Happy Fair Dealing Week!
Why are we celebrating this week – especially in Canada?
Fair dealing defines important users rights allowed by Canadian laws. These user rights give Canadian citizens the ability to use fair dealing as an exception to the exclusive rights of copyright holders to control the copying and distributing of their content. Without fair dealing, this exclusive right could mean that, other than an insubstantial amount of a work, the work could never be copied without the permission of the copyright holder. User’s rights in the form of fair dealing mean that some copying is allowed without permission – for certain socially valuable purposes and for short amounts of a work.
Have a look at Student Life without Fair Dealing to get an idea about how important fair dealing can be in an educational environment. Without fair dealing you would not be able to do many of the things you do everyday as a student – use an image in an assignment that you are handing in, share an article with your group project team, photocopy a chapter you need from a library book so you can read it at home.
Luckily for students and educators some of the copying of works that we do in our learning and teaching are covered by fair dealing. For example fair dealing purposes include private study, research, criticism, review and education and parody and satire. Much of what students and educators do on a daily basis would be really really hard without this user’s right. Student and faculty ability to do effective research, use content in criticism and papers, teach and share information would be seriously inhibited. Fair dealing is really important because it allows a freer flow of information to happen in an educational setting – it promotes learning and scholarship. So celebrate Fair Dealing – it is a user’s right that Canadians should use, not lose.
This year celebrating fair dealing is especially important, because it is 5 years since the scope of fair dealing in Canada was expanded to include education. After 5 years the government calls for a review of the new Copyright Act, which will happen this year. The website Fair Dealing Canada gives you an opportunity to tell your story of how fair dealing helps you educate others or be educated. Add your story there and help convince the government that this user’s right is very important to your education.