This resource guide has information on copyright, using images, and sharing articles.

When do I need permission?

Authors, publishers, photographers and other copyright owners can set the terms which allow or disallow use of the works they own. 

Using or adapting a copyright-protected work may require permission from the copyright owner.

Use the Copyright Decision Tree to help determine if your use is:

  • covered by an existing license, such as Creative Commons, Access Copyright, or a library database licence
  • permitted under an exception in the Canadian Copyright Act
  • specifically allowed under terms of use established by the copyright owner


How do I request copyright permissions?

Library Services can help, by reaching out to copyright owners on your behalf. Use the Copyright Permissions Form to request assistance or to report permissions that you have obtained yourself. 

We maintain a repository of copyright permissions obtained by and for Nova Scotia Health team members.

Please allow at least 6 weeks for the permissions process. If you have a shorter deadline, consider linking to the resource or finding an alternative.

Library Services does not assist with contracts or licenses.

If you would prefer to request permission yourself to use or adapt a resource, follow the steps outlined below.

To request copyright permission, you will need to:

  1. Identify the copyright owner and their contact information. Understand that:
  • It can be difficult to determine who owns copyright in a resource, particularly for online content such as images.
  • The author may not be the copyright owner. For example, journal publishers may own copyright in articles.
  •  There may be a fee for reuse.
  1. State how you want to reuse the information.
  • Will it appear on a website, in a presentation, in a course, in an article?
  • Will it be in digital or print format?
  • Will it be available on a private network or on the internet?
  • How many copies will you make?
  • Do you want to modify the content?
  1. Allow at least six weeks for the permission process.
  2. Get permission in writing.
  3. Save a copy for your records.
  4. Have a backup plan in case the answer is “no” or the fee is more than you are willing to pay.
  5. If a contract or license is required, follow the appropriate Nova Scotia Health procedures. Legal review may be required.
  6. Please report any permissions you receive using the Copyright Permissions Form.