A few years ago, Canada's Supreme Court made it clear that "fair dealing" should be applied broadly
, especially in educational settings. Fair dealing, of course, is similar to fair use -- and, in the US, in theory, educational uses are also supposed to qualify for fair use. As Section 107
of the US Copyright Act states:
The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
Thus, it seems like the Canadian interpretation is very much in line with the US's statutory view of fair use. Of course, over the years, in the US, publishers have repeatedly chipped away at fair use, such that now that Canada has moved to a position more akin to what the US's is supposed
to be, those same publishers are absolutely flipping out. Last year, we noted that those US publishers submitted a recommendation to the USTR claiming that fair dealing in Canada was simply piracy
. This was the publishers' submission to the USTR for consideration in preparing its annual Special 301 Report
Apparently, this "fair dealing = piracy" argument didn't play well enough at the USTR and didn't make
this year's Special 301 charade. So, the publishers are pissed. Or so reports a recent bit in Politico's Morning Trade
(I'd link to the actual story, but Politico apparently doesn't believe in making it easy to permalink to its Morning Trade tidbits, so it's no longer there), where it notes they've asked the deputy USTR (and former BSA boss) to do something
Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman is traveling to New York today to attend the opening ceremony of BookExpo America, put on by the Association of American Publishers. The industry group is steamed over USTR’s failure in a recent report to confront what it regards as Canada’s overly broad copyright exception for educational purposes. “Active engagement by the U.S. and Canada to remedy the damage should not be put off any longer,” the AAP said.
Think about that for a second. Here are American publishers flat out complaining about Canada setting up its laws to help people get educated. Do these publishers think even in the slightest about the kind of message they're sending out? "Fuck educating children -- we want more money."