Copyright & You

YoCopyrightu may have heard about a recent Federal Court decision, in a case brought by Access Copyright, which found that York University’s Fair Dealing Policy was inconsistent with the federal Copyright Act. This case has received significant media attention and has also presented an opportunity for some publishers to aggressively target post-secondary faculty with offers of fee-based services for dealing with course materials.

Here are some factors to consider about the decision before making any changes to your practices in providing students with access to course materials:

  • The Federal Court decision is binding only on York University, not on any other Canadian post-secondary institutions. In addition, York has not announced publicly whether they will appeal the decision. Should they appeal, the case will likely be before the courts for years to come.
  • Unlike York and many other institutions, Okanagan College has maintained a license with Access Copyright so our dependence on the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act, while important, is mitigated by our rights under our license. (See Access Copyright Print and Digital Copying Guidelines).
  • Another factor to consider is that much of the material that is posted to Moodle originates from e-journals and other sources for which OC Library holds site licenses. Use of these resources is subject to the terms and conditions of the individual publisher and vendor licenses. For more information, see the “Library Licenses” section of the Library’s Copyright Guide.
  • The most important things to remember are that, assuming you were complying with applicable legislation and licenses in the past, there is no need at this time to change your practices in regard to copyright, and that you should direct any questions you might have about copyright to one of the OC employees listed below.

General copyright queries: Lindsay Willson (Kelowna Campus Librarian), Local 4749 / lwillson@okanagan.bc.ca

Queries regarding course packs: Gord Stefansson (Campus Stores), Local 5622 / gstefansson@okanagan.bc.ca

You may also wish to consult OC Library’s Copyright Guidelines.

Ross Tyner
Director, Library Services, and Copyright Officer

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