Copying in Schools – The K-12 Tariff (2010-2015)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Millions of pages of copying not covered by fair dealing 

Canadian schools copy millions of pages every year that are outside the scope of fair dealing.  That was the conclusion of the Copyright Board when it issued its decision on the tariff rate to be paid by public schools (outside Quebec) for the copying of published works.

The Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC) had sought an outright endorsement of its broad fair dealing guidelines. The Copyright Board, however, concluded there was little evidence that schools adhered to CMEC’s guidelines and declined to endorse them.

Instead, the Board found that public schools copy over 150 million pages per year that are outside the scope of fair dealing and set the annual royalty to be paid for that copying at $2.41 per student, per year.

That royalty rate will soon be re-determined after the Federal Court of Appeal sent the tariff back to the Board with instructions to consider evidence about the breadth of Access Copyright’s repertoire.

Teachers today curate customized reading and learning experiences for their students with journalism, literature, non-fiction, visual arts and educational materials excerpted from newspapers, magazines, books, textbooks and much more.

There is little doubt that our content and copyright landscapes have evolved. However, the education sector’s fair dealing guidelines exceed what can be supported by law. The K-12 Schools Tariff makes clear that fair dealing does not encompass all of the copying in education.