Protecting a Balanced Approach to Copyright and Preserving Choice

Copyright affects how learners and educators access material to support teaching, learning, and research every day.

In the digital age of education, colleges and institutes are embracing the shift from print to digital formats, investing more in digital licenses, e-books and e-journals, and open educational resources (OERs). Canada’s Copyright Act must continue to align with present-day needs, supporting new ideas and the dissemination of knowledge, permitting access to education, and embracing technological innovation.

The 2012 Copyright Modernization Act marked a significant milestone, recognizing “education” as a fair dealing purpose. This welcomed improvement clarified the scope of copyright law and affirmed users’ rights to use small excerpts of copyrighted works alongside purchased material.

In our balanced copyright system, fair dealing is a fundamental right. It helps copyright work for everyone by allowing short excerpts of copyright-protected material to be used for specific purposes without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

Today, institutions have a variety of choices for sourcing and licensing materials, ensuring access to the right materials, in the right format, and at the right costs for students. It’s a win-win – creators are fairly compensated for their work, and users get what they need.

As education, technology, and copyright intersect, maintaining choice, fairness, accessibility, and innovation is essential.


of colleges and institutes reported increased or consistent overall spending on materials over the past five years.


of CICan’s members have reported increased spending on e-books, streaming services, OERs, and other digital resources.


of programs and courses offered at colleges and institutes use materials provided by industry partners, such as technical training manuals and equipment manuals.