Recently, the Federal Government began its formal review of the Copyright Act, and fair dealing rights will be an important consideration. Fair dealing has been specifically targeted by publishing industry lobbyists in anticipation of the review, particularly as applied for the purpose of education.
This is a critical time for those who benefit from educational fair dealing to ensure their perspectives are heard and to ensure that those conducting the review appreciate the broad public interest in a robust fair dealing provision.
Fair dealing allows for the limited use of copyright-protected materials without permission from or payment to the rights-holder.
The purposes under which fair dealing can be applied are: research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism and news reporting. If you can make a compelling case that a particular use of a copyright-protected work is for one of these purposes and that the use is fair, then that use is permissible under fair dealing.
Fair dealing is used routinely by students and faculty members in a large number of ways, including copying journal articles or excerpts from books (for private study or research), as well as by the institution through providing access to copies of such articles or book excerpts to registered students through a course pack or on eClass (for education).
If you value the preservation of fair dealing in general and for post-secondary education in particular, make sure your voice is heard. Don’t sit on the sidelines and allow fair dealing to be weakened, upsetting the balance of copyright law in Canada. More information about how to become involved in the review process will be shared as soon as the details have been announced.
Fair Dealing Week 2018 will run from February 26 to March 2. In recognition, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is collecting fair dealing testimonials. If you have a story about your experience with fair dealing and how you and the public benefit from it, please consider submitting a testimonial.
Additionally, the University of Alberta Copyright Office is hosting an event on Wednesday, February 28, also as part of Fair Dealing Week. More information about that event and how to register to attend is available here.