Copyright at the University Library: Fair Dealing Guidelines

Fair Dealing

Under fair dealing, instructors, professors, and staff members in non-profit educational institutions may communicate and reproduce, in paper or electronic form, short excerpts from a copyright-protected work for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire, and parody. Copying or communicating short excerpts from a copyright protected work under these Fair Dealing Guidelines for the purpose of news reporting, criticism, or review should mention the source and, if given in the source, the name of the author or creator of the work. Copying or communicating multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work with the intention of copying or communicating substantially the entire work is prohibited. Copying or communicating that exceeds these limits may be referred to the Copyright Office for evaluation.

A single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work may be provided or communicated to each student
enrolled in a class or course
a. as a class handout;
b. as a posting to a learning or course-management system that is password protected or otherwise restricted to students of
a school or postsecondary educational institution, e.g. Blackboard;
c. as part of a course pack.

A short excerpt means:
a. up to 10 per cent of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work);
b. one chapter from a book;
c. a single article from a periodical;
d. an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works;
e. an entire newspaper article or page;
f. an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright protected work containing other poems or musical scores;
g. an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary, or similar reference work.

Factors Determing Fair Dealing

Under the fair dealing provisions  of the Copyright Act, copying for the purposes of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review or news reporting does not infringe copyright. In other words,using copyrighted works for educational purposes is allowed. Another test is to use the following 6 factors set out by the Supreme Court of Canada to help determine whether dealing is “fair”:

1. The purpose of the dealing - The purpose of the dealing will be fair if the copying is for one of the allowable purposes, namely research, private study, criticism review or news reporting. These allowable purposes should not be given a restrictive interpretation.
2. The character of the dealing - If multiple copies are being widely distributed, this will tend to be unfair. If a single copy is used for a specified legitimate purpose, then it is easier to conclude that it is a fair dealing.
3. The amount of the dealing - If the amount copied from the work is trivial, it is more likely to be considered fair. However, it may be possible to deal fairly with a whole of certain types of works. For example, there may be no other way to criticize or review a photograph or research a journal article unless the whole work is copied.
4. The nature of the work - It is more likely to be “fair” to copy a published work as opposed to an unpublished or confidential work.
5. Available alternatives to the dealing - If there is a non-copyright equivalent to the work that could have been used instead of the copyright work, this may weigh against a finding of fairness.
6. The effect of the dealing on the work - If the copied work is likely to compete with the market for the original work, this may suggest that the dealing is not fair.

 January 2013

Fair Dealing in Educational Institutions

Canada's Copyright Act is a piece of legislation that lays out the allowable uses of materials protected by copyright. The Copyright Act was amended by Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, which became law on November 17, 2012 and expands the ability of educators and students to use copyrighted materials for education and study including:.

  • fair dealing for education - copyrighted materials used for educational purposes provided the use is fair, that is it does not harm the market for a work
  • internet materials - educators and may use Internet materials that have been posted for free use by copyright owners for the purposes of teaching and education
  • online learning - academic institutions may transmit lessons containing copyrighted sections via the Internet
  • digital delivery of course materials - digital course packs containing copyrighted materials may be shared with students subject to fair compensation to copyright holders
  • digital interlibrary loans - libraries may email copyrighted material as part of interlibrary loan provided measures are taken to prevent further distribution
  • other educational exemptions - media may be broadcast for educational purposes; educational institutions may record news programs or commentaries for later viewing by students