Skip to Main Content

Criticism, review, parody, satire fair dealing

The Copyright Act in sections s41 and s103A provides for fair dealing with a copyright item for the purpose of criticism or review of that item or of another item. To rely on these provisions, you must genuinely be copying and/or communicating the material for the purpose of criticism or review. Material that is reproduced for the purpose of judging the quality of a work, or engaging in literary, art, or media criticism, could fall within fair dealing provisions for criticism and review. You must acknowledge the author/creator of the work you are copying, as is the case whenever you use someone else's work.

However, you cannot rely on these provisions if you are only including someone else's work to enhance, supplement or illustrate your own material. You must be submitting the work or quoted extract to direct critical analysis.

The Copyright Act in sections s41A and s103AA provides for fair dealing with a copyright item for the purpose of parody or satire. There is no definition of parody or satire in the Act, so these terms are likely to be interpreted with reference to their dictionary meanings. There is as yet no caselaw to guide you as to how a court might interpret it.

If you are relying on these fair dealing provisions, you do not need to get permission from copyright owners to quote their material. However, it would be wise to discuss this with your publisher.

Info sheets

The Australian Copyright Council website provides information sheets that give further advice: