Authorization and Approval

Responsibility: Vice-President, Finance and Resources 
Authorization: Board of Governors
Approval Date: Dec 16, 2009
Amended: Jun 21, 2016


To define acceptable use of materials protected by copyright (also referred to as "copyright materials"), to outline the responsibilities of all users of copyright materials in all media, and to establish a framework for responsible practice.


The university respects intellectual property and intellectual property laws. 

The university respects the rights of copyright holders, their legitimate assertions of their rights and any rules that apply for the use of their material.

The university community requires access to instructional materials that exist in both electronic and more traditional, non-electronic formats, and copyright law and university guidelines pertaining to copyright and fair dealing apply to both electronic materials and non-electronic materials.

The university has individual and collective responsibility to act responsibly in providing the materials that the university community requires.


classroom is any physical or virtual environment where access is normally restricted to class members or those granted access by the instructor. Certain exceptions to copyright legislation apply in the classroom.

A number of exceptions are built into federal legislation for the use of materials protected by copyright.  In addition to fair dealing provisions, exceptions include, but are not limited to certain types of public performances, the reproduction of copyright material for the purposes of examination and testing, and the taping of certain radio and television program for educational purposes in classrooms and on the premises of educational institutions. 

Fair dealing refers to the reproduction of portions of materials protected by copyright for the purpose of private study, research, criticism, review news reporting, parody, satire or education. 

The university community includes but is not limited to faculty, professors emeriti, sessional lecturers, staff, trainees, clinical faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, adjunct professors, visiting professors, visiting scholars, professional affiliates, associate members, residents, and postdoctoral fellows.

University premises include any location, physical or virtual, where (and when) University of Saskatchewan instruction is delivered. University policies and practices govern behaviour on University premises.

Scope of this policy

The use of material protected by copyright policy applies to all members of the university community. This policy and federal legislation apply to all materials protected by copyright, including, but not limited to, published works, art, photographs, audio-visual materials, music, and software in all forms. 

Related legislation, policies, regulations and collective agreements include the following:

    • Library licenses - licenses for the university (faculty, staff and students) to access digital content owned by a publisher/vendor
    • Software licenses
    • Independent license agreements
Copyright ownership of materials produced by members of the university community is a separate issue and is addressed in both legislation and various collective agreements.


The University of Saskatchewan is committed to compliance in all copyright matters.

The university is granted permission to use certain copyright materials through various licensing agreements.   The use of these materials is governed by the terms of the licensing agreement or other contracts between the university and the vendor/copyright holder.

It is the responsibility of each individual member of the university community to comply with copyright law and university guidelines pertaining to copyright and fair dealing. The university will provide advice and assistance.

Unless permitted by the terms of a specific licensing agreement or other contract, or an exception outlined in the Copyright Act applies, reproduction of copyright  material, whether purchased, borrowed, rented or acquired for preview, in whole or in part, by any means necessary, is not allowed without the permission of the copyright holder. Copyright law and university guidelines pertaining to copyright and fair dealing apply to both electronic and non-electronic works.

University-owned software refers to software product copies and licenses purchased by university funds or research grants administered by the university or software acquired by the university through some contractual agreement. "University-owned" does not imply copyright ownership of a software product, but rather the right to use the software as prescribed by the license or other contractual agreement. The university does not permit the use of illegal software copies, or the illegal copying of computer software on university facilities and/or equipment. Unauthorized copying of computer software exposes the individual and the institution to legal action for copyright infringement or for breach of the license agreement.


All members of the university community have the responsibility to respect the rights of copyright owners, to make themselves aware of federal legislation and the exceptions outlined therein, and to take the steps necessary to ensure that their use of all copyright materials is compliant. The university has the responsibility to provide education and advice to all members of the university community on appropriate use, on the Copyright Act, and on exceptions.

All members of the university community have the responsibility to recognize the important distinction between materials that are publicly accessible via the Internet or other electronic means, and works that can be freely used.

All members of the university community have a responsibility to comply with reasonable requests of university authorities directed to establishing, maintaining or evidencing compliance with this policy.

In addition to their personal responsibility for compliant use, members of the university community who have teaching responsibilities also have a duty to inform their students that students have responsibilities in their use of materials and advocate that students act with this responsibility in mind.

Deans, department/unit heads and research account holders are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure effective implementation of this policy and to encourage continued compliance with it.

The Copyright Coordinator and others who negotiate and handle licenses or contracts governing the use of copyright materials have the responsibility to make the terms of the agreements available on request to interested parties and to assist with compliant use.

The university has the responsibility to ensure the integrity of spaces where access is normally restricted, such as classrooms, both physical and virtual in nature, to ensure compliance with copyright agreements and legislation.


Non-compliance with this policy includes a violation of the terms herein, the Copyright Act or any related regulations, or university guidelines pertaining to copyright or fair dealing.

If there is reason to suspect that university policies have been, or are being violated, or that continued access to and use of copyright materials poses a threat to the reputation of the university, the university will investigate. If a violation of this policy is found, the university will take action against anyone whose activities are in violation of this policy, in addition to any actions that might be taken by any copyright owner or licensing agent. 

Following due process, actions taken for violation of this policy may include, but are not limited to:

  • disciplinary action for employees in accordance with the applicable collective or employment agreements
  • disciplinary action for students under either Council Regulations on Academic Dishonesty or Senate Non-Academic Disciplinary regulations

Procedure summary

Procedures concerning the use of copyright material, including the steps needed to clear copyright, are available on the webpages Supporting Faculty and Instructors and Copyright Guidelines on the university’s Copyright Website. The contact person for inquiries is the Copyright Coordinator (see Contact Information below).


Guidelines for this policy are developed and maintained by the Copyright Management Committee. The  Fair Dealing Guidelines are available on the university's Copyright Website.


If you have questions about this policy please contact:

Contact Person: Copyright Coordinator, Library
Phone: 306-966-8817