Copyright (lost in draft file)

Update on Canadian Copyright Modernization Act from Kwantlen Polytechnic University

For educators important changes include:

  • Fair Dealing is expanded to include the purposes of education and parody and satire  (education is not defined but is likely limited to classroom or distance courses through a course management system
  • Works available on the Internet can be reproduced, sent over the internet and performed in public before students, provided it is for an educational purpose & provided it has been legitimately posted and there is no expressly worded prohibition stated on the site (just a copyright symbol is not enough to prevent such use)
  • Legal copy of a video or dvd can be shown in public on the premises of an educational institution, for educational purposes, before an audience comprised primarily of students; this seems to remove the need to purchase public performance rights for classroom use which is presently the case
  • New exception created: the “mashup” exception
  • Off air recordings of news or commentary can be shown to students for educational purposes, on the premises of the educational institution (no longer need to destroy the copy after one year or pay royalties).
  • Changes to the statutory damages rules that distinguish between commercial and non-commercial infringement. The law now includes a cap of $5000 for all non-commercial infringement.
  • Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) or digital locks are expressly protected by Bill C-11 and it is illegal to circumvent them for any purpose

Please note: Bill C-11 amends the existing provisions of the Copyright Act.  Within a few weeks, the changes to the Copyright Act that are now in force will be reflected in the online version of the Copyright Act published by Justice Canada.  


And from our librarian: “One of the significant changes is that a “legal copy of a video or DVD can be shown in public on the premises of an educational institution, for educational purposes, before an audience comprised primarily of students” meaning public performance rights (PPR) no longer apply in the educational setting. Any video or DVD that we have in our collection can now be shown in class.  In the future, distributors may have a higher purchase price for colleges, but they will no longer have a separate PPR price.”


Some of the courses we build are cut directly from the publisher’s textbook companion site and permissions are arranged with the district sales force = no effort no worries. Within those courses (and contained inside the LMS) there may be additional comments and insights from the instructor which generally don’t alter course content, only add to it. Should students bring copyrighted material into the course discussion area this too is protected from dispute as it is clearly within the boundaries of educational use.


Other places where copyright touches our department are courses built directly by our department—usually in trades—with additional content from design contractors. This material is covered by buying the rights from the contractors as part of their billing. For instance a cartoon project was completed by a freelance animation company contracted through an outlet called O-Desk which I’d recommend to anyone needing professional content.


We also use “local” contractors in our area to build the framework for whole courses. One person in Calgary specializes in scaffolding and we will send her piles of messy assembled by subject matter experts we hire. They normally aren’t teachers and seem particularly clueless in putting their thoughts together. Quite a talent building sense from chaos and this contractor is a genius at it. Outside solving the copyright problem we get great content and stay out of the endless bickering and sniping that accompanies SMEs. And the scheduling falls outside our department so the ridiculous deadlines we are expected to meet passes us by. 


A huge amount of time is burned up in copyright checking and I try to stay out of the discussions. I’ve had design work “stolen” from me and the legal stuff is too unpleasant to go through. To me, the best way to avoid copyright infringement is to have the author’s picture displayed on the work—you don’t steal from people you can see.


A term used by our graphics and video producers is “Cheese-Monkying.” It’s a variation on a “mashup” collage  where an image is altered in such a way that it’s impossible to tell it came from a copyrighted source. It’s a fine art and kind of cool though for legal reasons we’ve had to start asking the art people if there’s any Cheeze-Monkeyed content in the work we have them do. There’s an alternate meaning to the term here:

This is for those of us who build in text…

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