Fair Dealing and Fair Use on Copyright Law

A Comparative Study under Copyright Law of India, United Kingdom,
United States, Australia and Germany

Author: Pan Mohamad Faiz
Subject: Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright
Time: January 2007

The general purpose of intellectual property protection, and more specifically, copyright protection, is to provide authors with incentives to create, by providing ‘an avenue for obtaining remuneration’. Although the ultimate goal of copyright law is ‘the promotion, advancement and dissemination of culture and knowledge’, the copyright market corrects the public good nature of copyrighted work by providing author compensation, thereby excluding non-purchasers and promoting voluntary transfer between authors and users. Just like in any other market situation with voluntary participation, through this mechanism, the interests of authors and the public will find a point of convergence: the possibility of remuneration prompts authors to produce and distribute work, thereby serving the public interest in the advancement and dissemination of science and art.

Copyright’s basis as a proprietary concept is that it enables one to protect his or her own creations. Its regulatory basis is that when these creations constitute the expression of ideas presented to the public, they become part of the stream of information whose unimpeded flow is critical to a free society. Copyright is often considered “the right of an author to control the reproduction of his intellectual property.” The author loses actual control over his or her work by publishing it.

Therefore, copyright assures not only that the author keeps his or her work under control, by preventing unauthorized copying, but it also assures that he or she earns the benefits from the intellectual labor. It can be considered an incentive for publishing his or her work. Copyright also works as a compensation for the financial risks the author accepts by publishing his or her work. Without copyright protection, an author might refuse to publish his or her work, so that, in the end, the public might not enjoy it.

The benefit that the author enjoys through copyright protection is problematic: the author’s sole right to copy her work contrasts with public interests, such as social, political, educational and cultural roles. Some believe that this information should be considered public goods and, therefore, not be protected by copyright law. The right to control access to one’s own expressions before publication does not engender free speech concerns, but publishers’ control of access after publication does. This explains why historically copyright was deemed a monopoly to be strictly construed and to be shaped to serve the public interest over that of the copyright owner. The public interest to be served was reasonable access to the copyrighted work.

In order to solve this quandary, countries, like United Kingdom, the United States or other countries where authors enjoy copyright protection, tried to create a balance between the authors’ sole right of copying on the one hand and public interest in using the authors’ work on the other. Even when the author enjoys copyright, his protection is often subject to many limits. An example of these limits is the duration of copyrighted works respectively.

Countries have developed a whole catalogue of limitations. In India and UK, one of these limitations of copyright protection is the fair dealing. Meanwhile in the United States it is called as fair use doctrine. Fair dealing essentially gives the public a right to copy an author’s work for the purpose of criticism, parody, or educational use without her permission. Fair dealing is often defined as the “privilege in others than the owner of a copyright to use the copyrighted material in a reasonable manner without his consent, notwithstanding the monopoly granted to the owner.”

This legal research puts aside outcome driven analysis and examines the larger role fair dealing defence and fair use doctrine serves within copyright law from selected countries, namely India, United Kingdom, United State of America, Australia and Germany. Despite those countries have been growing fast in their copyright law development, all the countries are also members of the Berne Convention as well as the TRIPS Agreement. According to Article 9 Paragraph 2 of the Berne Convention and Article 13 of the TRIPS Agreement, the so-called “three step test” applies, granting limitations of copyright only when limitations “do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.”

