The copyright system in Canada has been in a state of some upheaval following a range of significant copyright amendments introduced by the Copyright Modernization Act, and the ‘pentalogy’ of Supreme Court decisions last year (see here and here).
The amendments affecting educational use of content, and one of the five Supreme Court cases, Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), have changed the landscape for licensing of content for educational use. There are, however, different views about the extent to which the law has changed, and the implications of the amendments and court decisions (see here and here).
It seems that these differing views will at least partly be resolved through litigation. On 8 April 2013, the Canadian rights management organisation for writers and publishers, Access Copyright, announced it was taking legal action on three fronts in relation to the application of ‘fair dealing’ to the education sector. For an author’s take, see here. A different take by academic Michael Geist here.
In another area of licensing, for governments, the Federal Court of Appeal in Canada recently held that the Crown (the government) is bound by the Copyright Act. A number of provincial governments had argued to the Copyright Board of Canada that they did not have pay licence fees for the use of copyright content because, essentially, the copyright legislation did not apply to them.