The underlying idea behind ‘fair dealing’ in copying copyright works is that the copying should benefit the individual or society without harming the interests of the copyright owner.

  1. If the copying (of sections of a book) replaces the need for you or anyone else to buy the work, then the copying is probably not fair.
  2. Usually only part of a work may be used without breaching copyright.
  3. The source of the copy must be acknowledged. This means recording at least the name of the author and the title on the photocopy if this is not already included.
  4. If photocopying, the copy being made should be for the person doing the copying, and no-one else. It must not be passed on; it is for personal use only.


  1. Up to 10% or one complete chapter of a book, plus any associated endnotes or references. E.g. if a chapter comprises 25% of a book, you can photocopy the entire chapter; but if you want to photocopy extracts from more than one chapter, you can only copy up to 10% of the book (this requirement is in addition to and not in place of, the above).
  2. No more than a single photocopy should be produced, for the personal use of the person doing the copying. Multiple copying (e.g. by teachers for students) is not generally permitted under “fair dealing” for private study or research.
  3. “Fair dealing” for private study or research does not authorise the reproduction of copyright protected material in other works, such as publications, coursework or dissertations’

The best advice is this: If you have any doubts about copying/using Copyright works, don’t copy anything until you’ve checked with a Copyright lawyer.




Martin Pollins
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