Book cover of a Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide


Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide

CAUT Bulletin  

Laura Murray is an Associate Professor in the English Department of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and creator of the website


Samuel Trosow is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He is jointly appointed in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

Recent Decisions

CAUT Releases Advisory on Fair-Dealing PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has released a paper on fair dealing. It is available online at

This advisory is significant because it combines both the internals and externals of copyright policy-making; it links together the federal legislative agenda with policy-making at the local institutional level.  In this piece, CAUT is calling on colleges and universities to codify robust fair dealing practices in their institutional policies, and they are also setting forth a four-part legislative program to insure that any new copyright amendments enshrine the CCH principles.

The Advisory begins with background on the legislative framework and judicial interpretation of fair dealing including a detailed discussion of the factors that go into making a fair-dealing determination. It then turns to internal policy making, fair-dealing in practice, supplemented by a 10 point Fair-Dealing Checklist for Academic Staff and a discussion of applying these points to specific situations. The text of the Great Library's Guidelines to Access is reproduced as a successful example of how such points have been put into practice.

The advisory includes a specific four-point proposal about what should be in the next copyright bill: (1) clarify scope of fair dealing to add  "such as" to say "fair dealing for purposes such as private study, criticism, review or news reporting does not infringe copyright."; (2) clarify definition of fair dealing (“Fair dealing is the user right to reproduce a substantial amount of a work without permission or payment as determined by factors such as: the purpose of the use; the amount of the dealing; alternatives to the dealing; the nature of the original work; and the effect of the dealing on the work."; (3) restricting statutory damages where the infringer acted with good faith belief actions were justified by fair dealing or other limitation; and (4) protect fair dealing in the digital environment by limiting any anti-circumvention rules to acts of infringement situations, and specifically not include devices.


UGC Report

I am an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario jointly appointed to the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS).


Before coming to Western, I was a law librarian at the Boalt Hall Law Library at the University of California at Berkeley and before that I was in private law practice in California. My doctoral work in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA focused on information policy issues.


I am currently a Network Investigator and Theme Leader with the GRAND NCE and also serve on the Librarians Committee of the  Canadian Association of University Teachers.

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Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda




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