Ebooks licensing and Canadian copyright legislation: a few considerations

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Publication Date


Publication Title

Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research






E-Books, Copyright, Licensing, Strategies


Ebooks have become increasingly common in collection development strategies in many libraries. The delivery of monographs in digital formats has gained significant popularity in many libraries, particularly in the academic sector. Licensing is the common method of acquiring ebooks, whether as a subscription or a purchase. Libraries have had to transform selection and workflow processes in order to acquire ebooks in an efficient manner. Not enough attention, however, has been paid to the interplay between licensing as a contractual arrangement and the statutory rights available under Canadian copyright law. Fair dealing is a concept of critical importance in Canadian copyright, as it provides the foundation for user rights in support of culture, learning, and innovation. There are other provisions of specific value to libraries, such as interlibrary loans and access by persons with perceptual disabilities. This article will examine these issues and proposes a few strategies that libraries can adopt to ensure that their interests are not eroded in licensing agreements.