Educational uses of copyrighted work: exceptions and public licences

This afternoon I had a very productive meeting with a nurse/educator at a teaching hospital. She was interested in learning more about the copyright issues associated with the use of medical images taken from the Internet in PowerPoint presentations. We discussed the educational exceptions in the Copyright Act, particularly section 30.01 that allows for the communication of lessons to students enrolled in a course, where the lesson contains copyrighted content; and section 30.04, permitting the reproduction and communication/performance of copyrighted works available through the Internet. (Both of these sections were added in the 2012 round of amendments.) Continue reading

Increase in cost of course packs, but what are the reasons?

The Varsity, the University of Toronto’s student newspaper, reports that students are being made to pay increased (sometimes doubled) prices for printed course packs since the expiry of the UofT’s licence agreement with Access Copyright (AC).

Some might jump straight to the argument that because UofT no longer licences with Access Copyright, the works (or at least up to 20% of them) aren’t covered by a blanket agreement, and thus by necessity students are paying more on a per-page basis.

More likely, this is an issue with communication, specifically between the library and the instructors.

Continue reading

Access Copyright v. York suit split into two

Howard Knopf has reported that the Access Copyright v. York University suit has been bifurcated by the Federal Court — that is, split into two phases that will be heard separately. He has posted Aalto CMJ’s bifurcation order here. The order was requested by York.

In the first phase, documentary and oral discovery (the gathering of evidence) will take place with respect to York’s use (or authorization of use) of the copyrighted works enumerated in Schedule “B” of Access Copyright’s Statement of Claim, as well as York’s counterclaim seeking a declaration that the proposed tariff is voluntary and that uses of copyrighted works that fall within the scope of their Fair Dealing Guidelines are fair dealing.

In the second phase, if necessary, the Court will consider Access Copyright’s claims related to other acts of reproduction that York may have engaged in or authorized, and which are not set out in Schedule “B” but may be discovered during the course of the proceedings.

Access Copyright argued against the bifurcation, on the grounds that it will cause prejudice to their attempts to show that York’s Fair Dealing Guidelines do not reflect the legal scope of fair dealing, and that York has engaged in or authorized copying that falls outside of the ambit of the guidelines. They contend that the initial focusing on the 87 enumerated works will interfere with their ability to discover copying that has taken place beyond what has already been alleged.

Aalto CMJ’s bifurcation order attempts a compromise between York’s view that there are far too many instances of fair copying to be considered in one proceeding, and AC’s view that its ability to discover further copying is compromised. To that end, York will be required to produce the volume and types of copying that it tracks, and provide samples of the copying.

Notes from the Copyright Awareness Roundtable, July 2014

On July 23, the London chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild hosted a Copyright Roundtable, featuring lectures from Tom Adam of the University of Western Ontario, Bobby Glushko of the University of Toronto, and Prof. Samuel Trosow of the University of Western Ontario. The PLG have posted an informative summary of the content of the Roundtable on their blog, plglondon.wordpress.com.

PLG London

The roundtable we hosted this past Wednesday, July 23rd on copyright and contemporary librarianship was a resounding success! Thanks to all who attended and especially to our fantastic speakers who took the time to share their professional experiences and offer approaches to issues such as copyright literacy, risk mitigation, advocacy, and institutional policies. We’ve provided key points from the talk below:

Tom Adam, Project Manager and Special Advisor to the Provost
The Copyright Literacy Project @ Western

  • The library is the place where people should come for copyright information, especially in an academic environment
    • As creator, user and enabler of content as well as resources/tools for the academic community
  • The Copyright project is currently in its third phase
    • (1) Fall – December 2013: Environmental scan, launch of copyright website
    • (2) January – May 2014: Further development of website, strategies for delivering the message campus-wide
    • (3) June – December 2014:…

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U.S. Supreme Court: Warrant needed to search cell phone of arrested individual

Here is another guest post I wrote for Samuel Trosow’s blog, on the recently-decided U.S. Supreme Court cell phone privacy case Riley v. California.

Sam Trosow

Here is a posting written by Lisa Di Valentino about the cell phone privacy decision issued last week from the US Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court: Warrant needed to search cell phone of arrested individual
by Lisa Di Valentino

Earlier this month, the Canadian Supreme Court handed down its judgement in R. v. Spencer, affirming that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in Internet browsing data. On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court had an opportunity to address Constitutional privacy interests in digital information, this time in a mobile phone. The question in this case is whether police, without a warrant, may search digital information in a cell phone taken from someone who has been arrested.

Riley v. California is a decision addressing two separate appeals, both related to the search of mobile phones pursuant to arrest. The facts of each case are set out below:

Case…

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Supreme Court confirms importance of information privacy and Internet anonymity

Although it doesn’t touch on fair dealing in education, I have written a guest post for Samuel Trosow’s blog on the recent Supreme Court decision in R. v. Spencer, and its implications for information privacy.

Sam Trosow

Here is a posting written by Lisa Di Valentino about the internet privacy decision issued today from the SCC . . .

Supreme Court confirms importance of information privacy and Internet anonymity
by Lisa Di Valentino

Today, the Canadian Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in R. v. Spencer. Daniel Therrien, Canada’s new Privacy Commissioner, has called it “a seminal decision”.

Spencer was convicted by the trial court of possession of child pornography. During the investigation, police made a request to Shaw (the ISP) for the name, address, and telephone number of the household associated with the particular IP address of the user who was sharing these files on a peer-to-peer site. The investigators did not have a warrant or production order for this information; Shaw voluntarily disclosed the data they were seeking. With the information in hand, the police obtained a search and seizure warrant…

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A “Fair and Better Way Forward”… but how?

Recently the Canadian Copyright Institute (CCI) have made publicly available an opinion paper from Fall 2013 that sets out their position on the 2012 Copyright Act amendments and the Supreme Court’s decision in Alberta (Education) et al. v. Access Copyright.

Important analyses of the paper have been written by Michael Geist and Meera Nair.

Michael Geist, Canadian Authors & Publishers: We Demand Education Talk To Us As Long As It Leads to New Payments (March 14, 2014): http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/7091/125/

Prof. Geist points at what CCI’s paper does not address — that the majority of copying done in Alberta (Education) was already permitted for various reasons before fair dealing or blanket licences even needed to be considered. Nor does the paper acknowledge the Supreme Court’s stance toward technological neutrality, per Entertainment Software Association v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada — “… absent evidence of Parliamentary intent to the contrary, we interpret the Copyright Act in a way that avoids imposing an additional layer of protections and fees based solely on the method of delivery of the work to the end user.” (para. 9)

Meera Nair, Rewriting History (March 23, 2014): http://fairduty.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/rewriting-history/

Dr. Nair adds to the discussion by noting that CCI’s claim of pending devastation to the publishing industry is at most unsupported, and at least irrelevant. As she puts it, “It is not incumbent upon the education sector to prop up the publishing sector by making unnecessary payment for materials.”

Both commentators advise that if the CCI and other organizations of copyright owners want a meaningful discussion with the educational community, the theme must be one of adaption and not intimidation.

Copying “a few pages” does not reach threshold of substantiality

Michael Geist has written a blog post on the series of questions posed by the Copyright Board to Access Copyright in the post-secondary education tariff proceedings.

Prof. Geist specifically notes the Board’s view that the copying of a couple of pages from a book is not “substantial”, and does not implicate any of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights; therefore, there would be no need for a fair dealing analysis.

“The Board’s preliminary view is that the copying of a few pages or a small percentage from a book that is not a collection of short works, such as poems, is not substantial.” — Copyright Board (pdf)

The Board invites Access Copyright to comment on its view.