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Copyright: The essentials

This guide provides answers to the most frequently asked questions with regard to copyright in Canada as well as the copyright compliance at McGill University and beyond.

Copyrighted readings & myCourses: General information

When preparing course readings, instructors must ensure copied materials comply with McGill’s Copyright policies and our COPIBEC licensing agreement.

If McGill Library has an electronic version (e-version) of the desired course reading, it is preferable to link to it on myCourses. First, find the Permalink for the reading, then create a link in myCourses.

If McGill does not have access to an electronic version of a course reading, our COPIBEC licensing agreement makes it possible to upload scanned readings to myCourses while respecting copyright, within the following limits, most often without any extra payment or permissions:

  • 20% of a work
  • 1 entire chapter of a book
  • 1 entire article from a journal

Instructors can use their own scan or request one from the Library's course readings service. If you need to use more than the above limits, we can seek permissions for you - just note the required pages in your Savia report (see below) or your course readings request. Note that, under our current agreement, Copibec undertake to provide permissions for 20-25% of any book in their repertoire for an additional fee (which the Copyright Office covers). For amounts in excess of 25% of the total of the book, it is up to the publisher to decide whether or not they wish to grant permissions.

To ensure compliance with the copyright law, these scanned texts must be reported using Savia online reporting system. Savia reports are used by COPIBEC for royalty distribution to copyright holders (authors, publishers, etc.) Reporting must occur BEFORE these readings are uploaded to myCourses. If you use your own scan, you may self-report using the Savia system (see instructions below); if you use the Library's course readings service, we will take care of this step for you. 

Reporting readings scanned for myCourses

To report scanned readings on Savia follow these instructions:

  1. Register for a Savia account: follow our web instructions
  2. Report scanned readings:

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