This week (Feb. 25 – Mar. 1) is #FairDealingWeek, a time to celebrate this vital statutory right’s affordances for expressive freedoms and the public good, and to dispel the misinformation that copyright maximalists spread about its supposed harms. Despite repeated, clear, and consistent Supreme Court rulings, big publishers and their intermediaries continue to treat the lawful exercise of fair dealing — by users, educators, and, yes, creators too — as if it’s debatable, dubious, or diabolical.
Among the many online resources and testimonials being shared this week — see https://fair-dealing.ca/ for an aggregated collection — Meera Nair, NAIT’s copyright officer and a vocal advocate for fairer copyright, has shared a blog post that brings home the importance of fair dealing.
“Fair Dealing matters. Individual writers, musicians and artists should not need to be well-versed in the intricacies of copyright law, to benefit by exceptions to copyright defined in the law.”
And if you wish to add your voices to those telling the federal government’s copyright review committee to preserve and extend fair dealing in copyright law, you might consider signing the Fair Copyright petition organized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
Lastly: I’ve linked to its abstract above, but let me reiterate here that essential reading for understanding how fair dealing benefits creators is Eli MacLaren’s 2017 article on poets’ incomes and fair dealing.