Mount Royal University's Copyright Office supports students, faculty, and staff in all areas of copyright related to teaching and learning. The information found on this guide is not legal advice, but intended to promote a better understanding of the rights and responsibilities of students and educators. The Mount Royal University Fair Dealing Guidelines outline best practices when using copyrighted works.
What responsibility do I have as a MRU employee or student to copyright?
MRU employees and students are required to inform themselves of the requirements to use information and materials ethically and appropriately, including ensuring they are following the requirements of the Copyright Act. If you aren't sure or have questions, we are here to help! Contact the Copyright Advisor at MRUcopyright@mtroyal.ca.
- The dealing must be fair.
How do I determine what is fair?
To determine fairness for university purposes, the MRU community can look to the institutional Fair Dealing Guidelines. These guidelines outline best practices when using copyrighted works under fair dealing. If your use goes beyond the guidelines, please contact the Copyright Advisor (email@example.com), who can provide any additional information.
To determine fairness for personal purposes, an individual can undertake an analysis to assess the fairness of their dealing. Assessing whether the use of a copyright-protected work qualifies as fair dealing involves an analysis of two broad, subjective, and intentionally ambiguous legal tests. The first legal test considers the purpose for using the work, and the second test will help an individual assess the "fairness" of their dealing. If either test fails, they will need to contact the copyright owner for permission prior to using the material.
- The dealing must be fair. This can be determined through the six factors provided by the Supreme Court (excerpted from CCH v. LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA  1 S.C.R. 339).
- the purpose of the proposed copying, including whether it is for research, private study, education, satire, parody, criticism, review or news reporting;
- the character of the proposed copying, including whether it involves single or multiple copies, and whether the copy is destroyed after it is used for its specific intended purpose;
- the amount of the dealing from the individual user’s perspective, including the proportion of the work that is copied and the importance of that excerpt in relation to the whole work; this is often referred to as a “short excerpt” and must contain no more of the work than is required in order to achieve the fair dealing purpose;
- alternatives to copying the work, including whether there is a non-copyrighted equivalent available;
- the nature of the work, including whether it is published or unpublished; and
- the effect of the copying on the work, including whether the copy will compete with the commercial market of the original work.
Mandatory citation for criticism, review, or news Reporting: If you are using a work for the purposes of criticism, review or news reporting, the Copyright Act (ss. 29.1 and 29.2) requires that you mention the following:
- the source; and
- if given in the source,
- the name of the author, in the case of a work,
- performer, in the case of a performer's performance,
- maker, in the case of a sound recording, or
- broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal.
How do I apply the "six factor" fair dealing test?
Watch Opening Up Copyright's Applying Fair Dealing module below (10 mins).
Attribution: "Applying Fair Dealing" was created and made available by Opening Up Copyright (University of Alberta Copyright Office) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) International license.
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The advice, information, and opinions on this LibGuide are not intended to constitute nor do they replace legal advice and they do not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with a lawyer for legal matters.