​Fair dealing for criticism or review

You can use someone else’s copyright material without permission for the purpose of criticism or review, provided your use is fair and you acknowledge the author and the title of the material.


The criticism or review may relate to the copyright material you are using or to other material. It involves making a judgment about the material or its underlying ideas. Courts have made the following observations about the fair dealing exception for criticism or review:

- the criticism or review may be strongly or humorously expressed

- the criticism or review need not be balanced

- the exception may be available in commercial contexts, such as in commercial publications or on television


However, it is important to remember that the exception will not be available unless the use is genuinely for the purpose of criticism or review and is fair in all the circumstances. For example, if the copyright material is used for ulterior purposes, such as using a competitor’s copyright material to divert trade from the competitor, the fact that the use of the material also involved criticism or review is unlikely to provide a defence to a claim of infringement.