Post-secondary sector unites on copyright to declare that ‘Fair Dealing Works’

February 21, 2023
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Illustration of the scales of justice with a copyright symbol in the middle and surrounded by the text "Fair Dealing Works".

On Fair Dealing week, student leaders, post-secondary institutions, academic staff, librarians and copyright experts across the post-secondary sector are coming together to stand up for educational rights in copyright law by launching the Fair Dealing Works campaign. The coalition is urging the government to maintain educational fair dealing provisions in the Copyright Act, highlighting the current balance that fair dealing helps to maintain between creators and users of educational materials.

The Fair Dealing Works campaign brings together Universities Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) in a partnership towards the shared goal of maintaining fair copyright laws in the educational context.

Copyright must work for everyone who uses it; those who learn and those who create culture, research and scientific knowledge. Ensuring a balance in copyright law, which protects the rights of both users and creators, is key to a fair and durable copyright system which benefits all Canadians. Educational fair dealing has been an important part of this balance. Any move away from this balance will have significant detrimental effects for the education sector as a whole, including increasing financial limitations for educational materials, restricting the breadth of materials students can access, and adding new barriers for researchers, stifling Canadian innovation. At the same time, limiting this long-standing user right will not guarantee any new revenues for authors and creators in a changing and competitive digital landscape.

The Fair Dealing Works campaign has launched to provide accurate information on the current state of copyright law and to highlight the benefits fair dealing provisions offer in universities, colleges and research libraries across the country. The coalition is also encouraging the public to write to Ministers and their local MP to highlight the importance of maintaining fair dealing in any copyright reform.

The extension of copyright term limits from 50 to 70 years has already weakened the appropriate user-creator balance in Canada. As the government considers further copyright reforms, the post-secondary sector is united against any change to educational fair dealing that could destabilize this balance and have adverse impacts on the quality and affordability of post-secondary education in Canada. Learners, teachers, researchers and educational institutions all agree: any move away from a right that has been repeatedly reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada will only result in disastrous impacts for education and learning in Canada. Canadians want copyright law which continues to work for everyone and that is why Fair Dealing Works!


About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.

Media contact:

Lisa Wallace
Assistant Director, Communications
Universities Canada
[email protected]

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