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Public Library Licence Frequently Asked Questions

What is Access Copyright?
Access Copyright is a non-profit, national organization, representing tens of thousands of Canadian creators and publishers who create the textbooks, novels, poetry, plays, children’s books, artistic works and more, which Canadians reach for everyday. 

What does Access Copyright do?
For nearly 30 years, we have facilitated the remixing and sharing of content combined with an assurance that original creators and publishers also benefit, so that they can continue creating new and innovative works.

What is the Access Copyright’s Public Libraries Licence?
The Access Copyright Public Libraries Licence lets librarians and their patrons copy published works with the knowledge that original creators and publishers are also benefitting.  

What can we do under the Public Libraries Licence?
Under the Public Libraries Licence, librarians and their patrons can photocopy up to 10% of a published work or the following, whichever is greater:

  • An entire chapter which is no more than 20% of a book.
  • An entire newspaper article or a page.
  • One short story, play, poem, essay, or article from a book or periodical containing other published works.
  • One entire entry from an encyclopedia, dictionary, or reference book.

Who can copy under the licence?
Under the licence, library patrons are able to make copies on a self-serve basis. Additionally, library staff are covered for copying for administration purposes, as well as for any patron if the library does not offer self-serve copiers or for those with a physical disability.

You can send copies to patrons if they are unable to visit the library in person, or to a qualifying institution by mail, personal delivery, commercial courier or fax.

What should I do if I would like to copy in a manner not covered under our licence?
We may able to help with your request. You can request permission through our Title and Permission Lookup Tool

Does the licence offer inter-library loans?
Yes, providing it is an instance of one “qualifying institution” lending to another “qualifying institution.”

What is a qualifying institution?
A qualifying institution means a not-for-profit library, archive or museum or an educational institution as defined in Section 2 of the Copyright Act.

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