Copyright Information


Fair Dealing is a clause in Canadian Law (fair use law in US), which allows people to do critiques, research, private study, review, criticism or news reporting using copyrighted works. The user must mention the source of the material along with the name of the author or producer of the article. Limited portions of the work might be used to demonstrate or teach.

It is not an act of copyright infringement if it follows one of these criteria:

Criteria to determine Fair Dealing:

  1. The Purpose of the Dealing — Usually if it is for research, review, private study or news reporting it is allowable. This is in conjunction with the criteria below.
  2. The Character of the Dealing — The number of copies made and whether these copies were widely distributed or read by a few is important. What happened to the copies after use is also a consideration.
  3. The Amount of the Dealing — This criteria focuses on how much of the work was used and the importance of the work. If small amounts were quoted it would be fair dealing and in some cases even quoting the entire work may be fair dealing. The amount of the work used must be fair in relation to the purpose of the dealing.
  4. Alternatives to the Dealing — This establishes if there was an alternative copyright free work he could have used. Was the use of the work "reasonably necessary to achieve the ultimate purpose"?
  5. The Nature of the Work — If a work has not been published it might be judged fairer than from a published work if it is acknowledged because this might give the owner a wider audience than had it not been used. If the work was confi dential then it would not be as likely to be deemed fair.
  6. Effect of the dealing on the Work — The question here is that by using the work, will it affect the market value of the original work?
These six criteria have been established by the Supreme Court; however in some instances other factors may play a part in determining whether a particular dealing is fair.