The Fair Dealing Resource for Teachers

The Fair Dealing Resource for Teachers:


There is a great on-line resource to help teachers determine whether fair dealing permits them to use short excerpts from copyright-protected materials for the students in their classrooms. helps teachers decide, with a few clicks, whether the fair-dealing provision in the Copyright Act permits copying of short excerpts from print materials, artistic works, or audiovisual materials for students without needing to obtain copyright permission.


So, the next time you wonder, “Can I use this in my classroom? Can I copy it?” the answer is at your fingertips! It takes 30 seconds on to have your copyright question answered. By clicking through this user-friendly resource, you will know whether the use of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work is “fair.” informs teachers about their rights and obligations when they use short excerpts from the copyright-protected works of others. The tool helps ensure that teachers better understand the law and the application of the Fair Dealing Guidelines. In addition to the on-line decision tool, there are other important copyright resources all teachers should become familiar with:



All of these resources can be printed for free for teachers’ easy reference. is a helpful resource to keep teachers on the right side of the law. It is important for teachers to know their rights and their limits under Canada’s copyright law. Use the Fair Dealing Decision Tool when in doubt about whether an intended use is fair.


Visit (and bookmark!)


Copyright and Fair Dealing for Teachers

Teachers and students today have greater opportunities for learning as a result of a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2012 which clarified how fair dealing applies in the classroom.


Fair dealing permits teachers to communicate or use short excerpts from copyright-protected works for students in their classes without needing to obtain permission from the copyright owner or paying copyright royalties, provided the dealing is for an educational purpose and is “fair.”


Today, fair dealing for educational purposes supports learning, fosters innovation, and drives knowledge creation by providing teachers and students with the legal right to deal fairly with the copyright-protected works of others.


Know your rights. Know your limits.


To ensure compliance with copyright law, the education community in Canada has established the Fair Dealing Guidelines to help educators determine what is “fair.” The Fair Dealing Guidelines describe a safe harbour, not absolute limits. Copying or communicating a copyright-protected work within the prescribed limits will, according to the advice of legal counsel, almost certainly be fair. Copying or communicating beyond those limits may, or may not, be fair.


The Fair Dealing Guidelines inform educators about their rights—as well as their obligations. For example, the guidelines prohibit copying from the same source beyond the stated limits. This means that, a teacher who copied 10 per cent of a work could not later copy another 10 per cent of that same work.


To learn more about copyright and fair dealing, teachers are encouraged to visit With this on-line resource, teachers have, at their fingertips, the information they need to decide whether a particular use of a short excerpt is fair or not. All teachers need to be aware of their rights—and their limits—when relying on fair dealing in their classrooms.


Visit (and bookmark!)