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Celebrate Fair Dealing Week

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is an annual initiative of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), established to share information about these important aspects of copyright law. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2021 takes place February 22 through February 26. (Note: Fair use is a U.S. copyright provision and fair dealing is a similar--but different!--Canadian provision.)

So what is fair dealing?

Fair dealing is the reason you may be able to...

  • upload a book chapter to your Canvas course or include it in a course pack,
  • upload a short film clip to your Canvas course,
  • hand out copies of a journal article in class,
  • copy a map from an atlas for use in lecture slides,
  • reproduce a figure in your thesis,
  • make copies of articles to share with co-researchers, or
  • include an image of an artwork you critique in your published article or thesis.

Without fair dealing, you would need to contact each copyright holder and request permission to do these things. Visit Fair Dealing Canada for testimonials about the value of fair dealing from academics across Canada, and Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week for more information about the origins and purpose of this initiative.

The fair dealing exception in the Canadian Copyright Act allows you to use copyright protected material for the purpose of research, private study, education, satire, parody, criticism, review or news reporting, provided that what you do with the work is 'fair.' This FAQ provides further detail about determining whether a use is fair, and the SFU Copyright Office welcomes questions about fair dealing as it applies to your teaching, learning or research.

SFU's Fair Dealing Policy provides guidelines for copying material for university teaching, learning, research and administrative purposes. This Copyright Infographic describes the ways in which fair dealing and other parts of the Copyright Act apply to teaching at SFU.

Please note it is important to distinguish fair dealing from fair use. The fair use exception in U.S. copyright law is NOT the equivalent of fair dealing in Canadian law. It is important to make sure you are not relying on U.S. information, which has no jurisdiction in Canada.


February 22-26