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I am an academic librarian so copyright laws affect almost all aspects of my work. The current copyright laws need to better reflect modern technologies but also the role that technology plays in learning and education.
I think Canadians deserve a copyright law that puts educational needs of our students at the forefront. Of course copyright holders need to have rights, but I think we need to have more exceptions for educational uses. Why is it that we must obtain a special license for a film in order to show it in a classroom? Why is it that if one of our users requests a journal article from another library, that article can't be sent electronically to the student? Why are we as libraries so worried about putting materials on electronic reserve, forcing students to log in twice or sometimes three times to access documents? It doesn't make sense to me, Canadian students and researchers deserve more than this. Specifically, I think that we should be able to show films (videos, DVDs, streamed) in classrooms without requiring a special license. Also I feel that interlibrary loan exchanges should be allowed to be digital and we should not have to go out on a limb based on a Supreme Court ruling to implement this, it should be in the law. Also for consideration could be the ability to copy musical files for teaching purposes. I also think that in addition to these specific changes, some broad umbrella language that extends copyright privileges for teaching (and research?) purposes would be useful. Put caveats in, as for the US legislation, but at least have something there that emphasizes the rights of students as users.
I deal mostly with copyright laws surrounding library use, and in particular media use, and interlibrary loan use, so I can really only speak about them. Again, I think that we need to emphasize the use of works in learning and research. If our students don't have easy access to the works they need, they won't be learning as much as they could. Same goes for our faculty members. Also, our users often think the library is "behind the times" because we try to adhere to copyright law, and this is really frustrating for us as information professionals. We want what is best for our users, but we also know we have to respect the law. I think the sort of attitude towards fair dealing that was expressed in the 2004 CCH ruling should be made more explicit in Canada's copyright legislation. I also think the government should make legislation that is accessible to individuals and understandable.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate–
Head, Interlibrary Loans and Media Services
Concordia University Libraries
Montreal, Quebec, Canada