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Ordering copies of sound recordings from the National Music collection (vinyl records, CDs, cassettes)

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) provides users with a service for making copies of sound recordings from the National Music Collection.

Copying sound recordings is subject to a number of restrictions designed to protect the rights of artists and other creators. Before requesting a copy, please make sure the recording is not one of thousands of sound recordings already available online from BAnQ, and that the recording is not commercially available.

Any copy of a sound recording made by BAnQ will involve a fee. Only private copies made independently by patrons, under certain conditions, will be exempt.

To obtain a copy of a sound recording, you can either follow the procedure for requesting a copy or make the copy yourself.

Top.Rule prohibiting commercial

Under no circumstances may a sound recording be copied, including by a patron on BAnQ premises, if the recording is still commercially available, either in its original edition or as a reissue.

A “recording” includes each of the tracks making up an album. It may happen, therefore, that copying some tracks from an album is not allowed – because they are commercially available – while copying other tracks from the same album is allowed because they are not commercially available.

Top.Copying a work in the public domain

BAnQ may make copies of sound recordings that are in the public domain, meaning works whose legal protection under the law has come to an end. Keep in mind that new editions of a work in the public domain may contain elements that are protected by copyright, even if the original work is not.

Top.Copying a work under the fair dealing exception

A user may request a copy of a sound recording for purposes of research, private study, education, parody, or satire. This is what is known as fair dealing. It is the user’s responsibility to make sure that his use of the work is fair and does not infringe copyright.

Top.Copying a work for public or commercial purposes

Use of a recording for public or commercial purposes includes transferring all or part of it to audiovisual media (film, radio, television, etc.), making it available on a website, and using it in public.

Unless a sound recording is in the public domain, BAnQ cannot make a copy of it until you have obtained permission from every person who has rights in the recording. These persons may give their permission using sample letters provided by BAnQ.

Top.Making a copy yourself

You may make a copy of a sound recording yourself if this copy is intended solely for your private use or for purposes of research, private study, education, parody, or satire. (This is what is known as the fair dealing exception.) 

Please note that the following restrictions apply to copies made for private use. 

  • You may not make a copy for the purpose of doing any of the following: selling or renting out, or by way of trade exposing or offering for sale or rental; distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade; communicating to the public by telecommunication; performing, or causing to be performed, in public.
  • You must use a blank CD to make a private copy. It is forbidden to use any other audio media to make a private copy.

In any case, it is your responsibility to make sure that the copy does not infringe copyright and that the sound recording is not commercially available. You must be self-sufficient in making the copy yourself, using equipment available at the Grande Bibliothèque and a blank CD provided by yourself.

If you want to access a sound recording without having to go to the Grande Bibliothèque, you may use interlibrary loan to request the recording from your local library. If your library has the appropriate equipment and allows its patrons to use it, you may make a copy using the original loaned by BAnQ.

Top.Procedure for requesting a copy

There are four ways of requesting a copy of a sound recording.

  • Online. It is important to provide all of the information required to process the request (see below).
  • By fax: 514 873-9932
  • By telephone: 514 873-1100 or 1 800 363-9028, option 3 
  • In person:
    Simply go to the service desk (comptoir de service) of the Music and film section (Grande Bibliothèque, level 4), and submit your request to a librarian, who will fill out the appropriate forms.

Opening hours

The request must include the following:

  • complete contact information (your name, address and telephone number);
  • a complete reference for the sound recording you want to have copied (title, author, call number);
  • the titles of the pieces you want to have copied;
  • the use you will make of the copied recordings (private use, publication, exhibition, website, etc.).

Before BAnQ staff can process your request, you must find out if the recording you want to have copied (album or track) is commercially available. If it is, your request will be refused.

Once your request has been received, a BAnQ staff member will be in touch with you.

For more information about copying sound recordings, please contact us.

Top.Fees for sound recording copies

See the price list.


If you are ordering at a distance, the full amount must be paid in advance by cheque, money order, or credit card (Mastercard, Visa). Cash and debit card payments may be made in person. Organizations that have a customer account may pay on receipt.


You may pick up your order in person or receive it by mail. If you want to use a private courier company, you must provide the name of the company and your account number.