Ontario Government Emphasizes User Rights in its Copyright Policy for Education

The Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Education has issued a policy memorandum to all provincial elementary and secondary schools regarding the use of copyright-protected works for education. The government’s approach, which takes effect immediately, represents a strong endorsement of users’ rights, citing not only fair dealing but over a dozen additional educational exceptions that are now part of Canadian copyright law.

The government adopts fair dealing guidelines developed by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, which largely covers the same copying permitted under an Access Copyright licence. The guidelines, which permit copying of up to 10 percent of a work, a single article, or a chapter from a book, state:

1.Teachers, instructors, professors, and staff members in non-profit educational institutions may communicate and reproduce, in paper or electronic form, short excerpts from a copyright protected work for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire, and parody.

2. Copying or communicating short excerpts from a copyright-protected work under these Fair Dealing Guidelines for the purpose of news reporting, criticism, or review should mention the source and, if given in the source, the name of the author or creator of the work.

3. A single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work may be provided or
communicated to each student enrolled in a class or course:
a. as a class handout;
b. as a posting to a learning- or course-management system that is password protected or
otherwise restricted to students of a school or postsecondary educational institution;
c. as part of a course pack.

4. short excerpt means:
a. up to 10 per cent of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work);
b. one chapter from a book;
c. a single article from a periodical;
d. an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart,
and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works;
e. an entire newspaper article or page;
f. an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poems or musical scores;
g. an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary, or similar reference work.

5. Copying or communicating multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work with the intention of copying or communicating substantially the entire work is prohibited.

6. Copying or communicating that exceeds the limits in these Fair Dealing Guidelines may be referred to a supervisor or other person designated by the educational institution for evaluation. An evaluation of whether the proposed copying or communication is permitted under fair dealing will be made based on all relevant circumstances.

7. Any fee charged by the educational institution for communicating or copying a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work must be intended to cover only the costs of the institution,
including overhead costs.


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