University seeks input on proposed copyright rules

If you have lots to say about what’s fair when it comes to copyright, it’s time to gather those thoughts.The University is currently considering a new fair dealing policy to replace Brock’s existing policy and wants input from faculty and instructors.A new policy is in the works because of changes to the Copyright Act and recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada. The proposed policy was drafted by external counsel of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and in consultation with university solicitors and legal counsel for other national educational organizations.“Fair dealing is an important right for educators and I encourage faculty to provide input on the proposed new policy. While we are limited in what we can do by the law, we’ve received legal advice that this new policy appropriately balances the rights of educators and creators and is consistent with recent jurisprudence,” said Murray Knuttila, Provost and Vice-President Academic. “At the end of the day, the University’s main objective is to provide, within the parameters of the law, the best educational opportunities for faculty and students alike.”The policy has already received widespread endorsement from educational institutions and organizations across Canada and has been adopted in varying forms by universities, colleges and school boards.The Copyright Act doesn’t define what constitutes fair dealing, though decisions of the Supreme Court provide some clarification. The policy has been drafted based on these decisions, as well as industry norms and practices.The proposed policy would allow Brock faculty and staff to copy and distribute to students short excerpts of materials for educational purposes, including posting book chapters on Sakai, or providing articles as handouts or in course packs.That offers instructors “significantly more flexibility” in making copy right materials available to students, Knuttila said.The proposed policy is available for review online. Comments about the new policy can be emailed to Chabriol Colebatch, Copyright Advisory Group chair at [email protected] by Jan. 14.The policy is expected to be presented to the Board of Trustees for decision in February. read more