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Copyright guide for Camosun College: Fair Dealing

What is Fair Dealing?

The Fair Dealing provision in the Copyright Act permits use of a copyright-protected work without permission from the copyright owner or the payment of copyright royalties. To qualify for fair dealing, two tests must be passed:

1. The “dealing” must be for a purpose stated in the Copyright Act: research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire and parody. Educational use of a copyright-protected work passes the first test.

2. The dealing must be “fair.” In landmark decisions in 2004 and in 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada provided guidance as to what this test means in schools and post-secondary educational institutions.This Fair Dealing Policy applies fair dealing in non-profit K-12 schools and post-secondary educational institutions and provides reasonable safeguards for the owners of copyright-protected works in accordance with the Copyright Act and the Supreme Court.

Background Information

Effective August 31 2012, Camosun College has opted-out of any agreement with Access Copyright and will administer its own copyright procedures and controls. Many other Canadian universities and colleges made the same decision following the advice of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

This decision to opt out was made in light of the Supreme Court of Canada decisions of July 12, 2012 that addressed fair dealing and the passing of the Copyright Modernization Act in June 2012. 

Camosun faculty and staff are now required to adhere to the new Fair Dealing Policy. If copyrighted material used in a coursepack, in a classroom or on D2L etc. does not meet the standards of fair dealing (excluding materials used under the public domain or creative commons license) faculty will be asked to identify an alternative resource or seek permission for use from the copyright holder and pay any associated royalties.   Assistance will be available when permission is required. If there are any immediate questions that are not addressed here please contact YoungKyu Joo or Sybil Harrison.


Fair Dealing

Camosun College Fair Dealing Guidelines


1. Teachers, instructors, professors and staff members in nonprofit educational institutions may communicate and reproduce, in paper or electronic form, short excerpts from a copyright-protected work for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire and parody.

2. Copying or communicating short excerpts from a copyright-protected work under this Fair Dealing Policy for the purpose of news reporting, criticism or review should mention the source and, if given in the source, the name of the author or creator of the work.

3. A single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work may be provided or communicated to each student enrolled in a class or course:

  • as a class handout
  • as a posting to a learning or course management system that is password protected or otherwise restricted to students of a school or post-secondary educational institution
  • as part of a course pack

4. A short excerpt means:

  • up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work)
  • one chapter from a book
  • a single article from a periodical
  • an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works
  • an entire newspaper article or page
  • an entire single poem, short story or musical score from a copyright protected work containing other poems or musical scores
  • an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work

5. Copying or communicating multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work, with the intention of copying or communicating substantially the entire work, is prohibited.

6. Copying or communicating that exceeds the limits in this Fair Dealing Policy may be referred to a supervisor or other person designated by the educational institution for evaluation. An evaluation of whether the proposed copying or communication is permitted under fair dealing will be made based on all relevant circumstances.

7. Any fee charged by the educational institution for communicating or copying a short excerpt from a copyright protected work must be intended to cover only the costs of the institution, including overhead costs.