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Creative Commons by Kristina Alexanderson (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dp7BN7

Canadian Government Commits $50 Million to Creative Commons Licensed Open News Content

The Canadian government announced plans last spring in Budget 2018 to support local journalism with a $50 million commitment over five years. It indicated that the money would be allocated by independent, non-governmental organizations to provide support in under-served communities. Last week, the federal economic update included several additional measures to support the media sector, including the prospect of charitable donations to non-profit journalism organizations, a refundable tax credit to support labour costs for news organizations, and a non-refundable tax credit for Canadians that subscribe to Canadian digital news media. While the new funding has attracted considerable commentary (my take here on why there are problems but the proposal is better than Internet taxes or other cross-subsidization models), somewhat overshadowed was an update on the initial $50 million commitment.

The update indicates that the money will be invested in “open source” news content that will be available under a Creative Commons licence:

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November 26, 2018 2 comments News
Electronic Textbook 5 by Chris Harbeck https://flic.kr/p/7GsjF5 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Misleading on Fair Dealing, Part 5: The Multi-Million Dollar Educational Investment in E-Book Licensing

This series on misleading on fair dealing has placed the spotlight on the changing state of educational copying including the significant decline in book copying as part of coursepack materials and the gradual abandonment of print coursepacks in favour of digital course management systems (CMS). Other posts in the series examined the legal effect of the 2012 reforms and the wildly exaggerated suggestion of 600 million uncompensated copies each year.

This post highlights the massive education investment in e-book licensing. The shift to e-book licensing has significant implications for the fair dealing debate since it confirms that the decline of the Access Copyright licence is not the result of institutions seeking free access, but rather the gravitation toward alternative licences that offer better value for teachers, students, and the taxpayer.

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November 23, 2018 5 comments News
1st EU-Eastern Partnership Forum by Marco Fieber (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bFPz9X

The Best of a Bad Situation?: Why Tax Incentives Are Better Than Regulation and Cross-Subsidization to Support Canadian Journalism

The challenges faced by the Canadian media sector represent an incredibly challenging policy issue for the government. The struggles to adapt to heightened competition in the digital environment – the local paper now competes with a myriad of alternative choices – has led to layoffs, closures, and intense lobbying for a bailout. For the past few years, the government has largely resisted the lobbying efforts, recognizing the risks to the independence and trust in media that can come from government funding for the media itself. While concerns about government influence over the media and journalists are nothing new (I appeared before two Senate committees yesterday which both featured prominent former journalists), there is a difference between the prospect of future appointments and the perception of cash for favourable coverage.

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November 22, 2018 1 comment News
UBC Submission to INDU Committee, http://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/421/INDU/Brief/BR10020447/br-external/UniversityOfBritishColumbia-e.pdf, pg. 3

Misleading on Fair Dealing, Part 4: The Shift from Coursepacks to Digital Course Management Systems

The changing state of course materials in education involves more than just increased reliance on alternative materials such as journal and newspaper articles. Yesterday’s post highlighted the significant decline in book copying as part of coursepack materials, but the data also consistently demonstrates that coursepacks are being abandoned in favour of digital course management systems (CMS)(previous posts in the misleading on fair dealing series on the impact of the 2012 reforms, the wildly exaggerated suggestion of 600 million uncompensated copies each year, and the decline of books in coursepacks).

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November 22, 2018 3 comments News
Coursepacks (Kresge Business Administration Library) by Corey Seeman (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dyFJxm

Misleading on Fair Dealing, Part 3: Data Shows Books Are Rapidly Declining as Part of Coursepack Materials

The misleading claims on fair dealing extend beyond the impact of the 2012 reforms and the wildly exaggerated claim of 600 million uncompensated copies each year. Given that educational institutions have increased their licensing spending since 2012, Access Copyright has sought to downplay the investment at the copyright review by arguing that site licensing is primarily focused on access to journals while copying for coursepacks predominantly involves excerpts from books. The implication of the Access Copyright argument is that book copying remains as relevant as ever and that site licensing does not cover that form of copying. These arguments are misleading, however, since the data suggests that book copying is rapidly declining as part of coursepacks, coursepacks themselves represent a small percentage of course materials, and books are in any event an increasingly large part of university site licensing. Posts over the next three days will address each of these issues.

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November 21, 2018 4 comments News