Sharing of Textbook pdfs Fact Sheet

Please be advised that participating in student-run groups (e.g., Facebook groups) that facilitate the sharing of pdfs of textbooks constitutes a violation of Canadian copyright law and breaches SFU's policies. This includes making a copy of an entire textbook and then sharing that copy with others, even if you don't charge a fee. SFU recognizes that some textbooks come with a significant purchase price. However, members of the SFU community need to respect the copyright of all creators of all different types of works.

Why shouldn't I share textbooks online?

Infringing copyright and encouraging others to do so is unethical, violates SFU policies, and drives costs of textbooks even higher as publishers and authors strive to recover costs lost through the illegal copying and distribution of their books, as well as through legal action to pursue infringers. It can also result in legal action against the students involved and the University. For all these reasons, we are notifying any SFU students involved in these activities to immediately cease.

What can I do if I can't afford my textbook?

Students can contact their professor and their liaison librarian to learn whether course materials might be available at SFU libraries. Students can also contact an SFU financial aid and awards advisor to discuss possible options that may be available for the term. These options may include university or government financial support programs.

Students can also encourage their instructors to consider using Open Educational Resources (OERs). The SFU Library offers OER Grants for instructors wishing to integrate OERs into their courses. The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) also advocates for the use of open textbooks and OERs.

Where can I learn more about the resources that are available to me?

See Financial Aid and Awards to learn more about scheduling a financial aid appointment. If you have any additional questions related to this issue, please contact the SFU Copyright Office at