Fair Use/Dealing Disclaimer
*This site and all relevant content is for educational purposes only and to the best of our knowledge is being used under Fair Dealing/Fair Use Act guidelines and within Canadian and United States standards of fair dealing/fair use*
What is fair dealing?
Fair dealing is for everyone. You probably make use of fair dealing every day without even realizing it, whether emailing a news article to a friend, using a clip from a song, using a copyrighted image on social media, or quoting passages from a book when writing an essay. Activities such as these are not considered to be copyright infringement – in fact, the ability for users to make copies for specific purposes is an integral part of the Canadian Copyright Act.
The Canadian Copyright Act allows the use of material from a copyright protected work (literature, musical scores, audiovisual works, etc.) without permission when certain conditions are met. People can use fair dealing for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, and news reporting. In order to ensure your copying is fair, you need to consider several factors such as the amount you are copying, whether you are distributing the copy to others, and whether your copying might have a detrimental effect on potential sales of the original work.
What is the purpose of fair dealing?
Fair dealing recognizes that certain uses of copyright protected works are beneficial for society. By placing limits on instances where copyright owners can require payment, fair dealing leads innovation, to the creation of new works and new scholarship. The Supreme Court of Canada increasingly refers to copyright as providing a balance between the rights of users and of copyright owners.
Fair dealing has a large, positive impact, including for:
- Educators and students at all levels,
- Creative professionals (journalists, authors, filmmakers, musicians, etc.),
- Individuals who want to use, copy or share portions of copyright protected works in their daily lives.
Useful Readings and Resources:
- Position Statement on Fair Dealing (Canadian Federation of Library Associations, 2018)
- Fair Dealing Decision Tool for K-12 teachers (Council of Ministers of Education, 2018)
- Fair Copyright website and campaign (Canadian Association of University Teachers, 2018)
- Selection of posts published for Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2018 (CARL E-lert, 2018)
- Fair Dealing in Canada Myths and Facts (CARL, 2017)
- CARL Statement on Fair Dealing and Copyright (CARL, 2016)
- The Fight for Fair Copyright Returns: Canadian Government Launches Major Copyright Review (M. Geist, 2017)
- How Canadian Education Really Hurts Creators (M. Nair, 2017)
- Copyright: Protecting Fair Dealing (R. Proulx, Universities Canada/Policy Options, 2017)
- We shouldn’t be paying more for Canadian content (G. Beasley, Hill Times, 2017)
- Dynamic Fair Dealing (ed. R. J. Coombe, D. Wershler, & M. Zeilinger, U. of T. Press, 2014)
Relevant Supreme Court Decisions:
Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright),  2 S.C.R. 345, 2012 SCC 37 – see decision
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Bell Canada,  2 S.C.R. 326, 2012 SCC 36 – see decision
CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada,  1 S.C.R. 339, 2004 SCC 13 – see decision
Théberge v. Galerie d’Art du Petit Champlain inc.,  2 S.C.R. 336, 2002 SCC 34 – see decision
THE UNITED STATES CALLS THIS “Fair Use”
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.
Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
Fair Use Definition
Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching or scholarship. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author’s work under a four-factor balancing test.