Types of copying allowed in Quebec schools

Preschool, elementary, high school and centres

The Quebec Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche has signed an agreement with Copibec to allow educational institutions at the preschool, elementary and high school levels to make copies in paper and digital format within certain specific limits.

In consideration for the right to make copies, the Ministère pays Copibec an annual fee to ensure that the authors and publishers of the copied excerpts receive royalties (licence fees) for the use of their works.

Teaching and administrative personnel in schools are required to respect the terms and conditions of the agreement and are responsible for reporting copying data to Copibec.

Why do we need a copying agreement?

Canada’s Copyright Act generally does not allow you to make copies without the copyright owner’s permission unless the expected use falls under one of the specified exceptions. As a result, teaching personnel who want to copy articles or excerpts from published works for their students need to request permission from the publisher or author for every text copied. Managing those requests one by one would obviously involve a lot of work for both the copyright owner and you as a user.

To streamline and speed up the permission process, copyright owners have set up Copibec, which has the authority to issue comprehensive copying licences on their behalf.

Types of copying allowed

Reproduction of excerpts

The agreement allows you to copy excerpts in print or digital format:

  • 15% of each work

However, the copying limit is as follows for works developed specifically for preschool, elementary or high school education purposes (teachers’ guides, students’ textbooks, exercise books, grammar guides and atlases designed specifically for programs of instruction, etc.):

  • 10% of the work or 25 pages, whichever is less

Excerpts in digital format can be displayed in class on a smartboard or used on a tablet or computer or in a PowerPoint-type presentation or slideshow. They can be stored on a USB flash drive, CD-ROM or the school’s or school board’s secure network. They can also be sent to students or teaching personnel via email as long as a school or school board email address is used. However, if the excerpt is commercially available in digital format, that version must be purchased.

Digital format excerpts must be accompanied by a clearly visible notice that prohibits the following:

  • Printing out more than one copy
  • Making any other copies or transmitting the excerpts except in the context of communications with the teacher or other students for team projects or participatory work

The agreement gives you free access to the material in our SAMUEL platform. The platform’s content can be used and reproduced according to the terms and conditions of the agreement.

The agreement does not allow you to make copies that will be used to produce coursepacks or exercise books. Copied excerpts made available on a network must not be accessible to the general public.

In general, website content is excluded from the Copibec repertoire unless the selected excerpt was published in a book, newspaper, magazine, CD liner notes, etc. However, some websites have given Copibec authority to manage their rights. A relevant notice will appear on the sites of those partners.

Certains works and categories of work may not be covered by the agreement, consult the exclusions list for more information.

Your use do not respect the agreement's conditions? Get a permission.

Displaying entire works

Works not available in digital format

Under the agreement, you can also make one copy of an entire work that is not commercially available in digital format in order to display it (on a smartboard, for example) or use a document camera to project an entire work as long as a few original versions of the work are available to students at the time the work is being displayed.

Works available in digital format

An entire work that was legitimately acquired in digital format can be displayed using a smartboard. However, in the case of legitimately acquired digital format works specifically designed for preschool, elementary or high school education purposes, when the work is not available on the market with a license from the publisher for classroom presentation, projection using a smartboard is permitted if all students have an original copy of the work. When a work comes with a license from the publisher, the terms and conditions of the publisher’s license must be respected.

A copy of the work displayed must have been bought by the school or the teacher for his/her class.

Downloadable documents

Information leaflet (printable PDF)

Online reporting

Exclusions list (Preschool, elementary and high school institutions, training and education centres)