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FAQs for Elementary and Secondary Schools

Download our FAQs for elementary and secondary schools

These FAQs are for the proposed Access Copyright Elementary and Secondary School Tariffs, 2010-2012 and 2013-2015 for every elementary and secondary school outside Quebec.

Under the proposed tariffs, educators can:

  • Photocopy, fax, scan and save relevant content for their students.
  • Make slides, overheads and LCD projections to enhance the classroom experience.
  • Post scanned materials to a secure network.
  • Copy consumables and worksheets.
  • Copy portions of sheet music.
  • Copy portions of other copyright protected works onto a USB stick or other device.

Please click on any of the questions in the below FAQ to get more information.

    Questions about your invoice?

    Click here for Invoice FAQs - Elementary and Secondary Schools.

    Please click on any of the questions in the below FAQ to get more information.

    Audio-visual materials

    May I show a movie in my classroom?

    Showing a movie in class falls outside the scope of the tariffs. Please contact your school librarian or the following agencies for more information on this issue: Audio Ciné Films (1-800-289-8887) and Visual Education Centre/Criterion (1-800-668-0749).

    Back-up and replacement copies

    Some of my students have not purchased the workbook required for the course. May I make copies of the pages we will be using today?

    Yes, workbooks may be copied within the terms of the tariffs.

    Certain kinds of publications are fragile: Can we make copies to preserve fragile works that our school owns?

    No, this use is not covered by the tariffs. However, certain exceptions under the Copyright Act may permit this use. Please consult the Copyright Act for more information.  

    Binding

    It is the beginning of term, and I have decided on a selection of supplementary readings for my class. I would like to compile and assemble the copies (and possibly have them bound to protect and organize the copies before I hand them out). May I do this under the tariffs?

    As of January 1, 2010, the Access Copyright Elementary and Secondary School Tariff, 2010-2012 permits you to assemble a set of copies totaling fewer than 20 pages and coming from fewer than four sources. Assembly beyond these limits constitutes the creation of a course pack, which is not permitted by the tariffs.

    You may create student course packs by purchasing a separate transactional (pay-per-use) licence from Access Copyright. Please contact us at permissions@accesscopyright.ca for further details.

    Brochures, leaflets & pamphlets

    Do the tariffs permit me to photocopy public service brochures?

    Yes, public service brochures may be copied within the terms of the tariffs.  Please note that if the public service brochure is published by a government, it is excluded from the tariffs.

    Cartoons

    I would like to copy a few cartoons from a book of cartoons. May I do so under my school's tariffs?

    Yes, cartoons may be copied within the terms of the tariffs. Please remember to check whether the publication containing the cartoon is not on the Exclusions List. No alterations of the cartoon may be made.

    Circulating materials

    I have a book of blackline masters that I would like to (1) copy and (2) put in the school library for circulation and copying by other teachers. May I do so?

    Blackline masters may be copied within the terms of the tariffs. However, please check the copyright page of the book of blackline masters to determine whether the publisher has granted permission for copying by other teachers, or whether permission is restricted to a single classroom.

    CD-ROM

    May I make printouts from a CD-ROM for my students under the tariffs?

    CD-ROMs sometimes come with their own licence. To determine whether you can make a print-out from a particular CD-ROM under the tariffs, please contact us at permissions@accesscopyright.ca.

    Copying more than 10%

    I am an elementary teacher and want to copy a different illustration from the same book for each student. Can I do this under the tariffs?

    Under the tariffs, a teacher may copy up to 10% of a book for one course of study or program in one school year. For example, if your class has 20 students, the book would need to be 200 pages or more in order for you to do the copying you wish to do while respecting the tariffs' copying limits.

    Copyright notices

    I would like to copy an article from a magazine, but the magazine’s masthead states clearly that permission must be obtained from the publisher. May I go ahead and copy under the tariffs, which say they cover magazines?

    Yes, you may copy the article within the terms of the tariffs, provided the magazine is not on the Exclusions List. Some books and magazines may have a notice that expressly prohibits anyone from copying it even under a tariff or collective licence. For those few publications, you must obtain permission directly from the copyright owner.  

    Cumulative copying

    Last year, I gave my grade 11 English class copies of a short story. I am teaching grade 11 English again this year, and would like to copy a different short story from the same book. Will the tariffs allow me to do this?

    Yes, the tariffs allow you to do this because the tariffs' copying limits are determined by one course in one academic semester or year. If you are copying a short story from the same book for a different class or in a subsequent academic year, the cumulative restriction does not apply. What the tariffs do not authorize is making copies of stories from the same book if they total more than 10% of the book, for use in one course in one academic semester or year. This restriction also applies to copying of works for teaching or library files. You may not copy an entire book over time for retention.

    Curriculum copying

    My teachers have created a curriculum document. We would like to sell it but only on a cost recovery basis. May we do this under the tariffs?

    Yes. Under the tariffs, cost recovery includes only the direct costs of producing and distributing the document: paper, use of the copier and labour costs associated with making the document, copyright royalties and distribution of copies (postage).

    Foreign publications

    Do the tariffs cover materials published outside Canada?

