Fair Dealing

Fair Dealing

The fair dealing provisions allow limited use of copyright material for certain purposes without requiring permission from the copyright owner. Fair dealing only applies to certain purposes: research or study, criticism or review, parody or satire, reporting the news and judicial proceedings or professional advice. For more information about reporting the news and judicial proceedings or professional advice, please contact us.

The Australian provision of fair dealing should not be confused with the US provision of fair use.

Research or Study

Under fair dealing for research and study, you can copy:

  • 10% of the total number of pages or words (if the work is not paginated) or 1 chapter of the work, whichever is greatest. You may be able to copy more than 10% or 1 chapter under certain circumstances.
  • 1 article from a journal issue, magazine or newspaper. You may have 2 or more articles from the same issue if they are for the same research or course of study.

If you wish to copy other types of material (artistic works, films, sound recordings, computer programs, software or games, unpublished material) or more than 10% or 1 chapter of textual material, you must consider if your use is "fair and reasonable" under the following conditions:

  • why you are copying the work
  • the nature of the work
  • the possibility of obtaining a copy within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the work
  • if only part of the work is copied, the amount and substantiality of the part in relation to the whole work.

The provision only applies to material being copied for your own research and study. You do not need to be enrolled in a formal course of study, fair dealing for research and study also applies to self-directed study and research.

You must acknowledge any material that you use.

Criticism or Review

You can use either the whole work (if it is needed) or a part of it for criticism or review. The Australian Copyright Council has advised "criticism and review involves making a judgment of the material concerned, or of the underlying ideas". You are unlikely to be able to use material as an example or to illustrate a point under fair dealing for criticism or review.

The provision also applies if the critique or review is being published, presented at a conference or made available online.

You must acknowledge any material that you use.

Parody or Satire

You can also use material for parody and satire under fair dealing. The Act has not defined parody or satire, so it is likely that dictionary definition would apply. For more information, contact us.