What others are saying about the problematic K-12 tariff decision

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

On February 19, the Copyright Board certified a new royalty rate of $2.46 per student per year for 2010-2012 and $2.41 per student per year from the years of 2013-2015 and beyond for the copying of published works in K-12 schools.

Four days later, Access Copyright released a statement stating that the decision establishes a troubling framework for determining the fairness of copying behaviour in schools. 

Echoing these concerns are the Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) and the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP). TWUC has written that the “net result of such a decision is that Canada’s writers and publishers will go completely uncompensated for close to a million books worth of copying per year in Canadian schools.”

Kate Edwards, the executive director of the ACP, has stated that “without incentives to publish, the variety and quality of contemporary Canadian educational content will decline.” Kate reiterated those concerns in a letter-to-the-editor published to the Toronto Star.

The ALCS (Authors’ Lending and Copyright Society), based in the UK, has amplified these reservations.

Young-adult writer and former AC board member Sylvia McNicoll, has outlined the more practical potential impact of this decision: little incentive for creators and publishers for create new educational material for the classroom and students being taught with published material that no longer inspires or enriches.

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), who were the tariff objectors, released a statement through its Copyright Consortium and expressed concern that the decision didn't validate their copying guidelines as articulated in Copyright Matters!.