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Copyright for Instructors

Fair Dealing

Explore this page for more information on: 

Determining if a use of a work falls under fair dealingr is done on a case-by-case basis, explore each section for more details.

What is Fair Dealing?

Fair dealing is a user's right in the Copyright Act that allows the use of short excerpts from copyright-protected works without payment or permission from the copyright owner, for the following eight specific purposes

  • Education
  • Research
  • Private study
  • Criticism
  • Review
  • Parody
  • Satire
  • News reporting

Note: If your purpose is criticism, review or news reporting, you must mention the source and author of the work for it to considered be fair dealing. 

For more details, see the Langara Policies and Directives webpage and Fair Dealing Policy (B1013).

What is a 'short excerpt'?

The Copyright Act does not define "short excerpt". Langara has adopted the following guidelines to help instructors decide if a particular use is fair: 

  • Up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including literary works, sound recordings, and audiovisual works)
  • One chapter from a book
  • A single article from a periodical
  • An entire artistic work from a copyright protected work containing other artistic works. Artistic work includes a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan
  • An entire newspaper article or page
  • An entire single poem or musical score from a copyright protected work containing other poems or musical scores
  • An entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary, or similar reference work

Note: license agreements for electronic resources take precedence over legislative allowances. Visit the Licensed Digital Resources page for more information. 

Copying that exceeds the above limits requires permission from the copyright owner. Contact the Copyright Office for assistance. 

Determining if a use is fair

Determining if a use is fair is done on a case-by-case basis.

The Supreme Court of Canada outlined six factors to help determine if a particular use (or "dealing") of a copyright-protected work is fair:

  1. Purpose
    • Is the use one of the eight purposes permitted under fair dealing (education, research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, parody, or satire)? If so, it is more likely to be considered fair. 
  2. Character
    • How is the work being used? Is the work being widely distributed? 
    • If a single copy is used for a permitted purpose, it is more likely to be considered fair. 
  3. Amount
    • How much of the work is being copied?
    • If the amount copied is trivial, the use is more likely to be considered fair. However, it may be possible to deal fairly with an entire work. For example, there may be no other way to criticize or review a photograph or research journal article, unless the whole work is copied. 
  4. Nature of the work
    • Was the work previously published? 
    • If the work is unpublished or confidential, the use is less likely to be considered fair. However, a court of law may also consider whether the copy serves a public interest. 
  5. Available alternative
    • Is there a suitable alternative to the work that is not protected by copyright? If so, the use is less likely to be considered fair. 
  6. Effect
    • Is the copy likely to compete with the market of the original? If so, the use is less likely to be considered fair.

Note: A use does not need to satisfy all of these factors do be considered fair.

How to share short excerpts

Instructors may provide their students with a single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work as: 

  • A class handout
  • Part of a course pack
  • A posting on Brightspace (or another password-protected learning management system)

Note: license agreements for electronic resources take precedence over legislative allowances. Visit the Licensed Digital Resources page for more information. 

Contact us

General Queries:

copyright@langara.ca


Our Team:

Lindsay Tripp,

Copyright Librarian
ltripp@langara.ca
604.323.5290

 

Meaghan Rafferty,

Copyright Technician
mrafferty@langara.ca
604.323.5467


The information obtained from or through this website is provided as guidelines for using works for educational purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Creative Commons License

Langara's copyright website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.