61 Reforms to C-61, Day 50: Education Harms – Lessons Contain Limited Definition of Students

One of the great benefits of distance education and the Internet is the power to extend our traditional notions of a "student body."  MIT's Open Courseware Project provides a great example [from column here]

Notwithstanding the possibilities, Bill C-61 adopts a very narrow definition of student.  Section 30.01(3)(a) states that it is not an infringement:

to communicate a lesson to the public by telecommunication for educational or training purposes, if that public consists only of students who are enrolled in a course of which the lesson forms a part or of other persons acting under the authority of the educational institution;

By requiring enrollment in courses run under the authority of an educational institution, the bill excludes the emergence of MIT Open Courseware-like initiatives that provide terrific educational opportunities, but do so without requiring students to enroll.  Considering an expanded definition is essential if the law is to provide real support for distance learning opportunities.


  1. c-61
    Just a simple LAN administrator here. but many of my users are lawyers, which has got me thinking about this.

    First of all, I had trouble finding the section number you mentioned, until I realized you meant (I think) 31. don’t you mean 30.01, not 30.

    Second of all, I went to look at the MIT Courseware site. They have a whole thing about how they have secured or owned the intellectual rights to all of that.

    The part you quoted seems to say that, even if it would have been a copyright violation, it isn’t in class. But obviously if the people who own the copyrights agree, then there is no problem! That’s exactly what MIT Courseware looks to have done. Canadian schools can still do that too, no? It’s just that they can’t put it up for free to the public if they DON’T hold the rights to it.

    Which is pretty different, I’d say.

  2. knowledge is power says:

    Knowledge is power
    this is somehting that berkley actually embraced YEARS ago like MIT
    that is actually how the circle mud dungeons and dragon online games began,

    go play one then envision it teaching you htings like a class and interacting with students, i even made a version they could see worked. Without ever having a C programming course into me.

    SO that would tell you that tech from 1998 with very little work could make a really fun way to get knowledge to students.

    it is also something in college i too proposed but they turned down cause they feared i was too smart i guess.
    Somehow it threatened them that id eliminate teachers altogether,
    by that end of the 1st year at college i had job offers around the world at age 19. NOW go figure and you tel lme that getting into hacking isn’t worth it……
    knowledge is power.

  3. Is auditing the same thing as “enrollme
    If I’m auditing a course and I have to do something of that would be illegal under Bill C-61 am I considered “enrolled in a course”? Or can only the students who are actually paying and getting credit for the course allowed to do that assignment?

  4. the issue is not whether everyone is a student but how much copyright owners have to give away free. University of Ottawa has a definition of student that is geared to hoiw much you have to pay. They sure don\’t give education away fee.

  5. Does anyone know what a fall election might do to bill C-61? What might happen with a Conservative minority? A Liberal minority?

  6. Maynard G. Krebs says:

    Reply to Phoenix
    The bill will expire if an election is called.

    If the Conservatives are elected look to see the bill re-introduced as is (doubt they’d change anything).

    If the Grits are elected, look for a different bill sometime mid/late next year.

  7. Stupid law
    YES the hackers of canada would like to congradulate the prime minister and his noobs on making US now legally able ( grey area before or virii [in source illegal])
    all publishable as long as its for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.
    could i get schematics for a nuclear bomb please…..i just want to be educated how to make one not that i would.