What is 'fair dealing'?

Fair dealing provisions cover copying for (personal) research or study, criticism or review, reporting the news, parody and satire, and purposes related to judicial proceedings. There is no payment for fair dealing copying.

Note: Fair dealing provisions cannot be used to make multiple copies of items and distribute or communicate that material to students. Multiple copying for the educational purposes of the University is done under educational copying provisions.

Fair dealing for personal research or study permits the copying of:

  • the whole or part of an article in a periodical
  • more than one article in the same edition of a periodical where the articles are required for the same research or course of study.
  • 'reasonable portion' of a published literary, dramatic or musical work.

Any reproduction of greater amounts, or reproductions of artistic or audiovisual works, must take the following criteria into account when determining whether the dealing is 'fair':

  • the purpose of the dealing
    For example, copying in a study environment will be more likely to be fair than copying to use the item commercially.
  • the nature of the work
    It may be less fair to copy a work with a high degree of skill than it would to copy one based on less skill.
  • the possibility of obtaining the work within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price
    Are you copying the work because you don't want to buy it, even though it is readily available at the standard price?
  • the effect of the dealing on the potential market for, or value of, the work
    For example, making one copy for your personal use is more likely to be a fair use than making a number of copies.
  • in a case where part only of the work or adaptation is copied, the amount and substantial of the part copied taken in relation to the whole work or adaptation
    It would be considered less fair to copy a large or important part of the work than it would to copy a small or unimportant part.

This exception permits the use of the whole or parts of a work to undertake the type of criticism or review that would normally be expected by the copyright owner. It serves to inform the public of the work, and appropriate acknowledgement must be made. Criticism and review provisions apply to critiques and reviews, publication in a magazine or circulation to students as lecturers' course materials. However, the provision cannot be used for the purposes of students' criticism and review.

Items included in either print-based or broadcast media as part of reporting the news are covered under 'fair dealing' provisions. Again, sufficient acknowledgement of the work must be made.

Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works are permitted to be reproduced under the 'fair dealing' category for the purposes of judicial proceedings, or for the purposes of a legal practitioner giving professional advice.

You can now use copyright material for the purposes of parody and satire, provided your use is 'fair'. To assess whether your use is 'fair' the following should be considered:

  • how much of the work is used
  • the context of the use
  • whether the copyright owner generally licences such uses.