A pair of postings this morning provide an interesting, albeit discouraging, contrast between Canada and the United States on the role of the education community and copyright. Howard Knopf highlights the dangers of "excess caution", pointing to Copyright Matters, a document produced by several Canadian education groups. The document adopts an incredibly conservative approach to copyright with little of Supreme Court of Canada's enthusiasm for balance and user rights. The document fails the education community by envisioning the role of educators as guardians of knowledge rather than as disseminators of our culture and heritage.
Compare that approach with a speech delivered to the Association of American Publishers yesterday by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman defending her university's participation in the Google Book Search program. Coleman argues that the program is "a legal, ethical, and noble endeavor that will transform our society."
Read the full speech, if only to see the kind of leadership that Canada needs on this issue.