Fair Dealing Guidelines

These fair dealing guidelines were prepared by the Copyright Coordinator, in collaboration with the Copyright Advisory Committee, and adopted by the University of Saskatchewan in November 2012. Note that there is a difference between the U.S. concept of "fair use" (which is more broad) and the Canadian provision for "fair dealing." Any studying, researching and publishing activities in Canada require that fair dealing be considered. Any questions or concerns about the guidelines can be directed to the Copyright Coordinator (966-8817).

The Fair Dealing Guidelines are available for download in PDF format.

These Guidelines for use to be considered Fair Dealing (“Guidelines”) only deal with copying by faculty members, teaching staff, and other staff within the fair dealing exception to copyright infringement provided under the Copyright Act (the “Fair Dealing Exception”).  These Guidelines do not apply to copying done by students. These Guidelines apply fair dealing in post-secondary educational institutions and provide reasonable safeguards for the holders of copyright-protected works in accordance with the Copyright Act, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Guidelines for use to be considered Fair Dealing

1.  Faculty, teaching staff, and other staff may copy, in paper or electronic form, Short Excerpts (defined below) from a copyright-protected work, which includes literary works, musical scores, sound recordings, and audiovisual works (collectively, a “Work”) within the university environment for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, parody, satire, or education in accordance with these Guidelines. Other sources of permission (including permission from a copyright holder) will be required where the copy falls outside of these Guidelines (See the U of S Copyright Guidelines).

2.  A single copy of a Short Excerpt (defined below) from a Work may be provided to each student registered or engaged in a course, unit or program of academic, continuing, professional or vocational study administered or hosted by U of S, including a person who is granted deferred standing in a course:

a)     as a class handout;

b)      as a posting to a learning or course management system (e.g. PAWS, Blackboard) or e-reserve that is password protected or otherwise restricted to, and accessible only by, students in the specific course, unit or program; or

c)     as part of a coursepack.

3. A short excerpt includes:

  • 10% or less of a Work, or

no more than:

a)     one chapter from a book;

b)     a single article from a periodical;

c)     an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart and plan) from a copyright-protected Work containing other artistic works;

d)      an entire newspaper article or page;

e)      an entire single poem or musical score from a Work containing other poems or musical scores; or

f)      an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work

whichever is greater (in each case, a “Short Excerpt”).

For example, if a copy request is for one chapter of a book, the total pages copied may exceed 10% of the book. If a copy request is for 60 pages out of a 1,000-page book (6%), that 60 pages could be made up of multiple chapters of that book.

4.  Copies of Short Excerpts must be made only from a copy of the Work that is owned by the U of S or a member of the faculty, teaching staff, or other staff.  Copies cannot be used to replace or to substitute for the purchase of a Work.

5.  Any fee charged by the U of S for copying must not exceed the costs, including overhead costs, of the making of the copy.

6.  Copies of Short Excerpts made 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.

7.  Where the Fair Dealing Exception allows the copying of only a portion of a Work, no member of the faculty, teaching staff or other staff may make copies of multiple short excerpts with the effect of exceeding the copying limits set out in Section 3 of these Guidelines.

8.  The circumstances that qualify within the Fair Dealing Exception may vary from case to case. The Fair Dealing Exception will cover copying that you undertake in accordance with these Guidelines, and may also cover certain instances of copying that are not described under these Guidelines.  If you have a request for copying that you believe should be covered by the Fair Dealing Exception but is not explicitly permitted by these Guidelines, please contact the Copyright Coordinator at copyright.coordinator@usask.ca.  A determination will be made as to whether the proposed copies fall within the Fair Dealing Exception, considering all of the relevant circumstances, including:

a)     the purpose of the proposed copying, including whether it is for research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, parody, satire, or education;

b)      the character of the proposed copying, including whether it involves single or multiple copies, and whether the copy is destroyed after it is used for its specific intended purpose;

c)      the amount of the dealing from the individual user’s perspective, including the proportion of the Work that is proposed to be copied and the importance of that excerpt in relation to the whole Work;

d)     alternatives to copying the Work, including whether there is a non-copyrighted equivalent available;

e)     the nature of the Work, including whether it is published or unpublished; and

f)      the effect of the copying on the Work, including whether the copy will compete with the commercial market of the original Work.



The Copyright Office is available to help if you have questions about fair dealing, or copyright in general, or if you would like to schedule a presentation about copyright for you and your colleagues.


Note: The information obtained from or through this site does not constitute legal advice, but is provided as guidelines for using works for educational purposes.

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