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Prepare now for copyright changes

What instructors and students need to know

June 16, 2015 — 

Following similar decisions by other Canadian U15 universities in the past number of years, the University of Manitoba has chosen not to renew its licence with Access Copyright. Instead, it will coordinate all copied materials under its Fair Dealing Guidelines, which are being developed at the U of M in accordance with current Canadian copyright laws.

In the past, most universities and colleges in English Canada have had agreements with Access Copyright, a copyright collective, in order to facilitate the copying of copyrighted works by the university and its staff. This relationship presented a convenient way for universities to negotiate with one entity for a majority of publication copyright needs. However, as fees have risen in spite of expanding exemptions for educational institutions and growth in licensing of electronic resources, the U of M has, alongside other U15 universities, taken a new course of action that reflects Canada’s shifting copyright landscape.

Implications for course materials

By January 1, 2016, faculty members and instructors are expected to have all content they upload to a learning management system, such as UM Learn, be copyright-compliant. Any chosen course materials will need to be evaluated by instructors to see whether these fall under our Fair Dealing Guidelines, individual licences, or if other avenues of clearance need to be pursued.

The key to success will be preparation: the further in advance course packs are prepared, the better. Faculty members and instructors can also consider alternatives to course packs in order to assist in ensuring that all courses remain copyright-compliant, such as:

  • Consider adopting a textbook
  • Place materials on reserve at U of M Libraries
  • Use electronic resources accessible through the existing licences managed by U of M Libraries. Contact liaison librarian Sarah Clark ( for more information
  • Provide students with links to web-based sources

How can you be copyright compliant?

Other helpful resources:

  • The U of M Bookstore will continue to provide copyright clearance for resale purposes (including course packs).
  • The copyright office will offer ongoing support to anyone on campus who requires it, including assistance with clearance, one-on-one or group copyright training or information sessions
  • For more information, contact the copyright office at or the copyright strategy manager at


If your own original content will be made publicly available on a University website (such as MSpace or a departmental page), you must ensure the content does not have copyright issues.

Copyright information sessions for graduate students are offered every fall and spring. See GradSteps for dates and registration details. For more graduate student resources, see the “Graduate Students” information tab on the Copyright Office website.

For any U of M student wanting copyright guidance on University-related matters, contact or call 204-474-8644.


Visit the copyright office website details about the ongoing plan during this transition and for more details about additional supports.

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