Moreover, this legal research tried to explain and examine the legal concept of fair dealing and fair use for protecting the side of public interests. The research structure is following:

A Comparative Study under Copyright Law of India, United Kingdom,
United States, Australia and Germany

1.1. Background to Research Paper
1.2. Objectives
1.3. Research Methodology
1.4. Structure of Research Paper

2.1. Introduction of Copyright
2.1.1. Definition of Copyright
2.1.2. Object of Copyright
2.1.3. International Convention and the Statutory
2.1.4. Extension of Copyright and Allied Right
2.2. Nature of Copyright
2.2.1. General
2.2.2. Scope of Copyright
2.2.3. Original Work and Nature of Right
2.3. Author and Ownership of Copyright
2.3.1. The Author
2.3.2. Author an Employee
2.3.3. Commissioned Works
2.3.4. Miscellaneous
2.4. Infringement of Copyright
2.4.1. General
2.4.2. Definition of Infringement and Infringing Copy
2.4.3. Copyright Protects and the Essential of Infringement
2.4.4. Factors Considered
2.4.5. Causal Connection and Indirect Copying


3.1. Introdcution
3.2. Legal Concept
3.2.1. Phrase of Fair Dealing
3.2.2. Private Use and Research
3.2.3. Criticism and Review: Reporting Current Events

3.1. Introduction
3.2. The Development of Fair Dealing Defence
3.3. Legal Concept
3.3.1. Research and Private Study Research and Private Study Copying by a Person other than the Student or Researcher Commercial Research Computer Database Database
3.3.2. Criticism, Review and News Reporting Criticism and Review Criticism and Review “of a work” Work Reproduced Need to be Work Criticized Parody, Burlesque and Satire Reporting Current Events Avoidance of Certain Terms Relating to News Reporting Sufficient Acknowledgment
3.4. The Concept of Fairness
3.4.1. The Meaning of Fairness
3.4.2. An Objective Test

4.1. Introduction
4.2. The Development of Fair Use
4.2.1. Fair Use before the Copyright Act of 1976
4.2.2. The Codification of Fair Use in the Copyright Act 1976
4.3. Legal Concept
4.4. Factors of Fair Use
4.4.1. Purpose and Character of the Use
4.4.2. Nature of the Copyrighted Work
4.4.3. Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used
4.4.4. Market Effect
4.5. Practical Effect of Fair Use Defence
4.5.1. Fair Use as Defence
4.5.2. Fair Use and Parody
4.5.3. Fair Use on the Internet


5.1. Introduction
5.2. Personal Use
5.3. Authorisation of Copyright Infringement
5.4. Case Examples
5.4.1. Photocopiers
5.4.2. Kazaa in Australia

5.1. Introduction
5.2. Parody
5.2.1. Music Parody
5.2.2. Other Forms of Parody
5.3. Photocopying
5.3.1. Archives
5.3.2. Copying by Someone other than the Copyright Owner
5.3.3. Commercial vs. Non-Profit Use
5.4. News, Videotaping and Computer Programs
5.4.1. News Reporting, Criticism and Comments
5.4.2. Videotaping
5.4.3. Computer Programs
5.5. Photos of Artistic Works in Public Places

5.1. Conclusions
5.2. Suggestions


Concept of limitation and exception on copyright regarding to Fair Dealing or Fair Use in various countries are quite interesting to be discussed. The description and analysis of every case in selected court of other countries can be a reference or maybe also as a recommendation for the legislator of copyright act in our own country as well as good knowledge not only for law practitioner but also for journalist, student, lecturer, researcher, librarian and public society. This is due to in every our daily activities we always find many goods and things which are related with clause of copyright. Consequently, it is important for us to distinguish an act in respond of any author’s work without constitute infringement of copyright law which are ruled by every its own country.

As my moral and academic responsibility, therefore for everybody who wants to read more completely and get the research paper in detail, they can lodge a request by write down in a comment facility under this article including with its aim.

Best Regards

New Delhi,

© Pan Mohamad Faiz
# http://faizlawjournal.blogspot.com


18 thoughts on “Fair Dealing and Fair Use on Copyright Law

  1. I have gone through your site.its describing about commercial property law, If you want to learn
    more about commercial property law and commercial and consumer law, commercial law, it will be
    help full to you. commercial
    property law

  2. Hi, This is Ajit.I am studying PG in Intellectual Property Law under IIT, Kharagpur. Presently, I am doing a project work on Fair use. To be precise the topic of my project is “Harmonisation of Fair use provision under international copyright policy”. I find your article on “legal concept of fair dealing in selected countries: a comparative study under India……etc” is useful for me. I request you to transmit the entire article through e.mail

    • Dear Mr. Faiz,

      The topic is interesting. I would greatly appreciate reading your entire article.

