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In 2013 Access Copyright launched a lawsuit against York University. Recently, the Federal Court issued its decision in the first phase of that litigation which can be read here,  York University appealed the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal in advance of the October 02, 2017 deadline.

As a reminder, course materials for use by students at York University must be used in a copyright-compliant manner. Many journal articles and other materials can be used without additional cost to students because the University has already paid for a license to use them, they are in the public domain, the copyright holder has given permission to use them, or they are within the scope of fair dealing.  However, some uses of course materials require payment of copyright fees.

Course Reading List/Syllabus Review Service

All York University instructors are urged to utilize the services of the Copyright Support Office’s Reading List/Syllabus Review Service for their 2019-2020 course materials. Before course content is posted to a York Learning Management System (LMS) site for any course you are teaching, ensure that it is copyright compliant by requesting the Copyright Support staff review the materials. Simply email the bibliographic information for each selection you would like to include to Staff will:

  • Create permanent links to Library content;
  • Determine if selections fall within fair dealing;
  • Scan materials that can be uploaded to your Moodle site; and
  • Provide guidance on your choice of materials throughout the course.

To Submit Your Course Reading List/Syllabus

Email your reading list/syllabus with full citations (including the page range of the item, if applicable) to as a Microsoft Word document or a PDF. Copyright Support staff will contact you if information is missing from your citations or if they have any copyright concerns about items in your course reading list/syllabus.

Staff will negotiate copyright clearance for items that exceed our current licences. Copyright clearances can take several weeks to negotiate. If a resource cannot be made accessible staff will contact you to enquire if you would like to make another selection.

We also need:

  • The course name and course code
  • Your name and contact information
  • The start and end date of  your course
  • The number of students in your course
  • The date of the first class

For returning instructors: Please indicate whether your course materials have been submitted for an earlier course. Bibliographic information from the previous course can be copied and updated to ensure that readings are copyright compliant for the new semester. Provide any updates on the course code and section, number of students, etc.

We recommend that instructors submit course reading lists at least 5 weeks prior to the beginning of the term to ensure the course materials are ready before the first day of class. Course material submissions are processed on a first-come, first-served basis but we accept course reading lists through out the term. Contact as soon as you have your list finalized. When you submit your course reading list/syllabus staff will  provide you with an estimated completion date based on their current work load.

Instructors wishing to create course kits as either an up-to-date supplement to other course material or as the primary resource for students are urged to contact the Course Kit Centre at for more information. There are also local copy shops that provide comprehensive copyright clearance services. No copy shop should be used without confirming they will provide comprehensive copyright clearance services.

We will continue to hold information sessions over the coming months to assist members of the York University community. Dates for upcoming sessions as well as helpful resources can be found on the copyright website at

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Copyright Support Office at