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What is Fair Dealing?

16 views   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2019    Copyright


More information can be found on the SLC Libraries Copyright Guide:

Fair Dealing is a legal exemption to the exclusive rights of copyright holders. It is determined on a case-by-case basis and is based on a consideration of the following four factors:

  • The purpose and character of the use (including whether it is commercial, non-profit, or educational)

  • The nature of the copyrighted work

  • The amount and substantiality of the portion to be used

  • The effect upon the potential market for the copyrighted work

Because intention is a part of the consideration, only the end user can make the initial assessment of whether their use is fair.

Fair Dealing Checklist

Favouring Fair Dealing (more fair)

Disfavouring Fair Dealing (less fair)

  • Educational

  • Published work

  • Small quantity (e.g. a single chapter or journal article or other excerpt consisting of less than 10% of the work)

  • Amount is appropriate to education purpose

  • One or few copies made and/or distributed

  • Restricted access (limited to students in a class or other appropriate group)

  • One-time use, spontaneous use (no time to obtain permission)

  • Commercial, entertainment or other

  • Non-transformative, verbatim/exact copy

  • Profit-generating use

  • Unpublished work

  • Large portion or entire work

  • Portion used is central or the "heart" of the work

  • Includes more than necessary for education purpose

  • Cumulative effect of copying would be to substitute for purchase of the copyrighted work

  • Numerous copies made and/or distributed

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