Answered By: Alexis Paulusma
Last Updated: Jun 24, 2019     Views: 94

Fair dealing is an exception under the Copyright Act (Section 29) that allows an individual to copy material protected by copyright for the purposes of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review and news reporting.

Fair dealing does not require the permission of the copyright owner or the payment of royalties.

To qualify, two tests must be passed.

  1. The “dealing” must be for a purpose stated in the Act; research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody.
  2. The dealing must be “fair.” The Copyright Act does not state what fair dealing is exactly. In the absence of a statutory definition, it is up to you to determine if the reproduction of a work without permission or payment is fair.

Six factor test

The Copyright Act and the Supreme Court of Canada (CCH vs. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC 13) has provided a six factor test for determining whether a particular use or dealing is fair.

  1. Purpose of the copying including whether it is for research, private study, education, parody or satire, criticism, review or news reporting;
  2. Character of the proposed copying including whether it involves single or multiple copies and whether the copy is destroyed after its intended use.
  3. Amount or proportion of copying.
  4. Alternatives to copying - Is a non-copyright equivalent available?
  5. Nature of the Work - Published vs. non-published
  6. Effect of the copying on the work including whether the copy will compete with the commercial market value of the original work.

It is important to note that fair dealing usually involves copying only a reasonable portion of a work. If your copying is not allowed under a library license or the fair dealing/educational institutions exceptions in the Copyright Act, please consult the Library.