School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Copyright Issues for Information Professionals

SLIS Course Outline – One Credit Course Held October 2014.

Instructor: Samuel Trosow

Course Description: This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the fundamentals of Canadian copyright law particularly as it applies in libraries and educational settings. The course will consider the historical and present context for the development of copyright policy as well as its broader societal implications.

Learning Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: 

 Analyze the philosophical, historical and economic underpinnings of copyright policy and be able to apply these concepts to emerging policy issues.

 Understand the Canadian Copyright Act, particularly as it relates to the work of information professionals in libraries, archives and educational settings.

 Identify and assess recent legislative amendments to the Act and selected judicial interpretations.

 Identify the key similarities and differences between Canadian and U.S. copyright law

 Assess and critically evaluate the copyright advocacy and policy work within the library and educational communities.  

 Understand the interrelationships between license agreements and copyright law including collective licenses and individual vendor agreements. 

 Appreciate the broader societal implications of copyright in the digital environment including its relationship with other areas of information policy

 Communicate effectively policy positions on copyright  through written and other means.

Classroom lectures and class discussion. 

Course Relationships:


80% reflective essay: You will be asked to write an essay of approximately 10. Further details including due date (in November) will be provided at the last session

10% Case report: Each student will be assigned a case to review and report on.  Further details will be provided at the first class session. The report (app 1 to 2 pages) will be due at the second session

10% Article report: Each student will be assigned an article to review and report on.  Further details will be provided at the first class session. The report (app 1 to 2 pages) will be due at the second session.   



 Laura Murray and Samuel Trosow, Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide, (2nd ed. Between the Lines, Toronto, 2013).

 CCH v Law Society of Upper Canada (2004 SCC 13)

 Alberta (Education) v Access Copyright (2012 SCC 37)

 Additional readings tba 


Additional Resources:

 The Canadian Copyright Act is available online at and

 Canadian case law is available via at

 Key websites/blogs dealing with Canadian Copyright issues include , excesscopyright (Howard Knopf)Fair Dealing in Education (Lisa Di Valentino)fairduty (Meera Nair) , and

\ Michael Geist has edited several collections of essays on Canadian Copyright issues, the latest is The Copyright Pentalogy:  How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law (2013, UOttawa Press, available online at


Inclusive Language & Equity:  The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of equality and respect for all people within the university community, and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender,  racial background, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds.  Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and  Disability Services.

Academic Integrity:  The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of  academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar  with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly  urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour and  avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of  cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation  in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Recording is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part an approved accommodation plan. Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.