Today the Supreme Court of Canada determined
that 30 second previews of songs offered by online music services
constitute "fair dealing for the purpose of
research". The Court addressed important
principles of "users' rights", and
re-stated its finding in the oft-quoted CCH Canadian
Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada case, that
"'research' must be given a large and liberal
interpretation in order to ensure that users' rights are not
The Supreme Court has therefore again come down on the side of
users with an accommodating approach to fair dealing.
The decision remains an important reminder, however, that
an analysis of fair dealing is always highly fact-specific and
case-by-case. In a previous
post, we cautioned that when the issue is fair dealing online,
there is no "quick test" and no "one size fits
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