Copying for criticism and review

What are the limits for copying for criticism and review?

Answer ID 698 | Last updated on 17/01/2023 04.41 PM

There are provisions in the Copyright Act that allow literary, dramatic, musical, artistic or audiovisual works to be copied for the purposes of criticism or review, providing the work is acknowledged through a citation and providing the use of the work is 'fair'.

When determining whether your use of a work is 'fair', consider the following:

  • it must be a genuine attempt to review and/or critique the work (e.g. comparing the work with another work by the author; comparing one movie clip with another as part of a film review)
  • the criticism may be of the underlying ideas in the work, or the work itself
  • criticisms and reviews do not need to be balanced and can be humorous.

Note: You cannot rely on this provision to use a work simply to explain or illustrate your own work. When you copy a work for criticism or review (or for any other purpose), you must acknowledge the creator and details of the work in a reference.

See the Copyright at UWA webpage for more information.

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