January 18, 2022

New Reference Resource: The Fair Use/Fair Dealing Handbook

Here’s a new reference resource written by Jonathan Band and Jonathan Gerafi at policybandwidth and made available (free) on the infojustice.org web site.

From the Introduction:

More than 40 countries with over one-third of the world’s population have fair use or fair dealing provisions in their copyright laws. These countries are in all regions of the world and at all levels of development. The broad diffusion of fair use and fair dealing indicates that there is no basis for preventing the more widespread adoption of these doctrines, with the benefits their flexibility brings to authors, publishers, consumers, technology companies, libraries, museums, educational institutions, and
governments. This is particularly the case considering that the copyright laws in many “civil law” countries currently allow their courts to apply a specific exception in a specific case only if the second and third steps of the Berne three-step-test are met. That is, the court may permit the use only if it determines that the use does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the rights holder. These steps are at least as abstract and difficult to apply as fair use or fair dealing.


This handbook contains the fair use and fair dealing statutes we were able to identify. Please contact jband@policybandwidth.com if we missed any. The handbook does not include the many implementations of the exceptions for quotation and illustration in Article 10 of the Berne Convention, which refers to “fair practice.” Fair practice under Article 10 is a distinct concept from fair use or fair dealing. The handbook also does not include the myriad specific exceptions countries have enacted sideby-side to fair use or fair dealing. Finally, the handbook does not contain exceptions that appear to be inspired at least in part by fair use or fair dealing, but do not employ those terms.

Direct to Full Text: The Fair Use/Fair Dealing Handbook (73 pages; PDF)
March 2013.

Hat Tip and Thanks: Matt Weaver

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.