CFLA Releases New Position Statements on Copyright Issues
February 15, 2018
The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) recently released three position statements on copyright:
- Fair Dealing
- Protecting Copyright Exceptions from Contract Override
- Technological Protection Measures
One important value that all libraries share is providing information to those who are seeking it. Responding to information requests for creative, educational or informative purposes may require reproducing content. Fair dealing is an important and vital user right that empowers library users to learn and explore new opportunities for personal fulfillment and intellectual or professional growth, supports scholars and scientists in research, and challenges students to think critically about the world. Fair dealing allows the limited copying of copyright-protected material (or portions thereof) without payment of fees, or seeking permission from the rights holder, for the purposes established in Sections 29, 29.1 and 29.2 of the Copyright Act of Canada.
The Government of Canada should leave Sections 29, 29.1 and 29.2 of the Copyright Act unchanged to retain current allowable uses.
Protecting Copyright Exceptions from Contract Override
Libraries are unable to provide clear information to their patrons about permitted uses of digital content because rights holders override copyright exceptions and limitations in library licences. Use for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review and news reporting, and exceptions and limitations for libraries, are restricted in licenses although they are permitted in Canada’s Copyright Act. This leads to inefficiency, redundancy, and added costs in libraries, schools, research settings and innovative businesses, while hindering research and innovation. We therefore view the lack of an explicit clause forbidding contract override to be an imbalance in copyright that limits users’ rights.
The Government of Canada should amend the Canadian Copyright Act to make it clear no exception to copyright can be overridden by contract.
Technological Protection Measures
Libraries operate in an increasingly digital environment and much of the content they purchase is digital and protected by technological protection measures (TPMs), also known as digital rights management. Unfortunately, the TPM provisions in the Copyright Act do not make any exceptions for libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) to be able to preserve digital items as intended if they are protected by TPMs.
Technological protection measures also prevent library users from exercising user rights such as fair dealing. For example, if a student wants to make a copy of a small portion of a TPM protected work for their research project under fair dealing, the TPM prevents them from doing that, even though the use would be legal under the legislation.
The Government of Canada should amend the Canadian Copyright Act to make it clear that circumvention of TPMs is only illegal for the purpose of an act that is an infringement of the copyright in it or the moral rights in respect of it or for the purpose of making a copy referred to in subsection 80(1).