I wrote a story last week about the Council of Minister’s of Education, Canada’s recent communique on copyright law and the internet.
Michael Geist, a UOttawa internet law prof, calls CMEC’s position on copyright “utter nonsense” on his blog.
“While there is no absolute certainty with fair dealing (or fair use for that matter), the state of Canadian law provides so much flexibility that it is very unlikely that a publisher or web site owner would sue an educational institution for most reasonable uses. That doesn’t mean that education gets to use works for any purpose whatsoever, but why should it? Where the use extends well beyond what is fair, there should be compensation.
The CMEC and AUCC’s decision to create a divide among education groups by failing to target a more flexible fair dealing provision (which would address many of its concerns) not only undermines a pro-education copyright reform agenda, but surrenders the moral high ground. Canadians would unquestionably support fair access to educational materials, whether for research, private study or in the classroom. The way to accomplish that is through a flexible fair dealing provision, not through an Internet exception that argues that education alone is entitled to free use.”
(Hat tip to Dale Kirby)