Using Copyrighted Material

How much can I copy?

Before you start copying any work, it is safe to assume that most works are protected by copyright. Unless the amount copied constitutes a reasonable portion or falls within any of the fair dealing defences under the Copyright Act, there is always a risk of infringing copyright if a work is copied.

Generally, where the copying is for the specific purposes of research or study, it is likely to amount to a fair dealing as long as the portion copied is a reasonable one. What constitutes a reasonable portion is as follows:

  • For published books (of at least 10 pages): not more than one chapter or not more than 10% of the number of pages thereof.
  • For periodicals: not more than the whole or part of one article in a periodical.
  • For published works stored on any medium by electronic means: not more than one chapter or not more than 10% of the total number of bytes or total number of words, whichever is greater.
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