The SFU Copyright Clearance Fund

The SFU Copyright Clearance Fund provides funding for payment of copyright permission licenses for certain course reading materials. The Fund supports copying of readings that exceed fair dealing and other Copyright Act exceptions (i.e., the guidelines found on the Copyright and Teaching Infographic), but which don't amount to enough content for a course pack. Access to the materials will be provided through the Library's e-reserves platform, which integrates with Canvas.

This funding is intended to provide for situations in which it is not practical to require students to purchase a whole book or other work, where copyright permission is required and where it is currently not possible to have students pay directly for the content.

Is my request eligible?

The Copyright Clearance Fund is available to instructors at SFU for readings (e.g., book excerpts, journal articles, short stories) that exceed fair dealing and other copyright exceptions but do not constitute a course pack.

Some examples include:

  • A course that has a textbook but also requires two or three chapters from another book to supplement it.
  • A course in which most of the readings are freely available online, with just one or two works needing copyright clearance.
  • A course requiring copies of a small number of works that don't qualify for fair dealing, such as short stories or poems.

A request will not be considered eligible for funding if SFU Library already provides access to an electronic version of the work.

The Copyright Clearance Fund applies to material being used for teaching purposes within SFU courses. Material needed for research or other purposes is not eligible for funding.

Generally, a maximum of one to two excerpts per course will be considered for funding, though this may vary depending on the type of work.

How do I do it?

Simply place a reserves request through SFU Library, in the same way you may have requested course reserves in the past. Library staff will determine whether your request falls under fair dealing or another copyright exception. If it falls under an exception, they will go ahead and reserve the material for your students. If it exceeds the exceptions, they will send the request to the Copyright Office who will determine whether the request qualifies for the Copyright Clearance Fund. If it qualifies, the University will request permission to make the material available, using the Fund to pay for copyright permission fees.

If the request does not qualify for the fund, or the University is unable to get a license to copy the work, the Copyright Office will contact you to suggest alternative options.

You are also welcome to contact the Copyright Office directly for assistance in determining whether your readings will fall within copyright exceptions or qualify for the Fund.

How will students access the material?

Access to the material will be provided through the Library's e-reserves platform that integrates with Canvas.

How long will my students have access to the material?

Copyright permissions licenses are only valid for one semester. A new request must be placed each semester in which the material is used.


Please submit your request according to the Library Reserves deadlines. Later submissions are always accepted but material may not be available for the start of the semester.


For more information, contact the SFU Copyright Office: