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Copyright at Okanagan College

Okanagan College's Fair Dealing guidelines:


Fair dealing

The “fair dealing” exception in the Copyright Act allows anyone to use a copyrighted work without permission or payment for one of the following eight purposes, provided that what you do with the work is "fair":

  • research
  • education
  • private study
  • parody
  • satire
  • criticism*
  • review*
  • news reporting*

* If your purpose is criticism, review or news reporting, you must also mention the source and author of the work for it to be fair dealing


Whether something is 'fair' will depend on the circumstances. Courts will normally consider the following six factors:

  • Purpose: Is the purpose allowed under the Copyright Act’s fair dealing exception? Is it for research, private study, criticism or review, or news reporting?
  • Character: Is the character of the dealing a single copy or multiple copies? Multiple copies created for distribution are not covered by fair dealing.
  • Amount: How much of the copyright work is being used?
  • Alternatives: Is there a reasonable alternative to making a copy?
  • Nature: Is the work published, unpublished, confidential, etc.?
  • Effect: What is the economic effect of copying the work? Will the copy of the work compete with the original work?

It is not necessary that your use satisfy every one of these factors in order to be fair, and no one factor is determinative by itself. In assessing whether your use is fair, a court would look at the factors as a whole to determine if, on balance, your use is fair. 


Short excerpts

According to Okanagan College's Fair Dealing Guidelines, a short excerpt could be:

  • 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 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

How to share short excerpts

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 (i.e. Moodle) that is password protected or otherwise restricted to students of the College
  • As part of a course pack

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

The Copyright at Okanagan College website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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