OTTAWA, July 30, 2021 – Today, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeals made by both parties in York University v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) applauds the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to take student’s needs for easy access to educational materials into account while making this decision. In addition, CASA is encouraged by the Supreme Court’s inclusion of the student perspective, centring their analysis on students’ educational needs.

“When Access Copyright tariffs are imposed upon post-secondary institutions, students bear the burden of ancillary fees,” says Marley Gillies, Chair of CASA’s Board of Directors and vice-president external of the University of Calgary Students’ Union. “Students are already paying hundreds of dollars for textbooks each semester, and it is encouraging to see the Supreme Court uphold educational fair dealing, which can help reduce these costs for economically disadvantaged students”. 

Throughout CASA’s advocacy efforts on copyright and fair dealing, our priority has always been to promote the success of students by ensuring that post-secondary education is accessible and affordable. Today’s Supreme Court decision reinforces that the goal of educational material is to support and enhance the academic experience of students and CASA is pleased to see this core principle affirmed. While balancing user rights and creator rights remain crucial, fair dealing must ultimately serve the research and study needs of students.

“CASA has has been actively monitoring the review of the Copyright Act since 2017 and today’s Supreme Court of Canada decision affirms our belief that a post secondary education should be accessible and affordable for all students” says Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, Executive Director Kalin McCluskey “We will continue to advocate for the rights of students to be upheld and are committed to the fair access to educational materials”

“For the Quebec Student Union (QSU), the issue of copyright and fair dealing is at the heart of accessibility to knowledge. The judgment given by the Supreme Court of Canada is a real recognition of the importance of having affordable educational resources to allow equitable access to post-secondary studies. ", says Samuel Poitras, President of the QSU, "We are delighted to see that the demands made by the QSU for several years have been heard and we continue unabated to defend the interests of the university student community." 


Contact Information

Jillian Ripmeester
Communications and Public Relations Officer

[email protected] 


Alexandre Ducharme
Press Officer

(514) 497-2602

[email protected] 


About CASA

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a national voice for Canada’s post-secondary students. Established in 1995, CASA is a non-partisan, not-for-profit student organization composed of student associations from across Canada. We represent 24 student associations, and in a partnership with the Quebec Student Union (QSU) represent 365,000 students collectively to the federal government of Canada. CASA advocates for a post-secondary education system in Canada that is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality.

About QSU

The Quebec Student Union’s mission is to defend the rights and interests of the student community, of its member associations, and of their members, by promoting, protecting, and ameliorating the conditions of students and those of local and international communities. The QSU represents more than 91,000 members from university campuses across Quebec. 

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Students Applaud Supreme Court Decision
Students Applaud Supreme Court of Canada Decision in York v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright)
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