Fair Dealing Week (Fair Use Week in the United States) is the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)’s annual celebration of fair dealing.
Fair Dealing is a right in the Copyright Act (Section 29) which allows the copying and communicating of copyrighted works without permission from or payment to the copyright holder in certain contexts; namely for research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire, and parody.
In a landmark 2004 case, the Supreme Court of Canada reinforced the importance of this right in Canada, stating:
“The fair dealing exception is perhaps more properly understood as an integral part of the Copyright Act […] The fair dealing exception, like other exceptions in the Copyright Act, is a user’s right. In order to maintain the proper balance between the rights of a copyright owner and user’s interests, it must not be interpreted restrictively.”
Why, though, should members of the Dalhousie community care about fair dealing and Fair Dealing Week? It’s easy to see how this concept can be useful for a university community. Professors can rely on the education category to reproduce articles for students and students can make copies of material for their own research or private study.
This week we celebrate Fair Dealing Week by providing two additional blog posts (one on Wednesday and one on Friday), outlining what fair dealing means to instructors and to students.
In the meantime, please take some time to learn about Fair Dealing on the Dalhousie Libraries’ Copyright Office’s Fair Dealing Basics page and consult our Fair Dealing Guidelines. And, of course, please feel free to contact the Copyright Office with any questions at Copyright.Office@Dal.ca