Fair dealing under Canada's Copyright Act “exists in a sea of uncertainty” and a deliberately vague definition, the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) says in a new report. The 100-page report about fair dealing, released in October, says fair dealing in Canada “exists in a sea of uncertainty because the definition is deliberately vague, the rules are established by the most powerful players, and there is virtually no case law for reference.” To help inform the report, the DOC held panel discussions about fair dealing in Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa. “Concerns were repeated throughout the Panels by lawyers, producers, broadcasters, insurers, and researchers that there is no straightforward definition of FD . There are no hard rules about the length of footage that can be used, or the percentage of the original work that will be allowed. Each case depends on the context of each clip or item, and lawyers are uncomfortable applying FD without case law to provide guidance,” the report said. “This situation has created what Panelist Brian Newman termed a 'culture of fear' among documentary filmmakers who believe that they will be sued if they take advantage of the FD exemption on clearing copyrighted materials, or the fair use (FU) exemption in the United States.” The group said it seeks to establish a more practical fair dealing regime that reduces uncertainty and better manages legal and business risk. The fair dealing provisions in the Copyright Act create exceptions for private study, research, criticism, review and news reporting. The Conservative government's Bill C-11 proposes to expand the act's fair dealing provisions by adding new exceptions for parody, satire and education.