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All universities and libraries in Canada are required to comply with Canadian copyright law, and with the international copyright conventions to which Canada is signatory. In practical terms, this means that any copying of materials by University faculty, staff or students, regardless of format, is subject to certain limits and restrictions (University of Guelph McLaughlin Library - Copyright).

OpenEd works with faculty to develop and redevelop distance education courses, which includes ensuring that the appropriate permissions have been secured for any course materials that are used. Additionally, OpenEd renegotiates, renews and tracks permissions on a semesterly basis for existing course offerings to ensure continued use of resources.

Copyrighted Works

When developing, redeveloping or revising a distance education course, keep in mind that copyright permissions may be required for the following course materials and resources:

  • Textbook chapters and journal articles—reading material in electronic and print formats
  • Images—photographs, illustrations, charts and diagrams
  • Streamed audio visual content and PowerPoint presentations

For questions regarding materials requiring copyright clearance, contact the copyright coordinator.

Copyright Services

We provide the following copyright services:

  • Instructional guidance for instructors and staff on institutional copyright policies
  • Contact with publishers and/or independent rights holders to obtain and process the necessary permissions for online course materials and resources
  • Creation and maintenance of library reserve and eReserve course collections through the ARES Course Reserve system
  • Advice on best practices for using copyrighted material for educational purposes
  • Database maintenance for copyright permissions and licences


OpenEd works with library E-Learning and Reserve staff to set up electronic reserves for distance education courses and ensures that permissions are in place for listings each semester. As readings are often integrated into the design of a course, our distance learning program development specialists may also work with instructors to update readings and any associated course components.

If you are developing or teaching a distance education offering, OpenEd is happy to work with you to achieve and maintain University of Guelph copyright standards. If you have any copyright questions, please contact the copyright coordinator.

Additional University of Guelph Copyright Resources

Copyright at the University of Guelph: A Guide for Instructors

General Copyright Guidelines at the University of Guelph