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Copyright and licensing

The use of library resources is governed by both copyright and licensing. 

Electronic resources

License agreements almost always cover use of electronic library resources. These licenses are contracts made between the Library and Publishers. License agreements set out specific rules to follow when using electronic resources.

The Appropriate Use Guidelines outline terms that generally apply to licensed resources. More specific permissions, such as those for use in coursepacks, LEARN, and eReserves are displayed in the Journal Title list. The Finding Usage Rights page provides step by step instructions on how to find license terms. If you have any questions about how to use a licensed resource please contact copyright@uwaterloo.ca.

Open Access resources

Open Access (OA) is an international movement that advocates for the free and unrestricted access to peer-reviewed scholarly research on the web with full and accurate acknowledgement for the authors.

Many OA resources use a Creative Commons (CC) license. Learn more about CC licensed resources, and how you can use CC licensing tools to share your work from the following websites:

Print resources

The Copyright Act governs the use of print resources. The Copyright at Waterloo website provides support and advice to assist faculty, staff and students in understanding copyright. You can always ask the copyright helpers at copyright@uwaterloo.ca for help.

Exceptions to copyright are provisions in the Act that allow for protected works to be used without permission. Copyright law balances the rights of creators with the public interest and rights of the user. The Fair Dealing exception is of particular importance for education. Waterloo has adopted a Fair Dealing Advisory to assist in determining what may be copied or communicated for instructional purposes without infringing copyright.

Copyright guidance

Questions about copyright, licensing or usage rights? Send your question to copyright@uwaterloo.ca.