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Copyright: Fair Dealing for Instructional Purposes

Provides information on copyright for HKUST students & staff

Fair Dealing for Instructional Purposes

HKUST Library Statement on Copyright

Copyright Information - Fair Dealing for Purposes of Giving or Receiving Instruction

The Copyright Ordinance of Hong Kong allows instructors and students at non-profit education institutions like HKUST to use copyright works up to a "reasonable amount" for education purposes on the condition that such usage is considered fair dealing as provided in Section 41A of the Copyright Ordinance.


Fair Dealing

Under the current Copyright Ordinance, the court will take reference to the "fair dealing" provisions in Section 41A when judging whether teachers and students  observed "fair dealing in their use copyright works.The four conditions under the "fair dealing" provision are:

a. The purpose and nature of such dealing

b. The nature of the work

c. The amount and substantiality of the portion dealt with in relation to the work as a whole; and

d. The effect of such dealing on the potential market for or value of the work.

Visit the Intellectual Property Department's website on Copyright and Education for more documents and information. Especially:

FAQ on Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 & 2009 - Copyright Exemptions

Guidelines for Photocopying of Printed Works by Not-for-profit Educational Establishments

  • 3-day rule
  • No more than 27 instances in a year per course
  • No more than 15 articles from the same newspaper title for one course in any one academic year
  • Its FAQ


Please contact HKUST's representative on the Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee  (JULAC) Copyright Committee, Ms. Victoria F. Caplan (Extn. 6756; if you have further questions.


Fair Dealing (shorter) + video

Fair Dealing - extremely limited use

Using copyrighted works as part of your class assignment is covered under the  "Fair Dealing for the purposes of giving or receiving instruction" in section 41-A of the Hong Kong Kong copyright ordinance. You mustl be very careful about:

  • The purpose and character of the dealing (Non-profit making?)
  • The nature of the work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion dealt with in relation to the work as a whole (e.g. Are you using the most most important portion of the work?)
  • The effect of the dealing upon the potential market for a value of the work

Source: Intellectual Property Department (

Copyright in Education - FAQ (Chinese version only)  / by the Education Bureau, last updated June 2020


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