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Canada’s copyright law is slated for a much-needed reform in the coming year. This is a chance to bring our copyright policies up to date, to make sure that the needs of researchers, students and teachers are balanced with those of creators.
Students and faculty need to have fair and reasonable educational use of internet materials that have been made publicly available by copyright owners, with no expectation of payment for their use. Copyright law must also be amended to facilitate technology enhanced learning so that students participating in a program of learning through the internet, whether they are located in the same community as a university or at a great distance from it, will not be disadvantaged in comparison with their counterparts physically present in the classroom.
The law must also be changed to permit university researchers to obtain and keep research materials in digital format. These and other changes to copyright law can enable educational institutions to take advantage new information and communications technologies, including the Internet, for education and research in a highly competitive knowledge economy.
Finally, AUCC recommends that any prohibition against the circumvention of digital locks applied to online copyright material should permit circumvention for non-infringing purposes such as fair dealing or uses permitted by educational and library exceptions in the Copyright Act.