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Fair Dealing: A Liaison Librarian’s Perspective

Fair Dealing: A Liaison Librarian’s Perspective


Hi, my name’s Laura Bredahl, I’m a librarian here at the University of Waterloo and I’m here celebrating Fair Dealing Week and I guess I’m going to be providing you with a little bit of a librarian’s perspective on fair dealing and what it means to us and the University. One of the major changes that’s happened recently in Canadian Copyright Law is the inclusion of education in fair dealing. So this is a great win for educational institutions because it opens up a large door for the use of copyrighted matieral in classes. So I just wanted to highlight one example, specifically talking about the use of images, figures and tables in the classroom. In fair dealing these works are considered artistic works and so we’re allowed to actually use an entire artistic work in course material. We have almost free use to use these materials in lecture and course materials. This is great news because it allows lecturers or instructors to pull images or pictures or figures right out of the research articles that they might be using for their lecture slides. This is actually making information use more seamless at academic institutions. As a librarian, in a health related field this creates an ease of mind because the instructors are free to use snippets of content in their lecture materials making the access and sharing of information almost seamless. This is a big part of what we want to achieve in academic libraries, access to information is a huge hurdle And making things more seamless for translating to teaching materials is a large part of that puzzle. So, I want to give you an example of this. Say a lecturer wants to develop some course content, and they want to use the most up to date information as possible So while they’re looking at prominent journals in their field they might see some great data from a table for example, And they wanna use that in their lecture material. Before this educational exception in fair dealing they would actually have to delete these tables and figures from their course content Some lecturers probably didn’t even know to do this and therefore were inadvertently infringing on copyright So now, the great thing is that they don’t have to worry as much. Use in these situations, as long as the use is small, is just fine. I suggest erring on the side of caution but also being aware of when your actions take you outside of the realm of fair dealing and will require you to get explicit copyright permissions. So, it’s not always clear when this is happening. I think one of the most surprising and likely infuriating situtations is when a researcher wants to use content that they’ve actually previously published. So it’s their own work. If this is happening I suggest two things. Pay attention as an author to the transfer of copyright and author agreement forms that you sign And the other thing you can do is make sure you check with the publisher of the article before you assume you can use a work just because you’re the original author. And also I suggest if you have any questions ask the library for guidance!

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