One of the most controversial aspects of Bill C-61 is the inclusion of special educational exception. The provision has split the education community, generating support from some education groups and opposition from others. The product of years of lobbying by provincial education ministers and the AUCC, the exemption at Section 30.04 (1) provides that:
Subject to subsections (2) to (5), it is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution, or a person acting under the authority of one, to do any of the following acts for educational or training purposes in respect of a work or other subject-matter that is available through the Internet:
(a) reproduce it;
(b) communicate it to the public by telecommunication, if that public primarily consists of students of the educational institution or other persons acting under its authority;
(c) perform it in public, if that public primarily consists of students of the educational institution or other persons acting under its authority; or
(d) do any other act that is necessary for the purpose of the acts referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c).
I will discuss why the conditions render this exception virtually useless in a later post. For the moment, I want to reiterate that I do not believe that the exception is either necessary or equitable.