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Ottawa, Canada – The July 12 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Alberta (Education) v. Access Copyright upholds the protections in place for students’ to access classroom materials.
The Canadian Federation of Students intervened before the Court to argue against Access Copyright`s position that copies in the classroom setting were not protected under fair dealing. The Court agreed that Access Copyright cannot profit from supplementary materials provided by teachers to students in the classroom.
“The Supreme Court’s decision highlights how Access Copyright’s unending pursuit to profit off the backs of students goes beyond the limits of the law,” said Adam Awad, National Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students. “Students, staff, and faculty were in the right to push back against Access Copyright and to challenge both the ethics and the legality of the fees and agreements it tries to enforce.”
Earlier this year, the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada negotiated a deal with Access Copyright that would see students’ fees increase dramatically, limit access to materials, and introduce questionable online monitoring of student and faculty activity by school administrators. In exchange, Access Copyright promised vague assurances that institutions would not face legal challenges from its members for copyright infringement. The Federation, along with the Canadian Association of University Teachers and other post-secondary education organisations, has mobilised to urge institutions against signing the Access Copyright deal.
“This ruling makes it clear that Access Copyright’s demands are not always legal or ethical,” said Awad. “We congratulate those institutions who have chosen to protect students by not signing the Access Copyright deal and encourage all other institutions to be confident in rejecting it.”
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest student organization, uniting more than 600,000 students in all ten provinces. The Federation and its predecessor organizations have represented students in Canada since 1927.