Canadian Library Association – Copyright Update

I was trolling the Canadian Library Association/association canadienne des bibliothèques website to see what is new (note their new bilingual name!). I found a couple of interesting items on copyright: a letter to the Ministers about Copyright Legislation, and a Resolution by the Association regarding an Access Copyright iniative, “Captain Copyright“.

  • CLA Letter to Ministers re: Copyright Legislation dated June 8, 2006

    Some excerpts:

    At this time, our Association recommends caution and reflection. Until the government is in a position to introduce legislation that can adequately address the needs of creators, rights holders and users, we feel that it is best to let the issue lay in abeyance. It is our position that the complexity of the issues requires that more study be undertaken before any legislation is introduced. Our Association is at your disposal to provide any information and insight your department needs.

    If, however, new legislation is going to be introduced, it is imperative that the legislation does not treat the library and education communities as it would ordinary business and consumers. Libraries and schools serve a greater public good as institutions of access to knowledge and culture, leading to exciting innovation in our economy and society. Licensing of all content is not the answer, and will reduce access to information for ordinary Canadians and in particular our scholars. Previous proposals dealt with the advent of new copying technologies but did not adequately deal with the public policy implications and the most important goals of improved literacy, high levels of learning and education, and excellence in research.

    the previous legislation ignored recent legal interpretations of the concept of “fair dealing”. Canadians will not tolerate a copyright regime that requires licenses for uses that are covered by the fair dealing provisions of the Act. It would appear that Bill C-60 was drafted with no regard whatsoever for the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in CCH Canadian Ltd v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC 13. The CCH case reiterates the oft-cited principle that the fair dealing exception should not be restrictively interpreted and that ‘research’ should always be afforded a large and liberal interpretation.

    I encourage you to read the full letter. It is well laid out, in my humble opinion.

  • A resolution from the 61st AGM of the CLA regarding the Access Copyright initiative, “Captain Copyright“.

    Resolution 2006 – 4: Access Copyright’s “Captain Copyright”

    Whereas the past positions of CLA on copyright issues call for a balance between copyright restrictions and reasonable access by the public, representing the democratic values and information access rights of all Canadians as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada;

    Whereas Access Copyright, as a statutorily regulated entity, must be held to the highest standards of accuracy with respect to its representation of Canada’s copyright regime;

    Whereas Access Copyright has created the Captain Copyright advocacy site ( without consulting CLA and which many Canadian researchers, academics and librarians have condemned as a biased approach to copyright advocacy;

    Whereas the terms of use of the Captain Copyright website shamefully purports to restrict linking to the site, stating “permission to link is explicitly withheld from any website the contents of which may, in the opinion of Access Copyright, be damaging or cause harm to the reputation of Access Copyright;”

    Whereas this website poses a threat to our shared information commons by providing biased copyright information to the Canadian public, particularly children and schoolteachers;

    Therefore Be It Resolved that the President of CLA write an open letter to Access Copyright, to be drafted by the Copyright Working Group, to condemn the Captain Copyright initiative;

    Be It Further Resolved that the Copyright Working Group be mandated to monitor and critique the views expressed by Access Copyright, in order to provide reliable copyright information to Canadian libraries and the broader public;

    Be It Further Resolved that the leadership role of the Copyright Working Group in copyright advocacy, in collaboration with internal and external groups of the CLA, is reaffirmed as per Resolution 7 of the 2005 Annual General Meeting in Calgary.

    Submitted by the Copyright Working Group and the Information Commons Interest Group

    For those interested, here is a link to the Captain Copyright Intellectual Property Notice and Disclaimer. The full text of the clause referenced in the resolution (which I note wasn’t linked):

    Links from Other Websites

    There may be circumstances where access to our website is provided by a hypertext link located at another website. Although Access Copyright encourages and appreciates links in your own Web pages to, Access Copyright has no responsibility for the content of such other sites and Access Copyright does not endorse, authorize, approve, certify, maintain, or control these external Internet addresses and does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficacy or timeliness of the information located at such addresses.

    Permission is expressly granted to any person who wishes to place a link in his or her own website to or any of its pages with the following exception: permission to link is explicitly withheld from any website the contents of which may, in the opinion of the Access Copyright, be damaging or cause harm to the reputation of Access Copyright. Specifically, permission to link is explicitly withheld from sites featuring pornographic, racist or homophobic content. If you link to or otherwise include on your website, please let us know.

    Incidentally, I cannot find anything on the website identifying it as an initiative of Access Copyright, nor anything about Captain Copyright on the Access Copyright website.


  1. And of course I see that Simon Fodden has already got the letter part covered in a June 22, 2006 Slaw post.