86th CMEC Meeting: CMEC Copyright Consortium Calls On Federal Government To Allow Use Of Internet Materials In Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Orford, Quebec, September 29, 2004 -- Twelve Ministers of Education, members of the Copyright Consortium are seeking an urgent meeting with the federal ministers of Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada to press for an education amendment to the Copyright law. The Copyright Consortium includes all provinces and territories of Canada except Quebec. They wish to communicate strongly that payment for the educational use of free Internet materials is unacceptable.

Canada's copyright laws are currently being reviewed, and new digital copyright legislation is expected as early as this fall.  Changes to copyright law recommended by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage would seriously hinder the use of the Internet for teaching and learning purposes. These changes would force students and teachers to pay a fee for the use, for educational purposes, of material on the Internet that is currently freely available to the public.

The outgoing chair of the Consortium, New Brunswick Education Minister Madeleine Dubé, declared that the CMEC Consortium and all major national education sector organizations are seeking an education exception to allow fair and reasonable use of      “publicly available” Internet materials. “This type of amendment will strike the proper balance needed within the Copyright Act – to meet the needs of the users while recognizing the rights of the creators,” said Dubé.

“By distinguishing publicly available material from material requiring copyright royalties, Canadian students will be taught respect for copyright,” says the new Chair of the CMEC Copyright Consortium, Jamie Muir, Minister of Education for Nova Scotia.

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For further information, contact
Boyd Pelley
CMEC
(416) 962-8100, ext. 241

Chris George
CG&A Communications
Tel: (905) 641-0800