My Fair Dealing Week series of posts on Canadian copyright, fair dealing, and education concludes with a few thoughts on the role of fair dealing within Canadian universities and colleges. Copyright lobby groups have spent years perpetuating multiple myths, including the false notion that today’s fair dealing policies are largely a function of 2012 reforms (they actually stem chiefly from two decades of Supreme Court jurisprudence) and that fair dealing has resulted in universities refusing to licence content (prior posts have covered this disinformation, citing the millions spent on site licensing, transactional licensing , the disappearance of course packs, and the growth of open textbooks).
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Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Five: Open Textbooks Saving Students Millions of Dollars
Fair Dealing Week for 2023 may have come to an end, but my series on Canadian copyright, fair dealing, and education continues. This week’s Law Bytes podcast features Western librarian Stephen Spong on fair dealing and prior posts in the series endeavoured to set the record straight and discussed site licensing, transactional licensing, and the disappearance of course packs. Today’s post discusses the growth of open textbooks, which has flourished in recent years. That has saved students millions of dollars, provided faculty with more flexible, adaptable materials, and eliminated the need for either additional licences or a fair dealing analysis.
Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Four: The Disappearance of Course Packs
Canadian copyright lobby groups effort to persuade the government to restrict fair dealing has often focused on a particular use case: the course pack. For many years, course packs were used by university and college professors to pull together a customized collection of reading materials for their courses. The course packs were copied and typically sold as an alternative to course textbooks. Copyright lobby groups and their supporters have long claimed that the practice relies on fair dealing and that universities are profiting from copying without compensation. My Fair Dealing Week series on Canadian copyright, fair dealing, and education (Setting the Record Straight, The Massive Shift to Electronic Licensing, Millions Spent on Transactional Licences Demonstrate Fair Dealing is No Free for All) continues with a look at what has actually happened with data demonstrating the printed course packs have all but disappeared from university campuses.
Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Three: Millions Spent on Transactional Licences Demonstrate Fair Dealing is No Free For All
Canadian copyright lobby groups have repeatedly tried to convince the government that the 2012 copyright reforms and Supreme Court fair dealing jurisprudence created a free-for-all in which education refuses to pay licence fees due to their reliance on fair dealing. The data from yesterday’s post on massive shift to site licences tells a different story, namely that Canadian educational institutions spend hundreds of millions annually on licences that provide both access works and the flexibility to use them in a myriad of ways. My Fair Dealing Week series on Canadian copyright, fair dealing and education (Setting the Record Straight) continues with another type of licence that has grown in importance in recent years: the pay-per-use or transactional licence. These licences, which grant access to, and use of, individual works, demonstrate that lobby group claims bear little relationship to reality. Indeed, if the lobby groups were right about unlimited uncompensated copying, why would education still spend millions a pay-per-use licences? They obviously wouldn’t, but since fair dealing represents a fair approach to both creators and users, education recognizes that fair dealing does not lead to the complete elimination of licensed copying.