed for copyright compliance prior to production. The submission of your print order and the submission of your Copyright Review Request Form are two separate steps that take place at the same time. Please do not send your Copyright Review Request Form to the designated print service, but rather please send your Copyright Review Request Form to the Copyright Office at the same time as submitting your order for printing to the designated print service. The print service will then create a copy of your materials to send to the Copyright Office for review.

Copyright Review Request Form

The Copyright Review Request Form can be downloaded here.