Creator and publisher perspectives on "fair dealing"

Monday, March 24, 2014

Recently, two national organizations representing content creators and producers have outlined their concerns about the interpretation of educational "fair dealing" many in the education sector have taken.

Late last year, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), a national organization which counts over 140 Canadian publishers among its membership, released a statement of fair dealing principles.

The statement outlines seven principles that the ACP believe should form the heart of fair dealing; in particular, when considering copying in educational institutions.

The ACP contends that when determining whether an act of copying is covered under fair dealing, it's the quality of the content--not the quantity--that needs to be examined. In other words, copying a page of content that is substantially at the heart of a work might not be considered fair dealing whereas a much larger portion which isn't as important might be.

More recently, the Canadian Copyright Institute (CCI), a national organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of copyright and its benefits (of which Access Copyright is a member), issued a policy paper, A Fair and Better Way Forward  on educational fair dealing. 

A Fair and Better Way Forward tackles both the new fair dealing exception as well as the  Alberta (Education) v. Access Copyright ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2012.

The CCI concedes in its paper that the new education fair-dealing exception means that some of the copying that takes place in elementary and secondary schools, as well as universities and colleges, will be covered under fair dealing, and that the copying of short excepts in schools that supplement assigned reading texts may also be fair dealing.

However, the CCI also states that the educational sector has interpreted educational fair dealing and the Supreme Court of Court ruling in a very broad manner, and that this interpretation will have a negative market impact on the individuals and organizations that produce the content used in schools and post-secondary institutions each and every day.

In addition to outlining a variety of concerns over educational fair dealing, the CCI expresses a hope to initiate dialogue with the education sector to begin the process of agreeing to an interpretation of educational "fair dealing" that is fair to all who creator, produce and use content.

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter