Canada’s 2017 Copyright Review: Academics’ Perspectives

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Mark A. McCutcheon (Athabasca U), Association of Canadian College & University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) & Canadian Society for Digital Humanities (CSDH-SCHN)
contact email: 

CALL FOR PAPERS for Congress 2017 ACCUTE & CSDH-SCHN joint panel

Canada’s 2017 Copyright Review: Academics’ Perspectives

This panel provides an opportunity for postsecondary educators to publicly share their perspectives on the federal government’s upcoming review of Canada’s amended copyright law (tentatively scheduled for fall 2017). Academics’ perspectives are urgently needed here, because the public discourse on copyright policy has been antagonizing academics; this public discourse is dominated by the views of publishers and copyright holders’ intermediaries who are calling for the government to revise if not retract the legislative expansions of fair dealing (see Owens). In 2012, those expansions, together with key Supreme Court rulings, brought a copyright law that had long been skewed in favour of rights holders back into better balance between those interests and the interests of users and educators. Since then, however, rights holders’ lobbyists like Access Copyright and the Writers’ Union of Canada (see Menzies) have been claiming that fair dealing is endangering Canadian publishing and content creation (especially the fair dealing exercised by those universities which, as it happens, have stopped doing business with Access Copyright). How do we as educators and researchers (not to mention as promoters of culture) respond to these accusations? How can we demonstrate the social and economic value of what Coombe et al call “dynamic fair dealing”?

Papers might address the following topics:

  • critiques of the Price-Waterhouse-Cooper study (which has been cited by copyright maximalists & even the WIPO as evidence fair dealing is hurting publishing; see Nair)
  • how writers and creators need fair dealing as much as teachers and researchers do (if not moreso)
  • copyright and the right to free expression
  • copyright and human rights
  • interrogating the divisive discourse of “educators versus creators”
  • fair dealing and Open Educational Resources (OERs)
  • copyright, fair dealing, and scholarly publishing: traditional and emergent modes of disseminating and mobilizing knowledge
  • postsecondary education as promoter of Canadian culture (not as pirate or parasite)

Please send your proposal to the panel’s organizer, Mark A. McCutcheon at Athabasca U (mccutcheon@athabascau.ca), by 1 Nov. 2016. As per ACCUTE’s conference submission guidelines, your proposal must include the following:

Works Cited
Coombe, Rosemary, et al, editors. Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online. U of Toronto P, 2014.

Menzies, Heather. “The copyright act needs to be edited — for writers’ survival.” Globe and Mail, 14 Jan. 2016, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/f/article28197828/.

Nair, Meera. “With due respect to Price Waterhouse Coopers.” Fair Duty, 3 Aug. 2015, https://fairduty.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/with-due-respect-to-pricewaterhousecoopers/.

Owens, Richard C. “Fix Canada’s copyright law before it puts publishers out of business.” Financial Post, 26 Jul. 2016, http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/richard-c-owens-fix-canadas-copyright-law-before-it-puts-publishers-out-of-business.