      Kindly send it by email.

      Best wishes,


  3. Presently ,I am working on my dessertion and I have opted to write on the topic of Fair Use under CopYRIGHT LAW OF INDIA. The broad outline that you have given on the topic of FAIR DEALING AND FAIR USE ON COPYRIGHT LAW will help me in getting a wide perspective on it and further help me in giving final touch to my topic.

  4. hi, read your outline on fair dealing & fair use under copyright law. Sounds comprehensive and informative. I am presently doing an assignment/presentation on a similar topic but have not been able to find much info on fair dealing law in Germany. I was wondering if you could transmit me the entire article through email.

  5. Dear Mohammad Faiz,
    Assalamualaikum.I’m in my first semester of master degree in IP and being from engineering background, I find that copyright is a tough subject for me to digest. Appreciate if you could transmit and allow me to study your paper on
    A Comparative Study under Copyright Law of India, United Kingdom,
    United States, Australia and Germany, to assist me in understanding copyright particularly on fair dealing. My email is ttdolai@yahoo.com. Thank you.

  6. Hi,
    I am a 3rd year student at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS). My project paper is on “Fair Use”. I would like to read your article as it appears to provide a comparative and comprehensive understanding of the subject. Thank you.

    Hi Sukanya.. Please send me a message to my email, then i will reply your message with the paper on its attachment. Danke well!

  7. Hi Mohammad,
    I found the introduction to your paper on comparative copyright law interesting. I would like to read your paper, as I am studying copyright law in Germany and would be interested in learning your views. I would appreciate if you could send me your article in full.
    Best regards

  8. Dear Mr. Faiz,

    I am a final year student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune, India. I am preparing a short paper for my submissions in college, which touches upon the concept of fair use, though the main thrust of my work is Broadcast Reproduction Rights. I found your blog through Google and liked your abstract.

    Can you please mail me the full text? It would be of great help. I assure you that your article will not be reproduced or circulated without your prior consent.

    Thanks and regards,

  9. hello!
    i’m a law student in my fourth year. I’m writing an article on “fair dealing in India”. It would be great help if I were permitted to read your research paper in detail.. thank you.

  10. Hello!

    I seems from the abstract that your paper described above answers a question that is important for me, namely one about parody of UK IP. Is theer any way in which I can get access to this paper?

    with best regards

  11. Dear Mr. Faiz,

    I am interested in Fair Use policies in European countries and the abstract of your comparative study could help me gain answers to some of my questions.
    Therefore I would truly appreciate if I could be sent your text in full.

    With best regards,

  12. hi…………i am a LAW student of 4th year.I have to submit a project on ‘copy right law $cyber space in india”.can u pls mail me the full text? it would be a great help for me.thanks if u can ….. my mail ID is parvin.ratrirag@gmail.com

  13. Dear Pan
    Nice to see that you are actively engaged in subject of my interest.But to give a comment you will have to mail the article to me.How is life and where are you?
    Alka ma’am from Law Fac. Delhi

  14. hello sir,
    i am doing LL.M specialising in IPR. my research topic is comparative analysis of fair use and it would be helpful if u mail me ur ful paper. thank you

  15. Dear Mr Faiz,

    I’m a PG student wishing to do thesis relating to fair use and fair dealing. You might be busy but could you please help me by giving me your full paper of this topic. I’d be very grateful. Thank you beforehand.


  16. Dear Mr. Faiz, I am doing a PG course in Intellectual Property and have to submit a dissertation on Fair use and Fair dealing of copyright law. Can you please help by sharing your material with me. I will be grateful.

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