CASA lobbied the federal government to hold public consultations regarding copyright since June 2009. As a result, we were invited to participate in three roundtable meetings on the subject and to submit a formal written recommendation on amending copyright law.
In 2012, Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act (also known as the Copyright Modernization Act) added education to the list of fair dealing exemptions from copyright infringement. In other words, if a copyrighted work is copied by someone for the sole purpose of education and within reasonable limitations, this is no longer deemed copyright infringement. Instead, it’s considered as “fair dealing”.
This copyright exemption allows for information to flow more freely in an educational setting, which in turn promotes learning. Without fair dealing, students wouldn’t be able to photocopy an article from their school library, copy a photo to use in an assignment, show a short video or music clip during a class presentation, and more. Class instruction would also suffer without fair dealing, since teachers would be subject to the same restrictions.
In addition to the education fair dealing exemption, Bill C-11 expanded certain pre-existing exemptions to copyright infringement to facilitate new activities like distance education.