This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

Evidence of meeting #4 for Bill C-11 (41st Parliament, 1st Session) in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was radio.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Bill Skolnik  Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Federation of Musicians
Don Conway  President, Pineridge Broadcasting
Ian MacKay  President, Re:Sound Music Licensing Company
Aline Côté  President, Les Éditions Berger, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres
Jean Bouchard  Vice-President and General Manager, Groupe Modulo, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres
Cynthia Andrew  Policy Analyst, Ontario Public School Boards Association, Canadian School Boards Association
Michèle Clarke  Director, Government Relations and Policy Research, Public Affairs, Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Claude Brulé  Dean, Algonquin College, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

11:05 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

We're well over the five minutes. We're closer to six.

11:05 a.m.

Director, Government Relations and Policy Research, Public Affairs, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

11:05 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Unfortunately, I'll have to get you to answer that another time.

Now to Mr. Angus for five minutes.

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Thank you for the excellent presentations. I think we are all agreed that we have a huge stake in getting this right.

My young daughter is suffering through grade 9, and when I get home I look and she's reading the same crappy novels I had to read in grade 9—and we were wearing bell-bottoms then. I think it's really important that we make sure we have a vibrant textbook industry so that we can get new materials to our students because, God, those novels were bad back then.

I'm just doing a plug to update—get us some great new novels and get them into our classrooms.

Madame Côté, it's so important that we have a book industry that is feeding our schools and our education system, and I understand the concerns about fair dealing and how we define that.

It has been defined by the Supreme Court, and even Parliament is under the Supreme Court. We have concerns that if their language isn't clear enough, it could be misinterpreted or they could say that the legislation means a different thing in the Supreme Court. Would you agree that if we brought it in line with the Supreme Court decision within this legislation then it would still be clear? It might still lead to litigation, but at least we would have a clear understanding of education here, and education is defined by the Supreme Court through the six-step test.

11:10 a.m.

President, Les Éditions Berger, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres

Aline Côté

The three-step test is really important because it defines what it's going to be.

That is going to define the main criteria.

I would like to say a couple of things about everything we have heard so far. We are seeing all kinds of practices that show that the impact of Bill C-11 and its predecessor, Bill C-32, is already being felt. For example, 35 universities have opted out of collective management. Two of them have gone back because they realized that rights management is quite a big deal.

There is also a drop in educational material purchases. With tablets, whiteboards, and so on, there is an upward trend toward buying one set of materials for the whole class. We realize that the Supreme Court also meant that fair dealing will be defined by current practices.

Over the past 15 years, digital practices have gone in all directions. We are talking about 15 years without any specific legislation for that. Even thinkers—one of them was here yesterday but maybe he did not talk about this—encourage you to hurry up and interpret fair dealing as widely as possible, as defined by the criteria in the CCH Canadian Limited decision. This way, when there is a dispute, it will be possible to rule in favour of current practices.

People call us fear-mongers, but we are already seeing things. Not only will this make us lose money and reduce our capacity to develop new materials, but the neutrality of the bill allows for format shifting. As a result, anyone can create something in any format, and shift from one platform to another, go from paper to digital or vice versa, and so on. This feature of the legislation results in a huge loss of control. And the loss of control, with everything that will be available, will make things more complicated.

For example, in many classes, they use digital tablets or iPads. That is very appealing, but then you also have access to YouTube. In light of everything that can be reorganized, posted on the Internet and reused in the classroom, we think that this will have an impact on our ability to keep track of the identification of works. Which one is the original work? Is the work I will be using truncated or tampered with?

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Sorry, Madame, I only have five minutes.

11:10 a.m.

President, Les Éditions Berger, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres

Aline Côté

Oh, I'm sorry.

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

He's very strict.

I wanted to address the issue because we talk about the three steps, but we have it defined at the Supreme Court, and I think the Supreme Court is where this will continue to come back.

I just have to ask Madam Clarke a question.

