Fair Dealing Basics
Learn more about fair dealing
Described in Section 29 of the Copyright Act of Canada, Fair Dealing permits the limited use of copyright protected material without the risk of infringement and without having to seek the permission of copyright owners. It is intended to provide a balance between the rights of creators and the rights of users.
The Fair Dealing Guidelines attempt to translate some of the high level principles of fair dealing into practical rules applicable to an academic setting. They describe activities that can be conducted under the Fair Dealing exception that do not carry the risk of copyright infringement.
- The guidelines only address the production of paper or electronic copies.
- The guidelines do not address the use of original works.
- Read the Fair Dealing Guidelines online or download PDF of the guidelines [PDF - 75.6 KB]
The Supreme Court of Canada has established a two part, six factor test for determining if a use is fair. Step one involves determining if your use is covered by any of the purposes enumerated in the Copyright Act: research, private study, criticism, news reporting, education, parody or satire. If yes, then you can proceed to step two (applying each of the six factors the Court identified. They are: Purpose (different from the purpose in the first step), Character, Amount, Alternatives, Nature and Effect.
Fair dealing: myths and facts
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has created a helpful infographic exploring some of the myths and facts surrounding fair dealing:
- Fair Dealing in Canada: Myths and Facts [PDF - 288 KB]
Frequently asked questions
For a full list of frequently asked questions prepared by Dalhousie Libraries' Copyright Office, please see the document here.