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Fair Dealing

Fair Dealing is a user's right which allows the use of short excerpts from copyrighted material without permissions or payment. To qualify under Fair Dealing, the use must be fair and for an allowable purpose. Each use of copyrighted material must be assessed separately.

Allowable purposes

  • Education
  • Research
  • Private Study
  • Criticism or Review
  • News reporting
  • Parody or satire

Evaluating if your use is fair


A short excerpt, amounting to no more than 10% of a literary work, a single article, or an entire artistic work if contained within a collection of artistic works.   Copying of less than 2.5% and no more than 1-2 pages is considered insubstantial. Insubstantial copying does not need to be assessed further. 


To be fair, the copied work must be distributed or posted in a secure manner. (i.e. In-class handouts or posting to the course page in Bright Space.) All copies need to be destroyed at the completion of the course. 


Prior to making copies under the Fair Dealings exception, it is recommended that you contact the Library to see if there is an existing licence.  The existence of a licence does not limit the application of Fair Dealings, but they may offer additional privileges or alternatives that better suit your needs. 


Copying of published copyright protected works is considered less fair than copying of unpublished work. Confidential works should never be copied. 

Effect on the market

Copying under Fair Dealing should not impact the sales or marketability of the original item.  Works should not be copied in a way that either competes with or eliminates the need to purchase the original source material. 


Copying limits are assessed by course and academic year.  Additional content may not be copied from the same source for the same course during a single academic year (September 1 to August 31).  

Additional Resources