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Can I print an electronic book?

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2015  |  35 Views
Topics: Copyright

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Permission to print a book - electronic or hardcopy -  raises the question, is the publication protected by copyright?  The Copyright at CNAQ website has a tool that will help you with this answer.

Electronic books are part of the Library's electronic resources (databases, e-journals, e-books etc.) The Library has signed license agreements with vendors and publishers which regulate how faculty and staff access, use and reproduce these resources. These contractual arrangements are in addition to copyright law.

Printing e-books is not the same as printing e-journals or reproducing print materials because most vendors protect their books with digital rights management (DRM).  Its important to know that copying under fair dealing, preservation, interlibrary loan and alternate formats for the disabled are rights that may be curtailed by DRM, even though it may be legal under copyright legislation.

Restrictions for electronic resources vary. One publisher may permit a full-text article to be e-mailed or printed, another may not.  One may impose a page limit on printing. Users will have to familiarize themselves with the copyright statements that the content owners stipulate on their websites. If license terms are violated, publishers may suspend access for the entire college community.

Yes, there are some electronic books that you can print.  Many are in the public domain or have been published under a different licensing structure.  Explore Project Gutenberg which encourages free reproduction and distribution of the books in its digital library or "The Online Books Page". Some books published under a Creative Commons license may have terms that allow for printing.  Similarly there may be materials in the Open Content Alliance archive that content owners and contributors have made available for printing.  


Answered by Cathleen de GrootBookmark and Share

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