Students Deeply Concerned With Federal Court Ruling Against York University

OTTAWA, July 18, 2017 – The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is deeply concerned with the Federal Court’s recent ruling against York University, as it has the potential to limit students’ access to a quality post-secondary education.


The court ruled that the fair dealing guidelines followed by many Canadian post-secondary institutions, such as the ability to legally copy up to 10% of a work, is not considered as a fair and justifiable implementation of the Supreme Court’s two-step test to determine copyright infringement. CASA is concerned with this judgement, as it creates more ambiguity for students and educators seeking to access and incorporate copyrighted works into their studies in a fair and equitable way.


“While previous Supreme Court judgments on fair dealing emphasized balancing the rights of creators and users, this judgment appears to limit students’ access to copyrighted content that could enhance their education,” said Michael McDonald, Executive Director of CASA. “The Federal Court’s ruling has the potential to disrupt the balance between protecting both user and creator rights, which could result in excessive copyright infringement claims .”


Students understand that paying creators is important and that respecting their rights is essential. Fair dealing has never meant “free” dealing. As both users and creators of educational content, students recognize that it is vital that access to knowledge be promoted and protected, while also ensuring that those who create content are compensated justly.


CASA still believes that the current copyright legislation fairly balances the rights of copyright holders as well as the access rights of students. While this decision leaves students deeply concerned about how fair dealing applies to their education, particularly in an increasingly evolving digital space, students remain committed to advocating for their rights as copyright users and creators as well as ensuring that fair dealing remains at the core of education.


About CASA:

Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, student organization composed of 21 student associations representing 250,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. Through its partnership with the Quebec Students Union (QSU) and its 8 members representing 77,000 students, CASA presents a national student voice to the federal government. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality.



Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224



The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations advocates for better post-secondary education and aims to improve the lives of students. L'Alliance canadienne des associations étudiantes défend les intérêts des étudiant(e)s.
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Students Deeply Concerned With Federal Court Ruling Against York University
Students Deeply Concerned With Federal Court Ruling Against York University
@CASAACAE unites and amplifies the voices of post-secondary students across Canada. Find out more!