    Yes. The list of countries with which Access Copyright has reciprocal agreements is found here. The tariffs permit you to copy from works published in the countries listed, within the terms of the tariffs. Please remember to check whether the work is on the Exclusions List.

    I want to copy from a work published in a country not covered by the tariffs. Can Access Copyright clear permission for me?

    We will try to obtain permission for your request. However, since the work is published in a country that Access Copyright does not have a reciprocal agreement with, a six to eight week lead time may be required, and there is a chance that permission may be withheld. The permission may be subject to additional royalty payments set by the copyright owner or Access Copyright.  

    Government publications

    I would like to reproduce material from Statistics Canada. May I do so under the tariffs?

    No, copying from Crown Works is not covered by the tariffs. Federal government publications such as those published by Statistics Canada are protected by Crown Copyright and permission to make copies must be obtained from Public Works and Government Services (visit www.canada.gc.ca).

    Internet and electronic bulletin boards

    I would like to post copyright protected material on our school board's electronic bulletin board. This information would then be transmitted electronically to our schools for teachers to browse and, if they wish, print. Do the tariffs include permission to do this?

    Provided that the copyright protected materials are only accessible by authorized persons (such as teachers) by Secure Authentication (such as by using a password), the tariffs may authorize this use. Please use the Look-Up Tool on our website or contact us at permissions@accesscopyright.ca to determine whether a particular digital use or work is covered. Posting copyright protected material on publicly accessible networks is prohibited by the tariffs.

    Do the tariffs extend to copyright protected material downloaded from the Internet?

    The tariffs may authorize this use. Please use the Look-Up Tool found on our website or contact us at permissions@accesscopyright.ca to determine whether a particular digital use or work may be copied within the terms of the tariffs.

    Libraries

    Our library has misplaced a copy of an out-of-print work. We have been unable to purchase a replacement copy. May we copy the one we have on loan from another school library?

    No, the tariffs do not allow this use. A separate transactional (pay-per-use) licence for this use may be available from Access Copyright. Please contact us at permissions@accesscopyright.ca. There are some exceptions under the Copyright Act that may permit reproduction for this purpose. Please consult the Copyright Act for more information.  

    Location of copying

    I need to photocopy material on a colour copier and have to go to a copy shop. Do the tariffs only cover copying done on school premises?

    The tariffs define copying by purpose rather than location. The tariffs grant permission to copy for any purpose falling properly within the educational mandate of a school so you may make copies at a copyshop. If the copyshop staff has any questions, please refer them to Access Copyright's licensing staff.

    Missing pages

    One of our novels for class use is missing pages. May I copy the pages and tape them in the book?

    Yes, you may copy the pages within the terms of the tariffs.

    Music

    Do the tariffs cover the copying of sheet music?

    Yes, the tariffs cover the copying of sheet music, including choral works, orchestral works and other commercially available sheet music. There are certain conditions attached to copying sheet music.

    For choral music, you can make one copy per student as long as your school has purchased enough original copies for 75% of the largest group of students performing that piece.

    For orchestral works, you can make one copy of any instrumental part per student as long as your school has purchased enough original copies for 50% of the largest group of students performing that piece.

    For other commercially available sheet music, you can make one copy per student as long as your school has purchased enough original copies for 75% of the largest group of students performing that piece.

    May I copy song lyrics that appear in a poetry anthology?

    Song lyrics that appear in a poetry anthology have been reprinted as poetry and may be copied within the terms of the tariffs.  

    May I copy nursery rhymes from a poetry anthology?

    Yes, provided the nursery rhymes comprise no more than 10% of the entire anthology.  

    I would like to copy a page of music that appears in a regular book. It is not a music book. May I do so?

    Yes, within the terms of the tariffs. Under the tariffs, you may copy up to 10% of a book.  

    May I hand copy or re-type lyrics from sheet music and put them on an overhead?

    Yes, the tariffs include copying for presentations, with certain conditions.  

    Our school is more interested in religious music such as hymnals. Can Access Copyright grant permission to make copies of this type of music?

    We currently do not represent any religious music publishers. If your school needs to copy this type of music, you should contact either of the following agencies:  

    Christian Copyright Licensing International
    17201 N.E. Sacramento St.
    Portland, Oregon 97230
    tel: 800-234-2446
    fax: 503-257-2244
    www.ccli.com

    New Dawn Music
    P.O. Box 13248
    Portland, Oregon 97213-0248
    tel: 1-800-243-3296

    In some cases, composers or publishers are not represented by these agencies, which would mean you would have to contact the copyright owner directly for permission.  

    Our music program requires a large number of original copies of sheet music. Because it is common for the music to become lost or damaged, I would like to make one copy of each original and keep it on file, just in case. Is this acceptable practice?

    Yes, the tariffs cover the copying of sheet music, including choral works, orchestral works and other commercially available sheet music. There are certain conditions attached to copying sheet music.

    For choral music, you can make one copy per student as long as your school has purchased enough original copies for 75% of the largest group of students performing that piece.

