Canadian Authors Pleased with Federal Court Decision

>>From Canadian Authors Association

July 14, 2017 – Canadian Authors Association (CAA) applauds the July 12 decision of the Federal Court of Canada in Access Copyright vs. York University, the first major decision dealing with the new Canadian fair dealing exception of educational purposes. In that decision, the Federal Court held that York University could not “opt out” of the Access Copyright tariff system, and that its internal Fair Dealing Guidelines are not fair, both in terms of their content and their application.


Five years ago, the federal government added the “education” fair dealing exception as a user right under the Copyright Act. Canada is the only nation with such an exception. A series of subsequent court rulings since then have further jeopardized the right of writers to be paid for their work. The July 12, 2017 Federal Court of Canada decision in Access Copyright vs. York University therefore provides writers with long-awaited good news.


“CAA is pleased with the Federal Court decision,” says Margaret Hume, president of the 96-year-old national writers’ organization. “Since 1921, we’ve stood up for the copyright of authors, and it appears that we must continually remain vigilant in defending that right. This court decision protects authors’ right to be paid for the copying of their work. We urge the federal government to take the next steps in bringing about the needed changes in copyright legislation.”


“This decision is a positive first step in creating a proper balance between the rights of users and the rights of writers and publishers,” says Anita Purcell, CAA Executive Director. “While there is much work yet to be done on both sides, creators can look forward to the upcoming review of the Copyright Act with greater optimism.”


This fall, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, will convene the mandatory review of the Copyright Modernization Act in which the educational purposes exception was enacted. Along with our sister writers’ and publishers’ organizations, CAA will participate fully in that process.


Founded in 1921, Canadian Authors Association is Canada’s first and longest-running national writers’ organization and has played an integral role in forging the country’s literary history. Today the association continues to offer resources, learning opportunities, networking, and a special brand of community to writers at all stages of their careers. For general information about the association, visit



Anita Purcell
Executive Director
[email protected]

T: 705 325 3926 ext. 202
C: 705 955 0716

Canadian Publishers applaud the Federal Court’s decision in Access Copyright v. York University Case

>> From Canadian Publishers’ Council

Canadian Publishers applaud the Federal Court’s decision in Access Copyright v. York University Case

TORONTO, Ontario, July 13, 2017 – The Canadian Publishers’ Council (CPC) is pleased that the Federal Court of Canada has upheld the rights of creators and publishers with its judgment on fair dealing and tariffs in the Access Copyright v. York University case.

“We are happy to see a ruling that addresses the proper interpretation of fair dealing, and upholds the importance of tariffs to fair compensation for creators,” said James Reeve, President of CPC and Managing Director of Pearson Canada. “This decision opens the door for a return to discussions about how to best serve educators and students in Canada, and an opportunity to re-engage with the Education sector on our common goals, and we look forward to that process.”


About CPC:
The Canadian Publishers’ Council (CPC) represents the interests of Canadian companies that publish books and other media for elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and reference markets, the retail and library sectors. Members employ more than 3,000 Canadians directly, and collectively account for nearly three-quarters of all domestic sales of English-language books, with a significant presence in French-language publishing in Quebec. As importantly, member firms pay over $36 million in royalties to Canada’s writers and creators.

For more information contact:
David Swail
Executive Director Canadian Publishers’ Council
[email protected]

Access Copyright is pleased that the Federal Court of Canada upheld the rights of creators

>>From Access Copyright

Access Copyright is pleased that the Federal Court of Canada upheld the rights of creators and publishers with its judgment on fair dealing which has helped to clarify its application in the context of the educational system.

On July 12, 2017, the Federal Court issued its decision in the action between Access Copyright and York University.  Access Copyright, a copyright collective that represents the creators and publishers of printed and digital works, brought the proceeding in the Federal Court to uphold the rights of its members.

The legal decision, which is the first to review the Fair Dealing Guidelines adopted by the education sector, in this case York University, concludes that “York’s Fair Dealing Guidelines are not fair in either their terms or their application.”

The Court concluded that the guidelines do not meet the test for fair dealing established by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Court also found that tariffs are mandatory and confirms that, “There is no opting out.”

The Court noted that, “There is a mutual dependence between libraries/professors and the copyright regime which may suggest that a better system of protection and more certain criteria (such as in a licence or in a tariff) would assist all parties interested in education and access to educational materials.”

“The Court struck the right balance between the public good that is education and the need to reward creators to ensure that this public good continues to be well supported by quality Canadian content. Up until today, the state of the law regarding fair dealing left creators and the institutions that copy copyright protected works in a state of uncertainty.” said Roanie Levy, CEO & President of Access Copyright. “This decision will help the parties understand what can be done and paves the way to re-establish stability and royalties to creators.”

