My article “Awareness and Perception of Copyright Among Teaching Faculty at Canadian Universities” has been published in Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, vol. 10, no. 2 (2015).


This article describes the background, methodology, and results of a study undertaken in 2014 to determine university faculty awareness and perceptions of copyright as it affects their teaching. An online survey questionnaire was distributed to teaching faculty across Canada, seeking feedback about the copyright policies and training opportunities at their institutions, where they go for copyright assistance, and how they would respond to various copyright-related scenarios that may arise in the course of teaching.

Most of the respondents are aware of the copyright policies or guidelines at their universities, but much fewer know whether or not their institution offers copyright training. Of those who are aware of training opportunities, only one third have taken advantage of them. When needing assistance, faculty members are most likely to go to a librarian or to the institution’s copyright policy.

Responses to the four scenarios suggest that faculty members are more likely to share digital copyrighted materials (including online works) with their students, whereas they are more likely to ask permission or guidance when it comes to print materials.

Comments from the respondents touch upon issues of the complexity of copyright, and the often time-consuming process of obtaining permissions for the use of copyrighted materials in teaching.

This study was supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Michael Geist wrote:

“Academic Matters, a semi-annual publication that explores issues related to higher education, has just published a pair of essays on education, fair dealing, copyright, and collective licensing. Roanie Levy, the Executive Director of Access Copyright, wrote an essay in support of the role of her copyright collective. I wrote the other essay, arguing that emerging forms of access for copyrighted works lessens the value of the Access Copyright licence.”

Read the rest of his post and his essay here.

On January 14, 2016, author Heather Menzies wrote an op-ed for The Globe and Mail concerning the issue of fair dealing and its seeming responsibility for the decline in income of Canadian authors, particularly in the educational sector.

Meera Nair has written a well-thought-out response to Menzies’ claims, addressing copyright law’s history and goals, collective licensing, and the rise of alternatives to traditional publishing of educational materials.


Rocky start for post-Access Copyright era? Not quite.

Ariel Katz discusses the transition from Access Copyright blanket licence to in-house compliance management at the University of Toronto. He argues that the so-called upheaval claimed by AC is not much more than the usual hiccups experienced when moving from one system to another. He addresses the ambiguity surrounding the scope of AC’s repertoire (the copyright owners they claim to represent, and the specific works covered by the blanket licence or potential tariff), the use of licences directly negotiated with publishers, and the ostensible conflict between the interpretations of fair dealing held by AC and the university.