GLAM Sector Submissions on Copyright Act Review

GLAM Sector Submissions on Copyright Act Review

September 9, 2018

“Over the last few months, associations representing the Canadian GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) Sector have submitted recommendations for changes to the Copyright Act to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

The submissions from the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Canadian Museums Association (CMA), and Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) touch on similar topics, including:

  • Copyright override
  • Crown Copyright
  • Fair dealing
  • Indigenous Knowledge
  • Orphan works
  • Technological Protection Measures (TPM)
  • Term Extentions

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology Statutory Review of the Copyright Act website includes briefs submitted by GLAM sector associations and other stakeholders.

In addition to briefs from associations, briefs were also submitted by Robert Tiessen and Amanda Wakaruk as individuals.

Robert Tiessen

The submission from Tiessen, a librarian at the University of Calgary and former chair of the Canadian Library Association’s Copyright Committee, focuses on payments to Access Copyright:

One of my biggest concerns over many years is that the way reprographic copyright collectives (ie Access Copyright and Copibec) have been set up over the years puts Canadian education at a significant disadvantage compared to educational institutions in the United States.

Making it more difficult for Canadian educators to use fair dealing in an educational setting will make Canada and Canadian schools, colleges and universities less competitive vis a vis the United States. This is not the time to reduce our competitiveness versus the Americans. Access Copyright is a very opaque organization. There are many problems with how its payments are structured and whether or not publishers (especially large international publishers) receive double payment when an educational institution has already purchased a publisher specific licence that provides the necessary terms and conditions. If Canadian creators and small Canadian publishers need extra help at this time, there needs to be a better solution than pushing more money to Access Copyright.

Robert Tiessen’s full submission (PDF) is available on the Committee website.

Amanda Wakaruk

The submission from Wakaruk, copyright librarian at the University of Alberta and long-time member of the Canadian government information community, focuses on crown copyright:

Government publications should be made available to the public without copyright protection as such protections are no longer relevant and present real barriers to scholarship, journalism, and democracy. I ask the Committee to address the issue of Crown copyright as part of their work during the current review of the Copyright Act.

Amanda Wakaruk’s full submission (PDF) is available on the Committee website.

Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA)

The CFLA submission includes six recommendations on five topics:

Fair Dealing
That Parliament should leave Sections 29, 29.1 and 29.2 of the Copyright Act unchanged to retain current allowable uses.

Contract Override
That Parliament amend the Copyright Act to make it clear where the Act provides that an activity is not an infringement of copyright no contract can override the Act, using the Irish legislation as a model

Technological Protection Measures
That Parliament amend the Copyright Act to make it clear that the Act is technologically neutral and that circumvention of TPMs is permitted for non-infringing, digital and analog uses, in sections 29; 30.1 – 30.5; and 80(1).

Crown Copyright
That Parliament eliminate Crown copyright on all publicly accessible government works or make those works openly licensed by default (e.g., using a Creative Commons licence).

That Parliament examine section 12 to clarify the need for Crown copyright in other government works. This examination should be an open process that includes submissions, public consultations, and parliamentary hearings.

Indigenous Knowledge
That the Copyright Act respect, affirm and recognize Indigenous peoples’ ownership of their traditional and living respective Indigenous knowledge.

The Federation’s full submission (PDF) is available on the CFLA website.

Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)

The CARL submission includes recommendations on ten areas of interest:

Retain Educational Fair Dealing
Recommendation: Continue to demonstrate support for education as an investment in innovation and in the creation of future knowledge via the inclusion of education as a fair dealing purpose.

Retain Current Copyright Term
Recommendation: Maintain the current term of copyright.

Protect Copyright Exceptions from Contract Override
Recommendation: Amend the Act to make it clear that no exception to copyright can be waived or overridden by contract.

Allow Text and Data Mining without Rightsholder Permission
Recommendation: Amend the Act to allow text and data mining without permission from the copyright holder.

