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Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Four: Fixing Fair Dealing for the Digital Age

My series on Canadian copyright, fair dealing, and education has explored spending and revenue data at universities and publishers, explained the diminishing value of the Access Copyright licence, and conducted a detailed analysis of site licensing on Canadian campuses which demonstrates the foundation for accessing works are the site licences that offer greater flexibility and value than the Access Copyright licence. The series has also shown how some of the publishers who have been most critical of fair dealing are also the ones that have benefited the most from licensing their e-books to educational institutions.

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May 25, 2018 0 comments News
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Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Three: Exploring the Impact of Site Licensing at Canadian Universities

My series on Canadian copyright, fair dealing, and education has thus far explored spending and revenue data at universities and publishers as well as explained why the Access Copyright licence is diminishing in value. This post provides original data on the impact of site licensing at universities across Canada. It is these licences, together with open access and freely available online materials, that have largely replaced the Access Copyright licence, with fair dealing playing a secondary role. Site licensing now comprises the lion share of acquisition budgets at Canadian libraries, who have widely adopted digital-first policies. The specific terms of the licences vary, but most grant rights for use in course management systems or e-reserves, which effectively replaces photocopies with paid digital access. Moreover, many licences are purchased in perpetuity, meaning that the rights to the works have been fully compensated for an unlimited period. The vast majority of these licenses have been purchased since 2012, yet another confirmation that fair dealing has not resulted in less spending on copyright works.

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May 24, 2018 1 comment News
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Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Two: The Declining Value of the Access Copyright Licence

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology copyright review has focused exclusively on fair dealing and education to date, hearing from a broad spectrum of witnesses that education spending on licences has increased since 2012, that publisher profit margins have gone up during the same time period, and that distributions from the Access Copyright licence have declined. As discussed in yesterday’s post, the data points to the changing realities of access to materials with site licensing now constituting the majority of electronic reserves followed by open access or freely available online materials. Schools are also collectively spending millions of dollars on transactional licensing that grants access to specific works as needed. The role of fair dealing is relatively modest, reflecting a small part of overall access to materials.

The availability of alternative licences that offer better value than the Access Copyright licence lies at the heart of the decline in Access Copyright distributions.

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May 23, 2018 2 comments News
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Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part One: Making Sense of the Spending

The review of Canadian copyright law continues this week with the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology set to hear from Canadian ministers of education and the two leading copyright collectives, Access Copyright and Copibec. The committee review has now heard from dozens of witnesses, including a week-long cross-country tour. With the initial focus on copyright, education, and fair dealing, the MPs are grappling with three key trends since 2012: educational spending on licensing has increased, publisher profit margins has increased with increased sales of Canadian educational texts, and distributions from the Access Copyright licence have declined. This post, the first of four this week on copyright, fair dealing, and education, takes a closer look at the three trends and how they can be reconciled.

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May 22, 2018 6 comments News
Bell presentation, pg 4, obtained under ATIP

Judge For Yourself: Bell Says It Didn’t Meet CRTC to Review the FairPlay Application, But Here’s the Slide Presentation

The revelation that Bell met privately with the CRTC to present its site blocking proposal months before it became public garnered considerable attention yesterday. The internal documents, obtained and posted by the Forum for Research and Policy in Communications, indicate that the groundwork for the site blocking proposal was laid in the summer of 2017, well before public filings or press reports. As far back as July 2017, Bell executives pressed CRTC commissioner Christopher MacDonald for a meeting with all CRTC commissioners and senior staff to make its case for a commission-backed site blocking system.

The CRTC and Bell were asked about the report yesterday by Mobile Syrup. The CRTC responded that there “is nothing procedurally unusual in this case”, noting that stakeholders can raise any issues that are not formally before the commission. In other words, the commission takes the view that companies are free to lobby without limit until the moment of filing, thereby laying the groundwork for a proposal with commissioners and commission staff without having to respond to public commentary. In this case, the presentation led to the drafting an internal legal memo on the issue well before the public filing.

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May 17, 2018 10 comments News