General FAQs

What is a comprehensive licence and how much will it cost?

A comprehensive licence is a yearly renewable licence that gives advanced permission for basic photocopying in Canada (excluding Quebec where licensing is managed by Copibec). The cost of the licence depends on the sector in which you work.  For instance, the cost of a comprehensive licence covering a business is based on the number of full time employees.  For more information on obtaining a comprehensive licence with us, please contact our team of licensing specialists at 416-868-1620 (toll-free 1-800-893-5777) or by email at

Why do I need permission?

Generally, published materials are the property of the copyright owner (the author, the publisher or both).  Under most circumstances, you are required to obtain permission to use their copyright protected works. 

In some cases, copyright permission may not be necessary.  These include published works within the public domain and fair dealing uses.  If you are unsure whether or not you require permission to use a copyright protected work, please contact our Permissions department at

Does Access Copyright provide any content or copies along with its licences?

No, Access Copyright only provides permission to use and copy copyright protected material.

For what type of material can Access Copyright provide copyright permission?

Access Copyright provides permission to copy Canadian and international published material from our repertoire which is comprised of millions of works. 

We cannot provide permission for other forms of materials such as audio/visual and software.

I believe a work I wish to use is in the public domain, may I copy it?

The public domain includes all works no longer protected by copyright.  Works fall into the public domain once copyright expires.  The term of copyright in Canada is typically 50 years after the death of the last living copyright owner.  When making this assessment all copyright owners are considered; including editors, illustrators and translators.

When a work is in the public domain, it can be used in any way and permission is not required.  If you are unsure of the public domain status of the work you wish to copy, please contact us at as copying a work that is not in the public domain may infringe the rights of the copyright owner(s) of the work.

What is print on demand?

Some publishers may choose not to keep all their works in stock but will print copies of these titles if there is enough demand.  If your request for permission to copy from Access Copyright has been denied because the publisher offers a print-on-demand service, we will provide you with contact information for this service.