A Copyright Act explicitly lists a number of such exceptions by which users can access and make use of copyrighted work without needing to obtain the consent of the copyright holder or to pay a licensing fee.
The most prominent exception is called a fair dealing.
There are two aspects used to decide whether a particular use of copyrighted material falls under the exception of Fair Dealing:
- The purpose of using the copyrighted work and
- whether the degree of use is fair to the creator.
To be considered Fair Dealing, the use of a copyrighted work must belong to the list of approved uses, which includes:
- personal study
- this extends beyond scientific research, “Research” uses extend beyond scientific research and include informal and exploratory investigations by individuals and businesses for the purposes of making purchasing decisions or answering questions of interest.
- criticism (such as a critical response to a published opinion article)
- news reporting
- education (including making multiple copies of the work for classroom use)