Fair Dealing exceptions
Fair Dealing exceptions are provisions in The Copyright Act 1968 which allow individuals to reproduce some limited works for free - without obtaining permission from the copyright owner. The use must fall within one of a limited number of purposes and meet the requirements of 'fair dealing' as outlined in the legislation. These generally cannot be used by university staff to copy material for students.
Testing if your intended use is 'Fair'
What is considered 'fair' is determined by taking into account the following factors:
- The purpose and character of the dealing.
- The nature of the work or adaptation.
- The possibility of obtaining the work or adaptation within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.
- The effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of, the work or adaptation.
- The amount and substantiality of the part copied taken in relation to the whole work or adaptation.
The amount considered a 'reasonable portion' has been defined as one chapter or 10% of a book, whichever is greater, or one journal article from a journal, or more if they are for the same research topic.
Fair Dealing includes exceptions for the purposes of:
Copy literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works as part of your research or study as long as your action meets the fairness test. Applies to individuals only - not for teaching staff to copy and communicate to students. Does not allow for public use of works, making available online.
- The purpose of your proposed use must be research or study.
- The proposed use must be 'fair'.
- Up to one article from an edition of a periodical publication (More than one if they relate to the same research or course of study).
- Up to 10% of the number of pages of a literary work, or one chapter of a work if it is divided into chapters. The work must be more than 10 pages long.
- Up to 10% of the number of words for a work in electronic form.
- There are no guidelines for copying of artistic works.
For more information see Australian Copyright Council Fact Sheet - Research or Study.
Your material must make a genuine judgment of the original material or the ideas it includes and/or a comparison of other materials. Criticism and review does not need to be balanced and it can be humorous. In addition, the use must be fair, and the original material must be attributed.
Using the work to enhance or illustrate your work is not considered criticism or review as it is not critically analysing the actual content.The provision does not allow for use of copyright materials to explain or provide evidence for your own ideas or concept.
For more information see Australian Copyright Council fact sheet on Fair Dealing.
For more information see Australian Copyright Council Factsheet: Parody Satire and Comedy.
For more information see Artslaw "It's not a copyright infringement, I'm reporting the news".
Under the fair dealing provision, a person with a disability or a person acting on their behalf, can copy copyright materials in the specific accessible format required if the use is considered fair.
A person with a disability is anyone who suffers from a disability that causes them difficulty in reading, viewing, hearing or comprehending copyright material in a particular form. This includes persons with temporary disabilities.
To determine if the intended use is fair, the person making the copy should consider:
- the purpose and character of the dealing
- the nature of the copyright material
- the effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of, the material
- the case where part only of the material is copied, the amount and substantiality of the part copied taken in relation to the whole material.
For more information see Australian Copyright Council Factsheet: Disabilities: Copyright Provisions or Australian Libraries and Archives Copyright Coalition's Making content accessible : A guide to navigating Australian Copyright Law for disability access.
Contact the Disability Liaison Unit for information about how the University undertakes this process for students.