Guidelines for what can be copied can be found in sections 1-5 of the Brandon University Fair Dealing Policy. In brief, a single copy can be made for the purposes of private study, education or research from a lawful copy of a work. The copy must be a small part of a published work.
You can make multiple copies of material to distribute to students in class or include in coursepacks (including online readings) if you meet one of the following conditions:
(a) you hold the copyright
(b) you have received permission to copy from the copyright holder (if the students and faculty of the university already has access to the material, then permission may already exist, please check with the library)
(c) copyright protection has expired or never did apply (i.e., items in the public domain)
(d) the material is open access material (it was published in open access publications, works placed in Institutional Repositories or other repositories such as www.cnx.org and works under Creative Commons licenses)
(e) the material is part of the Access Copyright repertoire and no more than 20 percent of a book is copied
(f) you link to items in the library's licensed collection.
A coursepack is any collection of articles, book chapters or material that is distributed in any way to students. There does not have to be a charge to the students for a coursepack to be a coursepack.
Permission from the copyright holder will typically three steps: identification of the copyright holder, finding an address for the copyright holder and asking the copyright holder for permission. If the copyright holder is a large publisher, then they will likely have an office for copyright clearance, but they will probably ask for financial compensation. If the copyright holder is an individual or an educational institution, they may be harder to find, but they may be more inclined to grant permission without asking for additional financial compensation.