Fair Dealing

What is Fair Dealing?

Fair dealing is a section in the copyright act which permits the use of a copyrighted work without permission from the copyright owner. Fair Dealing allows you to copy a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work. Short excerpts mean you can copy up to 10 percent of a copyrighted work such as:

  • One chapter of a book
  • A single article from a periodical
  • An entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works
  • An entire newspaper article or page
  • An entire poem or single musical score from a copyright-protected work
  • Entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, or similar reference work

You can use these materials for the following purposes: research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review or news reporting.

It is NOT fair to copy multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work.

The 6 Fair Dealing Factors

You must consider the following Fair Dealing Factors before you copy or distribute a work:

  1. The purpose of the copying
    • Is the copying for one of the following purposes: education, research, private study, criticism or review, news reporting, parody or satire?
    • The copy is not meant to replace your course text
  2. The amount of the copying
    • How much is being copied? One chapter from a book or one article from a journal may be considered fair.
  3. The character of the copying
    • How broadly will the work be distributed? Will it be accessible only to eligible students?
  4. Alternatives to copying the work
    • Is the same or equivalent work available in the library databases? Is there a non-copyrighted alternative?
  5. The nature of the work
    • including whether it is published or unpublished
  6. The effect of the copying on the work
    • Will the copying undermine the market for the work?
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