    For orchestral works, you can make one copy of any instrumental part per student as long as your school has purchased enough original copies for 50% of the largest group of students performing that piece.

    For other commercially available sheet music, you can make one copy per student as long as your school has purchased enough original copies for 75% of the largest group of students performing that piece.  

    Does our school require a licence to play music?

    Performing or playing music falls outside the scope of the tariffs. Please contact your school board or the following agency for more information on this issue:  SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada), 416-445-8700.

    Newsletters

    Do the tariffs allow schools and school boards to include copies of published works in their mailings? What about including extracts in newsletters?

    Yes, the tariffs include permission to copy for administrative purposes, including communication to parents and the community, within the terms of the tariffs.

    Newspapers and magazines

    Are newspapers protected by copyright?

    Yes, newspapers and the individual articles in them are protected by copyright. Permission to copy from newspapers is included in the tariffs.  

    Off-air taping

    I would like to tape some programs off the television to show in class. Would this be a problem?

    This falls outside the scope of the tariffs. Please contact your school board or the following agency for more information on this issue: Educational Rights Collective of Canada (ERCC).

    Out-of-print texts

    May a teacher copy pages from an out-of-print book? How do we find out if it is indeed out-of-print?

    It does not matter if the book is in or out-of-print. You may copy the pages within the terms of the tariffs. 

    If you want to copy an out-of-print book in its entirety, please contact us. We will determine whether the book is out-of-print and if original copies or other editions are available for purchase. If the title is out-of-print in all editions, we may be able to issue a transactional (pay-per-use) licence. Please contact us at permissions@accesscopyright.ca for further details.

    Public domain

    What is the public domain?

    The public domain includes all works that are not protected by copyright. Generally, works enter the public domain when copyright expires. The term of copyright in Canada is usually life of the author plus 50 years for literary works. Works can also enter the public domain when the creator surrenders all rights in the work to the public domain. When something is in the public domain it can be copied or used in any way without asking for permission.  

    Sale of copies

    Do the tariffs allow me to sell copies?

    Under the tariffs, you may only sell copies on a cost-recovery basis, which means the direct costs of producing and distributing the document: paper, use of the copier and labour costs associated with making the document, copyright royalties and distribution of copies (postage).

    Scanning materials

    May I scan material into my computer to make print outs or post on our school network under the tariffs?

    Yes, within the terms of the tariffs. Scanning and posting to a secure network (i.e. accessible only by password and not publicly accessible) is permitted under the tariffs.

    School boards and ministries of education

    I work at a school board and would like to make multiple copies of an article for distribution to all board teachers. May I do so under the tariffs?

    Yes, the tariffs allow production of as many copies as required for administrative purposes required by the educational mandate of the board, within the terms of the tariffs. This would include circulation of information to teachers.

    I work at a Ministry of Education and would like to make copies of an article for inclusion in a curriculum document for distribution to all school boards and teachers. May I do so under the tariffs?

    Ministries of Education are not covered by the tariffs for this purpose. Under the tariffs, Ministries of Education may only copy for the purpose of tests, examinations and distance education materials.  

    Shared resources and copying by more than one teacher

    I have co-purchased a book with another teacher, and we would each like to copy a few pages for our classes. May we both copy from the book?

    The tariffs do not regulate resource sharing by individual teachers. They do limit the quantity and proportion of copying, but the limits apply to teachers and courses individually. This is because the tariffs are intended to ensure that copies supplement but do not replace the use of primary resources in the classroom.

    Student copying

    Do the tariffs cover student copying?

    Yes, within the terms of the tariffs. The copying must be in support of your school's educational mandate.  

    Student coursepacks

    I would like to compile copies of published and teacher-generated material into a binder for distribution to my students. May I do this?

    The tariffs do not restrict what you can do with materials that you create, such as teacher-generated content.

    As of January 1, 2010, the Access Copyright Elementary and Secondary School Tariff, 2010-2012 permits you to assemble a set of copies totaling fewer than 20 pages and coming from fewer than four sources. Assembly beyond these limits constitutes the creation of a course pack, which is not permitted by the tariffs.

    You may create student course packs by purchasing a separate transactional (pay-per-use) licence from Access Copyright. Please contact us at permissions@accesscopyright.ca for further details.

    Teacher federations

    Is the copying I do for my teachers' federation covered by the tariffs?

    No, the tariffs are restricted to work connected directly with carrying out the mandate of your educational institution and do not include copying done for other organizations, such as your teachers' federation.  

    Teacher-produced materials

    I have composed my own, wholly original materials for my class. Is copying of these materials restricted through the tariffs?

    No, the tariffs do not restrict what you can do with the materials you create.  

    Vision and cognitively impaired students

    I have a student who has a learning disability. He is unable to hold a book or turn the pages. He can however, manipulate text if it's on a computer. May I put the book on computer disk for the student to read?

    This use is not covered by the tariffs. However, the Copyright Act permits you, at the request of the student with perceptual disabilities, to make a copy in certain formats for the student's benefit with certain limitations. For information about provisions of the Copyright Act that cover making alternate format for persons with perceptual disabilities, please contact your school board.

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