CMEC Copyright Consortium Has Mixed Reaction to Copyright Board K–12 Tariff Decision

TORONTO, March 1, 2016 – The Copyright Consortium of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), was disappointed with some aspects of the Copyright Board of Canada's decision on Friday, February 19, 2016, setting the K–12 Elementary and Secondary School Tariffs for 2010–15. With its decision, the Copyright Board has set a tariff rate of $2.46 per student per year to copy print materials such as books, magazines, and newspapers for 2010–12, and $2.41 for 2013–15.


The consortium is composed of the ministers of education of the provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec.


The announced tariff rates are lower than the per-student rates requested by Access Copyright of $15.00 for the years 2010–12 and $9.50 for the years 2013–15. However, the consortium had sought a lower rate.


In the Copyright Board release accompanying the decision, Gilles McDougall, Secretary General of the Board, stated that: “The rates the Board is certifying today are lower than the previously certified rate of $4.81 established by the Board for the years 2005–2009. The main reason for that decrease is the fact that, as a result of the decision of the Supreme Court in Alberta v. Access Copyright [2012 SCC 37], copies made for student instruction, assignments, or class work that were not included in the fair-dealing analysis in the preceding decision were now included. This resulted in the Board's finding that a significant proportion of copying by elementary and secondary schools was fair under the fair-dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.”


The Honourable Karen Casey, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development for Nova Scotia and Chair of the CMEC Copyright Consortium, responded, “While the decision agrees with many of the positions taken by the consortium, the Copyright Board has set out a new methodology relating to evaluating fair dealing that requires detailed legal evaluation. We will need to look at this decision to better understand what it means for teachers and students.”


Minister Casey added, “Provinces and territories respect copyright and actively promote copyright compliance in schools. We have gone to considerable lengths to establish the Fair Dealing Guidelines for teachers and school staff, so some aspects of this decision of the Copyright Board are therefore quite disappointing.”


In the coming weeks, members of the consortium will review this decision to assess its full implications for teachers and students.


Details of the Fair Dealing Guidelines can be found at



About CMEC

Founded in 1967, CMEC is the collective voice of Canada's ministers of education. It provides leadership in education at the pan-Canadian and international levels and contributes to the exercise of the exclusive jurisdiction of provinces and territories over education. For more information, visit us at



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Colin Bailey
Director, Communications
Cell: 416-777-4879
Tel.: 416-962-8100, ext. 259
Twitter: @CCMEC