CARL Issues Statement on Fair Dealing and Copyright in Universities

September 6, 2016. — The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has released a statement on the use and impact of fair dealing in the context of post-secondary education.

The following excerpts are taken from the statement:

Over the past twelve years, the Supreme Court of Canada has written extensively on the appropriate use of the fair dealing exception under the Copyright Act, championing a “large and liberal” interpretation. This balanced approach to copyright has been welcomed across the higher learning environment, and the Copyright Act’s fair dealing provision is being applied by Canadian university libraries in a responsible and informed manner.

The 31 member libraries of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) spent $293 million on information resources in 2014-15, demonstrating a clear commitment to accessing print and digital content legally and rewarding content owners accordingly.

An important aspect of CARL’s work is to represent the interests of Canadian research libraries—and the students, faculty and researchers they serve—on public policy issues. As such, CARL has long been an advocate for a balanced approach to copyright and believes that the Canadian Copyright Act achieves such a balance.

Martha Whitehead, CARL President and Vice-Provost and University Librarian at Queen’s University, remarks: “Working in academic libraries, we see first-hand how the responsible use of reasonable amounts of copyright-protected materials under fair dealing enables research and learning. This, in turn, benefits society through the creation of new works and new knowledge.”

> Full text of statement: CARL Statement on Fair Dealing and Copyright (PDF)


CARL includes Canada’s 29 largest university research libraries and two federal institutions. Enhancing research and higher education is at the heart of our mission. CARL promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.

For more information:

Susan Haigh, Executive Director
613.482.9344 ext. 101