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Services to the Public: Conditions for Access to and Use of Documents

Copyright Restrictions

The reproduction of records held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) may be limited by donor restrictions and is always subject to the requirements of the Copyright Act (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-42/index.html).

Reproduction Restrictions

Some reproduction restrictions may require that you obtain written permission from the donor in order to receive copies. Other restrictions may be related to preservation, or due to the fact that LAC does not own the original records, but only copies, and therefore does not have the authority to reproduce them. In such cases, you will have to contact the owner directly to obtain photocopies and reproductions.


Reproduction of materials held by LAC and protected by copyright is subject to the Copyright Act (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-42/index.html) and its related regulations. This is a highly complex area for both LAC and users, and it also has a profound impact on the way that LAC provides services to its clients when protected material is involved.

Copyright can be owned by an individual or a group of individuals, a corporation or the Crown; it can be under their control or expired. The terms of protection can vary according to the type of material. LAC holds enormous quantities of records for which the ownership and copyright status may be uncertain, either because of insufficient information or because of a mixture of public and private material, or of published and unpublished works. Identifying and locating copyright owners remain the major difficulties for institutions and users alike.

Users are urged to consult the Copyright Act (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-42/index.html) and to seek legal advice when the interpretation of copyright raises questions. It is not the role of LAC to interpret the Copyright Act (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-42/index.html) for users but rather it is up to the users to be aware of copyright issues. Users should allow adequate lead time for researching ownership and, when needed, obtaining the written permissions required.

Any copy provided by LAC is restricted to research purposes or private study. Users wishing to use the copies for any other purpose should obtain written permission of the copyright owner.