This resource guide has information on copyright, using images, and sharing articles.

Copyright & Intellectual Property Policy

Fair Dealing

Hospitals & Copyright Law

Under the fair dealing provisions of sections 29, 29.1 and 29.2 of the Copyright Act, copying for the purposes of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review or news reporting does not infringe copyright. These provisions are technologically neutral.

The Supreme Court of Canada in the case of CCH Canadian Ltd.v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC 13 has given “research” a large and liberal interpretation to ensure that users’ rights are not unduly constrained. “Research” includes commercial, non-commercial and private research. The Supreme Court found that fair dealing is a matter of “impression.” The application of fair dealing is therefore not clearly defined.

Source: Canadian Library Association (2013, January). Model policy on copyright for librarians. Retrieved from Canadian Library Association

What the Law Means to You

Most published items are covered under copyright. There are times when it is okay to use copyrighted materials without getting permission. Those times are covered as “Fair Dealing” in Canadian copyright law. There are six factors that determine if use is “Fair”. If you want to copy something, make sure it meets these criteria:

  1. The purpose: you can make a copy for personal research, private study, criticism, review or news reporting
  2. The character: you can make a single copy for your personal use (not multiple copies)
  3. The amount: you can copy a single article or one chapter from a book
  4. The nature of the work: you will need special permission if the work is unpublished or confidential
  5. Available alternatives: if there is a version that is not under copyright use that one
  6. Effect of the dealing: the author should be the only one to profit from the work

What not to do:

  • Do not make multiple copies
  • Do not sell copies
  • Do not send PDFs of articles to others
  • Do not use anything that you download from the Internet unless you get the author's permission