Copyright Information

Reproduction of copyrighted works by CEGEPs and colleges

COPIBEC, acting on behalf of authors and publishers, has concluded an agreement with the Fédération des cégeps du Québec and the Association québécoise des collèges privés concerning the reproduction of literary works in Quebec CEGEPs and colleges between 2007 and 2010. The ongoing agreement is 2011-2014.

Terms of the agreement:

Users in CEGEPs and colleges have been issued a comprehensive license to reproduce excerpts from a wide range of copyrighted works from Canada and other countries.

CEGEPs and colleges have to respect copying limits and pay royalties to rights holders for the reproduction of their works.

Types of copying allowed

The COPIBEC license gives CEGEPs and colleges access to a wide range of copyrighted works such as books, newspapers and periodicals. However, the license does not authorize the reproduction of unpublished works, sheet music, exercise books or manuals. In addition, works and categories listed in COPIBEC’s Exclusions list are not covered.

In this context, the word “reproduction” refers to the copying of works by means of photocopying, xerography, stencil duplication, manual transcription, drawing (including tracing) or any similar process, fax or a “smart copier” such as a Xerox Docutech and Kodak 1500. However, the license does not allow copyrighted works to be adapted, performed in public or communicated to the public by means of telecommunication.

The license refers only to reproductions made for educational purposes (pedagogical, educational or similar activities, including information sessions, workshops, correspondence courses, televised teaching, seminars, examinations, conferences and symposiums.)

Under the COPIBEC license, users in CEGEPs and colleges (teachers, lecturers and administrative staff) and their registered photocopy centers are authorized to reproduce 15% of a work for most cases without additional charge.

For the same course group, users are authorized to reproduce an entire chapter, tale, short story or poem from an anthology or an entire article from a newspaper, periodical or encyclopedia provided the total amount copied does not exceed 15% of a work for most cases.

Digital reproduction

Reproduction licenses for protected works granted by COPIBEC to CEGEPs and colleges do not, for the moment, authorize users to reproduce works electronically. If you would like to digitize a work to include it within the internal network (Intranet) of your teaching institution, to make it available on an Internet site, or you would like to reproduce it on CD-ROM, get in touch with us. We’ll help you obtain permission to copy the work as required by law, and to ensure that authors and publishers are properly compensated.

The 2011-2014 agreement now authorizes CEGEPs and colleges users to reproduce works electronically. It is now allowed to put protected material on an Intranet (access limited to the students and personel), and to present material to a class on a PowerPoint presentation or on an interactive smart board. All the digital uses must be reported to Copibec. However, reproducing material on an Internet site (public access), a CD-Rom or sending it by e-mail is still prohibited. The exclusions list now has 2 columns, one for the paper reproduction, one for the digital reproduction.

Specific authorization for reproduction

In order to make copies beyond the authorized limits, users in CEGEPs and colleges have to obtain specific authorization from COPIBEC in advance.  Specific authorization requires the payment of a fee of $0.10 for each page exceeding the authorized limit, with a maximum of 20% of the total number of pages in the work.  Any request to copy more than 20% of a copyrighted work is referred to the rights holder.

Collecting data on copied works

Reports are submitted by the Printshop and the Bookstore

In order to ensure that the royalties paid by CEGEPs and colleges are distributed fairly to authors and publishers, COPIBEC and users’ representatives have agreed on a data collection method based on a statistical model adapted to the institutions’ profile.

One year out of two on a rotating basis, CEGEPs and colleges have to report the copies they make under the copying agreement with COPIBEC. The institutions in the sample group for a specific school year are required to send COPIBEC detailed data on the copyrighted works they have reproduced.

From July 2011 to June 2014, CEGEPs and college have to report their copies every year.

Copies not included

Copying data should not include loose-leaf handouts, copies made under a specific authorization and copies made from a work in the public domain. In this context, “loose-leaf handouts” means reproductions made on paper sheets which are not bound, grouped together or inserted in course packs or course notes and which are distributed to students in the same course group occasionally or on an ad hoc basis.

What is a work in the public domain?

A literary work is considered in the public domain at the end of a 50 year period following the death of the author or, in the case of joint authorship, at the end of a 50 year period following the death of the last living author.  For instance, the poems of Verlaine, Nelligan and Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau are in the public domain. However, a Shakespeare play translated by Antonine Maillet is not considered in the public domain since the translation is recent.  In addition, the critical or commentary portions of critical editions or anthologies are not considered in the public domain even if the works they contain are no longer protected by the Copyright Act.

Checking contents of course packs

On request and at its own expense, COPIBEC may acquire copies of course packs or course notes prepared by CEGEPs and colleges in order to check compliance with the copying limits specified in the license. By doing so, COPIBEC is also able to obtain data on the reproduction of visual materials (drawings, maps, etc.) so that royalties can be distributed to rights holders.

Other requirements of the agreement

On each copy or set of copies, users in CEGEPS and colleges must indicate the name of the author and publisher, title of the work, date of publication, ISBN or ISSN number as well as the page numbers copied.

For example: Source with Two Authors or Editors
Bernard Berelson and Gary A. Steiner, Human Behavior: An Inventory of Scientific Findings
(New York: Harcourt Brace & World, 1964), pp. 282-84. Total pages: 400. ISBN: 1-55016-653-X

For example: Magazine Article
Lise Bertrand. “Are your contests legal? An Important Case in Review,” Marketing, vol. 100, no. 27 (July 17, 1995), p. 15. Total Pages: 19. ISSN: 0025-3642

Check List

The first page of every item must list the bibliographic citation. In the case of a course pack with more than one item, each one of the items must list the bibliographic citation. No reproduction will be carried out if the citation(s) is/are missing.

  1. Is the item on the exclusion list?
    If yes, the item may not be included in the course pack.
  2. Is the item copyright free?
    If yes, supply the page stating so, as part of the reproduction. This information may be found in any number of places in the publication: title page, verso of title page, back cover, etc.
  3. Is the item in the public domain?
    A work in the public domain is the “straight text”. It cannot contain an introduction, preface, forward, footnotes, explanatory notes, etc. which are attributable to an editor, publisher, etc. If using a public domain web site, either cite the web site address or if possible supply the “public domain” statement as part of the reproduction.
  4. Is the bibliographic citation on the item to be reproduced?
  5. Has the teacher filled out the separate bibliographic citation form?
  6. The license does not authorize the reproduction of exercise books/manuals except for short extracts required for final examinations.

Determine the Reproduction Limits

15% of a work for most cases
No copyright fees (covered by the fee for ETC students).

Fewer than 15% of a work for most cases and does not exceed 20% of the total pages of the source:
Copyright fee will be $.08 per page.
COPIBEC will have to authorize the reproduction. See Printshop or Bookstore whichever is applicable.
COPIBEC will invoice for those pages which exceed the limit.

More than 20% of the total pages:
Copyright will be determined by COPIBEC.
COPIBEC will solicit the rights holder.
COPIBEC will send an invoice.

The photocopying of pages of a work when added up will exceed the limits.
This regards an instructor who put in several requests over the semester
for pages out of the same book (incremental photocopying).

Exclusion List

COPIBEC’s exclusion list is available at the Printshop or the Bookstore. It changes once a year (September 1st).

Download the current list


Should you need additional information, email us at or call the Bookstore at ext. 1120.

Last Modified: March 10, 2020