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Library E-Reserve Faculty Guide: Copyright

Step-by-step instructions for how to set-up and add online readings for your course.

Copyright and Fair Dealing

Under the Ryerson Fair Dealing Guideline, copying a part of a work for educational use, without having to pay the copyright owner, is allowed - but only for limited amounts*:

  • 10% or less of an entire print resource
  • A single chapter from a book (One chapter can exceed 10%)
  • A single article from an issue of a journal (One chapter can exceed 10%)

Any readings submitted by instructors that exceed these limits will require permission to copy from the publisher.

Copyright and E-Reserve

When you use the E-reserves service, the library will check the copyright considerations for you. Once your readings have been reviewed, you will be contacted if any changes need to be made. 

If your readings exceed the Ryerson Fair Dealing Guideline, the library will try to obtain permission for to use them from the copyright holder, but this can take additional time as copyright holders respond to the library request.

If the amount of material for your course needs to be reduced, you will be notified. 

Please be aware that the library will only seek permissions for Required Readings. If a Recommended or Supplementary reading exceeds Fair Dealing and is not a part of the library collection, the library will not attempt to buy permission to use it. Instead, the readings will need to be reduced, removed, or placed on Print Reserve. 

If the library needs to request copyright permission to use materials, there may be as much as a 4-8 week wait as the request is processed.


Permissions need to be cleared each time a course is run, and are based on a cost per student basis. We will need to know how many students are in your course in some cases.

Textbooks: Some copyright owners, in particular textbook publishers, may only allow 15% of a book or less to be copied, even if that is less than one chapter. 

Business Case Studies: Business case studies from commercial case vendors like Ivey, Harvard etc. need to be cleared for use on a per term/ per course/ per student basis