Answered By: KRS Archive
Last Updated: Oct 27, 2015     Views: 253

Fair dealing is a provision in the Copyright Act that permits use of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright owner or payment of royalties, for the specific purposes of: research, education, private study, criticism, parody, satire, review or news reporting. To qualify for fair dealing, two tests apply. The first is the "dealing" must be one of the purposes stated in the Copyright Act. The second is the test of "fairness." 

If use is for one of the purposes stated above, determine the fairness of your use by applying the 6 factors the Supreme Court of Canada applied in landmark decisions in 2004 and 2012:

  1. Purpose of the dealing  - research, education, private study, criticism, parody, satire, review or news reporting are permitted.
  2. Character of the dealing - limit the use to a specific legitimate purpose. For example, making a single copy is generally regarded as being more fair than making multiple copies, depending on the context.
  3. Amount of the dealing - use the least amount relative to the entire work. It is important to note that the Copyright Act does not state any specific amount of a work that can be copied without infringing copyright. In other words, there is no specific calculation or rule to determine what amount would be fair and what wouldn't be fair - it is a subjective test. 
  4. Nature of the dealing - The courts have also stated that it is necessary to condier the nature of the work in question to determine what is fair.
  5. Available alternatives - use suitable non-copyrighted alternatives when available.
  6. Effect of the dealing on the work  - consider the impact of the proposed use on the copyright owner. Impact that does not harm the copyright owner either economically or harm their reputation, is likely to be considered more fair.

AHS Fair Dealing Guidelines


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