|The York U. Decision: what does it mean for you?
You have no doubt heard about the Federal Court of Canada decision in the action between Access Copyright and York University.
As well, you may be aware that York University has announced it intends to appeal the Court’s ruling to the Federal Court of Appeal.
What does this all mean for Canadian creators and publishers?
The judgement by the Court focused on two questions: do the copying practices and policies implemented by many in the education sector meet the fair dealing requirements under the Copyright Act, and can a user choose not to pay an interim tariff certified by the Copyright Board of Canada?
The Court decisively ruled in favour of creators and publishers on both issues.
It concluded that York’s practices and policies were arbitrary, not based in principle and did not meet the test for fair dealing established by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court was equally clear by finding that tariffs are mandatory.
The decision is an important victory for Canadian creators and publishers that recognizes the need for you to be compensated when your works are used.
Unfortunately, the reaction from many in the education sector is to continue to rely on the copying practices and policies that were deemed by the Court to lead to illegal behaviour. The majority of educational institutions continue to refuse to pay Access Copyright or individual creators and publishers for the copying of their works. As a result, royalty payments from Access Copyright are not projected to increase in the near future.
As the court process continues, you can help by adding your voice to communicate why it is critical to have a vibrant cultural industry in Canada and how the loss of royalties from the education sector impacts your livelhood.
There are many ways that you can get involved right now. A few suggestions are just below, and we will be sharing many more in the months to come. Stay tuned!