Fair Dealing (Canada) and Fair Use (USA) is an exemption of copyright law for the use of a copyrighted work without permission or payment to the copyright owner for the purpose of criticism, news reporting/journalism, teaching, and research. More specific examples include quoting several lines of a song, poem, or play for use in a critique or review of that work; summarizing plot points or research within a news report; or reproducing small excerpts for purposes of classroom use.

When the term of copyright expires, the musical work is said to come into the “public domain” and is then available for anyone to use and copy without seeking permission from the copyright owner (the author retains no rights in the work).

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