What is Fair Dealing? Generally speaking, copyright gives the individual who owns the rights to a work the ability to dictate how it is reproduced and under what conditions. “Fair dealing” is an exception to this – it allows users to perform certain activities (like say, photocopying a book so you can continue studying when you leave the library) without violating copyright. The first factor essential to deciding if an activity falls under fair dealing is its purpose – i.e., the reason you are making a copy. In the Canadian Copyright Act, section 29 lays out these exceptional purposes: 1. Research or.