IPA reproaches Canadian minister's copyright comments

The IPA has added its voice to those of the Union of Quebec Writers and Writers (UNEQ), the Canadian National Association of Book Publishers (ANEL) and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) in response to troubling comments made by the Minister for Higher Education, Hélène David, on 9 December.

In response to a parliamentary question about whether as Minister of Higher Education and a former Minister of Culture, she would ‘send clear guidelines to Quebec universities to ensure that the creators are respected and that copyright is paid to them’, Minister David asserted that Laval University did things that are comparable (to those of Copibec), that are respectful of copyright, and that it acted ‘in accordance with the copyright principles of the federal government’.

Copibec, which represents authors, creators and publishers, has been involved in a legal dispute with Laval University which in June 2014 implemented an internal copyright policy based on the refusal to pay royalties.

The IPA wrote to the Higher Education Minister, putting the Prime Minister and Culture Minister in copy, reminding her of the importance of a national reproduction rights entity.

Read the letter in ENGLISH or FRENCH.

The letter states that her comments were ‘delivered in the context of a Canada whose national educational publishing industry has been severely damaged by the ill-advised introduction into the Copyright Modernisation Act, in 2012, of a new ‘fair dealing’ provision for education, and the subsequent adoption of self-defined guidelines by the education sector with the stated aim of replacing the need for licences from Access Copyright or Copibec.’

If and when Minister David replies, the IPA will report her response here.

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