CMEC Copyright Consortium Pleased with New Federal Copyright Legislation


Toronto, June 13, 2008 — Education ministers across Canada were quick to respond positively to the tabling of new federal copyright legislation in Ottawa yesterday. The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) Copyright Consortium has been vocal in expressing its view that the new legislation must clearly state that students and teachers have fair and reasonable access to publicly available Internet materials in their educational pursuits.

“The education community has viewed the educational use of the Internet as a priority issue,” said Nova Scotia Education Minister Karen Casey, Chair of the CMEC Copyright Consortium, “so we are pleased to see the inclusion of an education amendment in this copyright legislation.”

“The bill provides the clarity we have been looking for with respect to the educational use of the Internet. It establishes the necessary legal framework for students and teachers to use Internet materials in their studies in the classroom without fear of copyright infringement.”

Minister Casey affirmed that Canada's Copyright Act needed to be updated, given that evolving technologies are rapidly expanding the use and copying of digital materials.  “It is good that the bill's education amendment will effectively allow schools to access publicly available Internet materials while respecting the rights of those creators who post materials with an expectation of payment.”

The minister reported that the CMEC Copyright Consortium will review the other parts of the new legislation and make representation to the federal ministers of Industry and of Canadian Heritage over the summer. “The federal government's copyright bill will have a profound impact on the manner in which the Internet is used by students and teachers. CMEC wants to thoroughly review the bill and ensure that the federal government has an accurate account of the impact of the legislation on Canada's education community,” said Minister Casey.

The CMEC Copyright Consortium is composed of the ministers of education from all provinces and territories except Quebec.

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories.  Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

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For more information, contact
Chris George (for information in English)
Tel.: (905) 641-0800

Tamara Davis (for information in French)
Communications Coordinator, CMEC
Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241