Allow the Circumvention of Technological Protection Measures for Non-Infringing Purposes
Recommendation: Amend the Act to clarify that the circumvention of TPMs is only illegal for acts that are an infringement of copyright.

Revisit Crown Copyright
Recommendation: Take steps towards the waiver or elimination of Crown copyright by consistently applying an open licence regime to Crown material, or by amending the Act to effectively abolish Crown copyright.

Retain Cap on Statutory Damages for Non-Commercial Infringement
Recommendation: Retain the $5000 cap on non-commercial statutory damages

Do Not Impose Mandatory Tariffs
Recommendation: Do not introduce a “mandatory tariff” regime for literary works as part of either the Copyright Board reform or the harmonization of statutory minimum damages provisions.

Refine Education and Library Exceptions
Recommendation: Remove unnecessary limitations and expand the scope of some of the exceptions related to both educational institutions, and libraries, archives and museums.

Recognize Traditional Knowledge
Recommendation: Commit to working domestically and internationally to find the appropriate means to recognize and protect traditional knowledge.

CARL’s full submission (PDF) is available on the Committee website.

Canadian Museums Association (CMA)

The CMA submission focuses on three issues of interest to the museum community, as well as an issue that requires further review:

Digitization of collections for internet access

Museums request an exception in the Copyright Act allowing not-for-profit museums to make a low resolution digital image of a work of art protected by copyright, unless specifically prohibited by the copyright owner, and to make it available on line for reference to its collections, the works they include and the artists who are represented therein.

More specifically, such an exception would allow the distribution (communication by telecommunication) of a database or electronic catalogue accessible to the public, which would contain all pertinent information on the artists and copyrighted pieces in the museum’s collection, including low definition images of those works of art.

For greater clarity, such distribution would be subject to specific conditions concerning image quality, the sole objective being to allow the public to see and understand the information related to a piece of art.

Technical Protection Measures

Museums request an exception from the TPM provisions, as long as they pursue legitimate and legal ends, in a manner consistent with the current exceptions framework found in the statute, and so long as the work has been obtained legally.

Orphan Works

The CMA recommends that a special study be conducted with all stakeholders on the various solutions adopted in different jurisdictions concerning Orphan Works, and to make recommendations for the best possible practice.

Artist’s Resale Right

If the Committee were to recommend that ARR be added to the Copyright Act, the CMA requests the possibility to comment on any language which could be proposed.

The CMA submission (PDF) is available on the Committee website.

Canadian Council of Archives (CCA)

The CCA submission, endorsed by the Association of Canadian Archivists and l’Association des archivistes du Québec, includes recommendations in seven areas of interest:

Technological Protection Measures – TPMs

Permit circumvention of TPMs by libraries, archives and museums for any activity that is otherwise allowable under the Copyright Act.

Crown Copyright

Amend the Act immediately to establish that copyright in Crown works lasts for 50 years from date of creation, whether or not they are published.

The federal government should commission a comprehensive study that will:

  • identify the ways Crown copyright is currently addressed by various levels of government,
  • identify the many problematic issues,
  • explore the solutions adopted by other countries,
  • consult with stakeholders, and
  • recommend appropriate measures that will transform this outdated provision into a measure that serves the public interest in the digital age.


Replace or repeal section 14(1) (Reversion) OR amend section 14(1) to permit the author to assign the reversionary interests along with the copyrights.

Indigenous Knowledge

The federal government engage without delay in a respectful, and transparent collaboration with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples to amend the Copyright Act in ways that recognize a community-based approach to copyright protection of Indigenous knowledge. The Archives Community commits to actively participate in this process in all ways that are appropriate.

Canada participate actively in the work of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on traditional knowledge and folklore.

Orphan Works

The federal government convene a working group of concerned stakeholders to further study and propose viable solutions to orphan works issues.

Term Extension

There should be no extension of the terms of copyright protection.

Fair Dealing

The current list of allowable purposes in the Fair Dealing provisions of the Act should remain unchanged.

The Council’s full submission (PDF) is available on the CCA website.”