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Copyright: a new policy for a new era

Memorial University adopted a new Copyright Policy on May 19, 2011, to ensure that the university community is in compliance with Canadian copyright law. A copy of this policy and a wealth of other resources are available at

The revised copyright website presents the information, guidelines and services that will help you to use copyrighted materials in a way that is consistent with Memorial's new copyright regime. It is crucial that faculty, staff, students and others are familiar with this policy to avoid infringement.

"Everyone – including faculty, instructors, researchers, staff and students – is responsible for complying with Memorial's Copyright Policy when using copyrighted materials, whether paper, digital or otherwise," said Dr. David Wardlaw, provost and vice-president (academic).

"As a result of the new policy, we are continuing our due diligence to promote awareness of the change and provide support by making the necessary information accessible to ensure compliance."

The provost and vice-president struck a Copyright Action Committee to implement planning that was developed by the original Vice-President (Academic) Copyright Committee.

"The committee will continue to oversee the implementation of the comprehensive, institution-wide plan to establish best practices," said Dr. Wardlaw. "An area of focus for the committee is ongoing education and awareness of copyright legislation and Memorial's Copyright Policy."

The primary source of information on the policy is the copyright website, which includes helpful frequently asked questions and quick reference tables that aim to address all copyright issues that might arise at Memorial. A printed copyright compliance booklet is also available for quick reference in every office or facility that contains a photocopier or scanner. Copyright posters have been posted at each photocopier as well. Additional information will be disseminated in the future to ensure awareness of the policy and how to comply.

Memorial's Copyright Office is available to answer questions and provide advice on how to use copyrighted materials without infringement. The office is located in the G.A. Hickman Building, Room ED-1000E, and can be reached by calling (709) 864-2089 or writing

Library staff is also available to assist in determining whether Memorial has a licence for digital copies of a particular work, and what the terms of licence allow. For assistance from the libraries please contact Louise White at (709)
757-0719 or

Recent changes made by the Copyright Board of Canada (the "Board") have altered the way the Memorial University community can use copyrighted materials. Since Aug. 31, 2011, all copying at Memorial must be permitted by the relevant licence or covered under the educational exemptions or fair dealing provisions found in the Copyright Act.

Prior to the fall 2011 semester, Memorial University had a licence with Access Copyright, which allowed copies of certain materials to be made. However, Access Copyright applied to the Board for an increased tariff that would see each university pay $45 per full-time student annually, versus the previous $3.38 that was charged. In addition, the proposed tariff required universities to grant Access Copyright access to conduct surveillance of copyright activities at universities. An interim tariff was granted by the Board, which has been in place since early 2011.

Memorial found the increase in fees and the proposed intrusion objectionable and, after a year of observation and preparation, decided to operate outside of this tariff along with more than 25 other Canadian universities. Not all copyrighted material available at Memorial is in the repertoire of materials covered by Access Copyright.