Landing : Athabascau University
  • Blogs
  • Rory McGreal
  • Fair dealing in the USA & fair use in Canada: Good advice from south of the border

Fair dealing in the USA & fair use in Canada: Good advice from south of the border

  • Public
By Rory McGreal August 21, 2012 - 4:08pm

Fair use in the USA and fair dealing in Canada are not exactly the same, but the principle of fair dealing and fair use evolved from a common source and  they are similar. The broad principle and issues will emerge in due time. What is important for educators is that the Supreme Court has provided us with substantial leeway in interpreting fair dealing. We  CAN use copyrighted materials in our course packs WITHOUT permission as  long as the amount is reasonable.

The US advice given at the Center for Social Media described below DOES apply in the  Canadian context (and DID apply in the past but few would believe it). We do NOT need to spend the time that we have in the past requesting  permissions to use images, video clips, excerpts etc.

So, now that fair dealing is arguably more open and more liberal than fair  use in the USA. The best practice guidelines outlined on this US web site  should be considered as appropriate. The bottom line is that we can use a reasonable amount of copyrighted material in our courses without requesting ANY permission as long as we attribute it. We must follow the supreme court's directive on this to take a large and liberal view of what we can do using fair dealing. There is no reason to be conservative as we have been in the past. As it turned out the Supreme  Court had a much more expansive view than even our most liberal  interpretors of fair dealing. See:

  And when C-11 comes into effect shortly, the threat of being sued should NOT be a  consideration as the penalty is no longer maximalist but limited to actual damages, which in our situation would be $0. Or a maximum fine of $5K.


These comments are moderated. Your comment will not be visible unless accepted by the content owner.

Only simple HTML formatting is allowed and any hyperlinks will be stripped away. If you need to include a URL then please simply type it so that users can copy and paste it if needed.