Updated: Dec 05, 2018

Can I photocopy a book?

Not usually.  There are national and international laws that protect creators and authors so that only they have the right to reproduce their work. If anyone else makes a copy, it may be a case of copyright infringement or violation.

However there are instances where you can photocopy a book.  For example:

·         you may have asked and received permission from the author to reproduce the book

·         the book may be in the public domain

·         the book may have been published under a Creative Commons license with terms that permit photocopying

 You also may be allowed to photocopy a portion of a book.  Fair dealing, an exception under copyright law, allows certain uses of a work without having to ask permission from the owner/creator or having to pay a royalty for usage. You may be allowed to photocopy a portion of the text if you are using it for:

  • Criticism
  • Education
  • News
  • Reporting
  • Parody
  • Private Study
  • Review
  • Research
  • Satire

However, you still must evaluate your intended use under copyright guidelines to determine if your intended use if lawful.

To learn more about copyright and fair dealing please refer to our Copyright at CNA-Q guide.

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