Access Copyright would welcome the opportunity for all interested stakeholders to entertain a meaningful dialogue with a view to resolving any outstanding issues between them and establish a relationship that emphasizes the common ground between those who create and those who teach and learn.

“This does not have to be a zero sum game.” said Cameron Macdonald, Chair of the Access Copyright Board of Directors. “We – creators, publishers and educators – have an opportunity and responsibility to serve the considerable common interest between content creation and education.”

Read the full decision here.

Roanie Levy
CEO & President
Access Copyright

Independent publishers applaud Federal Court’s decision on Access Copyright v. York University

>>From the Association of Canadian Publishers

Independent publishers applaud Federal Court’s decision on Access Copyright v. York University


TORONTO, ONTARIO—(July 12, 2017)—The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) welcomes the decision of the Federal Court in the case of Access Copyright v. York University. The Court found that the guidelines around fair dealing are not fair and tariffs certified by the Copyright Board are enforceable.


With this decision in hand, ACP is eager to work in collaboration with our partners in education to find solutions that work for educators while also ensuring fair compensation for rightsholders whose creative work contributes so much to education in Canada. Fair compensation will ensure that Canadian publishers will be able to continue to develop innovative learning tools and educational resources for Canadian students that truly reflect their world, and that meet the needs and expectations of their educators.


ACP views the York decision as an important step in clarifying parameters of fair dealing for education. Since education was added as a purpose for fair dealing through the Copyright Modernization Act in 2012, royalty distributions to Access Copyright affiliates, including independent Canadian book publishers, have declined by 80%—more than $50 million in collective licensing royalties alone.


“Today’s decision is positive for our members and for all Canadians,” said ACP president Glenn Rollans. “We now have some very important guidance from the Court on fair dealing in education, and we look forward to again investing with confidence in high-quality learning resources that reflect Canadian stories, peoples, history, priorities and values.”


ACP expects that this decision will help inform this fall’s mandatory review of the Copyright Modernization Act, and looks forward to participating fully in that process.


The ACP is the national voice of Canada’s independent English-language book publishers. The ACP supports its 115 members in creating an economically sustainable Canadian-owned and -controlled publishing industry. Visit for more information about the association’s programs and mandate.




For further information contact:


Glenn Rollans, President
[email protected]

(708) 953-0238

Federal Court Finds in Favour of Writers’ Rights

From The Writers’ Union of Canada

Federal Court Finds in Favour of Writers’ Rights

Access Copyright Wins Against York University and Widely Used Copying Guidelines

July 13, 2017 — The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is very pleased with the Federal Court decision released on July 12 in the matter of Access Copyright v. York University. The court’s decision fully supports Canadian writers’ right to be paid when their work is copied and used in Canadian classrooms and dismisses outright the education sector’s unilaterally defined “fair dealing” guidelines.

“This is the win we’ve been waiting for,” said TWUC Chair Marjorie Doyle. “For years now, Canadian writers have seen huge amounts of our valuable work copied for free by the educational sector. The court has recognized the value of our labour and ordered fair payment for that work.”

Access Copyright (AC) is the licensing collective of Canada’s professional writers, publishers, and visual artists. The collective brought action against York University for unauthorized copying of work AC represents through both licenses and Copyright Board tariffs. As part of its defence, York asked the court for affirmation of its fair dealing guidelines, which claim large portions of published work for free and unlicensed copying.

The court ordered York University to pay royalties specified by the existing tariff and dismissed the claim of fair dealing. The decision effectively declares the widespread educational copying guidelines to be illegitimate.

“I believe all Canadian school boards, colleges, and universities have some serious rethinking to do,” added TWUC Executive Director John Degen. “They have been sold a radical theory that collective licensing doesn’t apply to them. The court has now declared that theory invalid. We look forward to rebuilding and strengthening our traditional partnership with education.”

Since the 2012 changes to the Copyright Act, Canada’s writers and publishers have suffered enormous losses of income resulting from educational claims of fair dealing. The full damage to both culture and education has yet to be measured.

“Now we need the federal government to follow the court’s example,” insisted Doyle, “and eliminate the confusion within the Copyright Act. It was confounding legislation that brought us all to court in the first place. The law must be fixed.”

TWUC thanks Access Copyright and all industry partners in this action for their dedication to the rights of professional creators.
The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,000 professional authors of books. The Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. 

For additional information:
John Degen, Executive Director
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416.703.8982 ext. 221
[email protected]

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