The Copyright Board of Canada has released its long delayed decision on photocopying in primary and secondary schools. There are two ways of looking at these decisions – the dollar amount of the tariff and the reasoning. The dollar amount in this case is big – jumping from the current fee of $2.45 per full-time student (FTE) to $5.16 per FTE. Note that this goes back to 2005 (although the back pay will be set at $4.64 per FTE), so this represents a huge additional cost to Canadian education and a major source of revenue for Access Copyright. The Board goes through a detailed analysis of how it arrived at this figure, but at the end of the day, it feels like that it simply split the difference between the two sides. Access Copyright was seeking $8.92, while the schools argued for $2.43 – that averages to $5.67 per FTE and the Board's award is just below that figure. Whether this is just coincidental or by-design, the current system encourages big requests which set a framework for "reasonableness" that can result in major increases in royalties.
The core aspect of the reasoning is the Board's assessment of fair dealing.