Most of Bill C-11 – the Copyright Modernization Act – is now in force (as published in the Canada Gazette).
Queen’s Copyright Policy and the Copyright Advisory Office website will be updated to reflect this change over the coming weeks in order to help faculty members prepare course materials for next semester. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Phone: 613-533-6000 ext. 78510
Bill C-11 is the most recent attempt to amend the Canadian Copyright Act – something that has not been done successfully since 1997.
Think about 1997 and how you were using copyrighted materials in your class. Is it different than how you use them today? If you look at the educational exceptions in the current copyright bill, you will find reference to things like overhead projectors and flip charts, but no reference to the types of digital materials that are being used in classrooms today. Thankfully, this will change when Bill C-11 becomes law.
One of the biggest changes is an expansion of the fair dealing exception to cover education, parody and satire.
Why is this important? Fair dealing is an exception that allows you to make copies of copyrighted materials without requesting permission from the copyright holder. To use the fair dealing exception, you have to apply a two-step test to your reproduction – first, you have to determine that your copy will fall under one of the allowable purposes listed in the Act, and then you have to prove that your dealing is fair using criteria set out in the CCH v. Upper Canada Law Society Supreme Court case (For more information on this process and on this case, try our Fair Dealing Evaluation tool).
The big thing about this expansion is that there now can be no question that copying for educational purposes will pass the first step of this test (although, as you will see when we look at the Supreme Court decisions, this may not have been as big of a hurdle as it was once thought).
There are a number of other really interesting new exceptions that will have an impact on educators, including one that will allow you to show videos in class without having to purchase public performance rights, another that will allow you to copy materials that are publicly available on the internet and another that will allow you to mash together copyrighted materials in order to create a new work (think YouTube). For a more thorough summary of the upcoming changes, see the following websites: