© Infringement

A person who does something with a protected work that only the copyright owner is entitled to do, and does so without the permission of the copyright owner of that work, infringes the copyright of the owner. That person can be held liable for that action. Either civil or criminal penalties can be imposed for copyright infringement. Criminal penalties can include fines and/or imprisonment and depend on the seriousness of the infringement. While criminal penalties are usually reserved for those engaged in piracy for profit, civil penalties, including an order to pay damages or an injunction to cease infringing, can be imposed for other types of infringement. Monetary damages could be awarded to the copyright owner for loss of income occasioned by the infringement or for other losses.

Generally, the person who actually infringes the rights of the copyright owner will be held liable for the infringement. In the absence of the fair dealing exception or a license, anyone who photocopies a copyrighted book without permission will be held liable for that infringement, whether that person be a student, staff member, or faculty member. Frequently staff (especially in the libraries) copy materials at the request of others (e.g. a faculty member or a student). In that case, both the person who actually infringes copyright (the staff member) and the person who requested the staff member to so infringe (the faculty member or the student) can be held liable for the infringement.

York University places notices concerning copying limits on all copiers located on its premises. Any photocopying or scanning from copyrighted works must be within the limits of what is allowed under the Copyright Act. York does not authorize the use of its equipment for purposes of infringing copyright. The AUCC has compiled a full list of guidelines to assist you in ensuring that all copying is done within the limits of fair dealing guidelines.

The staff of the York University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections, and Printing Services have a professional responsibility to respect copyright law and thus may refuse to copy or print something for you if they deem it to be an infringement of copyright law.

For assistance in evaluating your copying requests please contact the Copyright Office at copy@yorku.ca.