Fair Dealing Policy

Brock’s fair dealing policy enables instructors to copy and share short excerpts of copyright materials with students.

Approved in February 2013 by Brock’s Board of Trustees, the policy governs how Brock faculty and staff copy and share materials under the fair dealing exception.

The Policy was adopted to encourage Brock instructors and staff to rely on the fair dealing exception by providing them with greater clarity and guidance around how to apply the exception and to ensure that any such copying is done in a way which respects the rights of copyright owners and is consistent with case law and legislation.

The Policy applies to any copying done by Brock faculty and staff. It does not apply to copying by students.

The Policy applies to all types of copying and all types of copyright materials. So whether you are photocopying, scanning or downloading and whether the material is a print work or multimedia (e.g. CDs, DVDs, etc.), the policy will apply.

You can copy “short excerpts” of materials, which is defined by the policy to include:

  • one chapter from a book;
  • one article from a periodical;
  • up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, or an audiovisual work);
  • an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works;
  • an entire newspaper article or page;
  • an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poems or musical scores;
  • an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work.

If you want to copy more, you may contact copyright@brocku.ca to explore whether your proposed copying could nonetheless be fair dealing in light of all relevant circumstances.

The Policy explicitly allows you to share short excerpts of materials with students:

  • as a print handout;
  • on Isaak/Sakai;
  • in a coursepack.

In effect, the Policy allows sharing of materials in ways which are limited to students enrolled in a course. So, by analogy, you could share materials with students by email or through the Library’s print or e-reserve service. The Policy would not however cover sharing of materials on a publicly accessible website, such as your own personal faculty webpage.

When the Library signs a licence for e-resources, such as e-journals and e-books, it agrees to certain terms of use which in many cases will respect and allow for fair dealing uses, but in some cases, will limit or prohibit such use. The Library is reviewing its licences to assess whether fair dealing can be applied to these materials. In the meantime, you should continue to check the library’s licence database to confirm what you can do with e-journal articles under licence by Brock. Any enquiries regarding e-book terms should be directed to liblicense@brocku.ca.

Yes, the Policy applies to all copyright materials, regardless of their source. So, for example, an instructor could copy an image from a website, provided the website contained other images, as this falls under the ‘copying an artistic work from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works’ category in the Policy.

However, the Policy only authorizes the copying of short excerpts of materials, so depending on what you want to copy, you may also be able to rely on another exception in the Copyright Act allowing educational institutions to use internet materials for educational purposes. This exception permits you to copy materials in their entirety available on the public web and share them with your students (either in class or on Isaak/Sakai), provided:

  • you properly attribute the source and author of the work;
  • the work is not protected by a digital lock (e.g. password protection);
  • there is no clearly visible notice, either on the website or the work itself, prohibiting what you want to do; and,
  • the work appears to have been posted legitimately (i.e. by or with the consent of the copyright owner).

The Fair Dealing Policy provides that copying in excess of or beyond the scope of the Policy may be referred to a person designated by the University for evaluation based on all relevant circumstances. Contact Brock University’s legal advisor for copyright, Jordan Snel, at copyright@brocku.ca. You should direct any requests for evaluation to copyright@brocku.ca and include information regarding:

  • your purpose in copying the material;
  • the character of your use (i.e. scope of distribution, duration, regularity);
  • amount you intend to copy (both in terms of quantity and quality);
  • the nature of the work;
  • any alternatives; and,
  • the likely effect of the use on the original work.