March 11, 2014 — The Canadian Copyright Institute today released A Fair and Better Way Forward, an analysis and policy statement outlining how some changes to Canada’s Copyright Act are resulting in an unfortunate expansion in educational copying in Canada — on an industrial scale and without payment.
The CCI document acknowledges that the legal provision of fair dealing has been slightly expanded as a result of recent changes to the law while emphasizing that this change by no means eliminates the need for collective licensing in educational institutions. “It certainly does not justify copying practices that are bound to have a devastating impact on the market for published materials,” noted CCI Chair, Jacqueline Hushion, who pointed to the recent announcement by Oxford University Press of the closure of its K-12 publishing division. “That announcement underlined the influence that changes to Canadian copyright law, as well as the decision by provinces and school boards to opt out of Access Copyright licences, had on the company’s decision.”
CCI believes many of the revised copyright guideline documents currently being used in Canadian post-secondary institutions and K-12 school boards are overly aggressive in their expansion of fair dealing territory. This aggressive expansion is unsupported by either the changes to the Copyright Act or recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. John Degen, Executive Director of the Writers’ Union of Canada, explained that “A Fair and Better Way Forward was published with the intention of opening a new dialogue between Canada’s writing and publishing sector and the educational institutions who copy our work for use in their classrooms.”
CCI is extremely disappointed that its invitation for dialogue has been rebuffed by the administrations and organizations to whom this paper was sent last year. “We release it now publicly,” said Gerry McIntyre, Executive Director of the Canadian Educational Resources Council, “in order to raise awareness of the institutional intransigence with which we have been struggling — and to shed greater light on this fundamental issue before further damage is done.” CCI is concerned that – as a result of the education associations’ unwillingness to engage in a constructive dialogue on the matter, teachers and their employers will now be exposed to expensive litigation, since no reasonable avenue for negotiation remains for educational content providers. CCI is greatly concerned that, as a result of this lack of dialogue, Canadian educators and Canadian writers and publishers — two groups with much in common — have been irresponsibly placed in legal opposition to each other.
» Download A Fair and Better Way Forward (PDF)
The Canadian Copyright Institute (CCI) is an association of creators, producers, publishers and distributors of copyright works. Founded in 1965, the CCI has sought to encourage a better understanding of the law of copyright and to engage in and foster research and dialogue on the promotion of ideas and works of the mind.
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