Book cover of a Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide


Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide

CAUT Bulletin  

Laura Murray is an Associate Professor in the English Department of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and creator of the website


Samuel Trosow is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He is jointly appointed in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

Recent Decisions

SCC Grants Leave in K-12 Tariff Case
Thursday, 05 May 2011


The Supreme Court of Canada has granted CMEC's application for leave in the Access Copyright K-12 tariff case. The summary order simply read:



Province of Alberta as represented by the Minister of Education et al. v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency Operating as "Access Copyright" (F.C.) (Civil) (By Leave) (33888)

Coram: McLachlin / Abella / Cromwell


In its application for leave for review of the decision of the FCA in Alberta (Education) v Access Copyright, 2010 FCA 198, CMEC identified four issues for review the court should consider:

(a) Whose purpose is relevant in determining fair dealing: the copier’s purpose, the user’s purpose, or both?

(b) How is the amount of dealing to be looked at in determining fair dealing: per dealing, or in the aggregate?

(c) How is the direction that fair dealing not be interpreted restrictively in CCH to be applied to a teacher making copies for students in his or her class?

(d) What is the appropriate standard of review to use in interpreting the application of fair dealing to different categories of users?


In response, Access Copyright asked the court to deny the application, arguing that:

"because the Board's decision was essentially fact-based and raises no questions of law, the intervention of this court would not serve to advance  or clarify the law of fair dealing. In essence, the Applicants are asking this court to reassess the Board's factual conclusions, which is not the role of this Court" (Response to Motion for Leave, paragraph 34.)


It is likely that there will be subsequent applications for intervention from a number of interested parties on both sides of the dispute.  In the FCA, both the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT's Intervention Memo) and a group of publishers trade associations had intervened.



SCC to Render Judgment on CMEC Leave Application
Monday, 02 May 2011


The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will render its judgment in the leave application filed by CMEC in the Access Copyright K-12 tariff case, Alberta (Education) v Access Copyright , 2010 FCA 198 (33888 on the Supreme Court's docket).


The decision will be announced on Thursday, May 5th at 9:45 a.m.




Upcoming talks in May
Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I will be giving several talks in May on copyright, user-generated content, and library governance:


Growing the ICT Industry – Insights from latest Canadian Research

May 4th - 2:00 p.m.

Research Presentation on User Generated Content study

Stratford Rotary Complex, Stratford, Ontario

(Part of Canada 3.0 Conference--Research Stream Session)

sponsored by Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Canadian Copyright in a Changing Political Environment

Annual Gathering of Librarians Interested in Government and Legal Information

(Adjunct evening event) Friday, May 13th  7:00 pm

Simon Fraser University (Downtown Campus-room 7000)

515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, B.C.

Sponsored by BCLA Information Policy Committee


Copyright in Academia

Thursday, May 26th  3:30-5:00 pm

225 Sobey Bldg- St. Mary's University

903 Robie Street -- Halifax, Nova Scotia


A lecture and discussion forum regarding the copyright issues impacting university communities: Access Copyright, Fair Dealings Guidelines, future copyright legislation and more! Sponsored by St. Mary's University Faculty Association (SMUFA)


The Public Library Board Trustee: Policymaker or Policytaker?
Friday, May 27th 10:30a.m.-noon
Halifax Convention Centre (part of Canadian Libray Association 2011 Annual Conference)


This session will examine the role of the public library board and its trustees in terms of their impact and influence in the development and delivery of public policy. Are trustees policy-makers or policy takers? Particular focus will be given to the potential consequences that political interference can play on this role.  (with co-presentor: Bill Irwin, Lecturer, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario) 

Copyright in Canada: Updates and Action

Saturday, May 28th 8:30-10:30

Halifax Convention Centre (part of Canadian Libray Association 2011 Annual Conference


It’s been a very active year on the copyright front! Members of the CLA Copyright Committee will bring you up to date on the issues of concern for libraries: topics will include Bill C-32 and the next copyright bill, and the Copyright Board and Access Copyright.


Speakers: Victoria Owen, Chair, CLA Copyright Committee and Head Librarian, University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus; Rob Tiessen, Head, Access Services, University of Calgary; Sam Trosow, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Information and Media Studies


Copyright in Academia

Monday, May 30th 10:30a.m.-noon

ETC Lab--5th Floor. Harriet Irving Library-University of New Brunswick (Fredericton)


A lecture and discussion forum regarding the copyright issues impacting university communities: Access Copyright, Fair Dealings Guidelines, future copyright legislation and more! (sponsored by UNB Libraries and the Association of New Brunswick Teachers)





AUCC Fair Dealing Guidelines Posted
Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The much anticipated AUCC Fair Delaing Guidlines have been finalized and are in the process of being circulated. While no public release has been announced yet (indeed the whole process has been clouded in secrecy), a copy has been posted here and has also been the subject of discussion on various lists and websites. 


See in particular Howard Knopf's postings of Nov 12thDec 7th and Dec 21st which point to many problems with an earlier draft. The draft was fundamentally flawed largely because of its unduly restrictive interpretation of fair dealing and its generally over-restrictive approach to utilizing course material.  On first glance, the final version appears to contain many of the same problems. 


Watch for further and more complete analysis coming soon . . .



User-Generated Content research report
Sunday, 05 December 2010

Mobilizing User-Generated Content For Canada’s Digital Advantage
, a new report prepared with the support of a Knowledge Synthesis Grant from SSHRC has been released by a group of researchers at the Faculty of Information & Media Studies (FIMS) at UWO. I served as the Principal Investigator for the project which looked at the growing importance and impact of UGC as well as barriers to its creation and dissemination.

The full report is available for downloading at Scholarship@Western.  Here is the Executive Summary . . .


Progressive Librarians Guild statement on Wikileaks
Sunday, 05 December 2010

The Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) has issued a strong condemnation of the blocking of Wikileaks by the Library of Congress, rejecting the justifications the library has given in defense of the move. 


The statement speaks for itself . . .


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UGC Report

I am an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario jointly appointed to the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS).


Before coming to Western, I was a law librarian at the Boalt Hall Law Library at the University of California at Berkeley and before that I was in private law practice in California. My doctoral work in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA focused on information policy issues.


I am currently a Network Investigator and Theme Leader with the GRAND NCE and also serve on the Librarians Committee of the  Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Scholarship @ Western

Western's Open Access Portal


Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda




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