February 21 to 24 was Fair Dealing Week at the University of Alberta. On the opening day our director, Linda Cameron, was a member of a panel called Fair Dealing: How fair is it? Other panelists included Cameron Hutchison, UAlberta Faculty of Law and Howard Knopf, Macera & Jarzyna, Ottawa.
The highlight of Linda’s presentation included the economic impacts of fair dealing based on a report commissioned by Access Copyright and prepared by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC). The economic impacts of the Copyright Modernization Act (2012) and the resulting fair dealing guidelines have been widespread. Movement away from collective licensing by K-12 and post-secondary institutions through Access Copyright and the application of fair dealing guidelines have resulted in a drastic decline in revenues for many educational and trade publishers.
The PwC report clearly demonstrates that, “Without licensing income—a significant source of income for content producers…many Canadian publishers will not only reduce their content output, but may be forced to exit the educational publishing market.
At UAlberta Press we understand the social value and virtue of sharing ideas widely; we are, after all, a scholarly publisher who seeks to do exactly that for our creators. The people we publish are scholars and writers who spend years researching, contemplating, and experiencing: they then bring that creative thought and knowledge into their written work.
During her presentation, Linda noted the permissions policy we follow when working with another’s intellectual property. A lot of thought and discussion went into the development of the UAlberta Press permissions policy, and not all of it focussed on Canada’s 2012 Copyright Modernization Act and the guidelines around fair dealing.
We pay respect, not by simple adherence to a particular copyright act, nor by considering what we can “get away with” under the law. Instead, we look at intellectual property as a manifestation of a particular form of very hard work and deserving of utmost respect.
We will leave off with a question for authors and other creators: What approach do you take to permissions, citations, and attributions? What do you think is fair?