Fair Dealing Week

Guest post by Ann Ludbrook, Copyright and Scholarly Engagement Librarian at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.

Why are we celebrating this week — especially in Canada?

First the basics of fair dealing is that they are important users rights allowed in Canadian laws. These user rights give Canadian citizens the ability to use fair dealing as a exception to the exclusive rights of copyright holders to control the copying and distributing of their content. This exclusive right means that other than an insubstantial amount of a work, the work can’t be copied without the permission of the copyright holder.

User’s rights in the form of fair dealing mean that some copying is allowed without permission — for certain purposes and for short amounts of a work.

Luckily for students and educators some of the copying of works that we do in our learning and teaching are covered by fair dealing. For example fair dealing purposes include private study, research, criticism, review and education. Much of what students and educators do on a daily basis would be really really hard without this user’s right. Student and faculty ability to do effective research, use content in criticism and papers, teach and share information would be seriously inhibited if most uses had to always have permission be granted when someone was only copying a short excerpt.

Fair dealing is really important because it allows a freer flow of information to happen in an educational setting — it promotes learning and scholarship.

So celebrate Fair Dealing — it is a user’s right that Canadians should use not lose.


By Ann Ludbrook

Check out this Prezi that illustrates the importance of fair dealing in a student’s life.