In terms of the long distance learning issue, we're very concerned about the 30-day provision, because it seems we're creating a two-tier set of rights. We have enormous potential. I have a riding bigger than Great Britain. Many of my potential students never get to a college, but they can take it as long-distance learning.

Do you think the provision to force the student to destroy the notes after 30 days will hamper our ability to use the potential of the digital learning environment?

11:15 a.m.

President, Les Éditions Berger, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres

Aline Côté

The whole problem stems from the so-called lecture notes. Right now, they are subject to collective licensing.

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Sorry, I'd asked Madame Clarke.

11:15 a.m.

President, Les Éditions Berger, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres

Aline Côté

I'm sorry, but I had a good answer to that one. I want to come back on this.

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

And you have about 30 seconds to answer.

11:15 a.m.

Director, Government Relations and Policy Research, Public Affairs, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

Michèle Clarke

I'm going to be very brief, and I'll give most of those seconds to my colleague. Online learning is very huge for the colleges and the 30-day provision does not seem realistic. It's not manageable.

February 28th, 2012 / 11:15 a.m.

Claude Brulé Dean, Algonquin College, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

Thank you.

We're trying to create lifelong learners in a primarily knowledge economy. The thought of destroying intellectual property to prevent someone from having that with them throughout their career in the marketplace, once they've graduated from an institution, is not seen by us as a reasonable or effective use of the resources. This is both for the learner, once they've graduated, who may need to continue to rely on that material in their day-to-day work in the workplace—

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Monsieur Brulé.

Now to Mr. Braid for five minutes.

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

I'm actually going to pass.

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Okay. We'll go to Mr. Calandra.

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

I just want to follow up on the distance learning, just to get my head around this. I'm a student at home. I'm watching my course at home, and there's a student in the class who's watching and the professor in the class plays a video. Is the student in the class supposed to tape the video? It's a copyrighted video. Is the student in the class supposed to tape what he or she is watching in class and carry that around with them for the rest of their life? The person at home, you're suggesting, can or should be able to do that. Should the students in the class who don't have the benefit of having taped this have that same right? Should students be taping their in-class portions and carrying it around with them for the rest of their life?

11:15 a.m.

Director, Government Relations and Policy Research, Public Affairs, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

Michèle Clarke

I don't think that's what we're suggesting. I do think my colleague might have a perfect example to share with you with respect to how online learning actually occurs. Certainly, you have students, and there is the textbook element, there is the notes element, and there is the video element. Colleges pay for the use of materials that are copyrighted through licence agreements, whether that be through access copyright or through providers and publishers. But online learning is so huge in the post-secondary system that the expectations are that students, when they're in the classroom, can see the video. When they're at home, it's next to impossible to control what they're going to do with it. It's not necessarily that we're expecting them to make copies of it.

But I will ask my colleague to provide us—

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

That's my point, though. I've taken distance education, and the better part of a number of my last courses were at Carleton University. You're expecting that the student at home would have a greater advantage than the student in the classroom, by what you're saying. The bill contemplates the copyrighted material used, not the notes. Nowhere does it suggest that the professor or the student, after 30 days, needs to have a huge bonfire and destroy their notes and everything involved. What it contemplates is that if the copyrighted information that Aline Côté says is so very important needs to be reused again, it be paid for and reused again. Why is that such a problem?

11:15 a.m.

Director, Government Relations and Policy Research, Public Affairs, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

Michèle Clarke

The students who are at home are not being treated differently.

Let me ask Claude to give you an example of how it is used at his college.

11:15 a.m.

Dean, Algonquin College, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

Claude Brulé

The idea is not to treat students differently between modes of how they learn. If the professor intends that the students have access to this material, he or she needs to make it available to all students, whether they're at home, on the other side of the planet, or in class at that time. How that's done after the fact is determined by the teacher and the technology available. There should never be an intent to treat the students differently, because that creates unfair learning elements in the classroom.

What we're talking about here are elements of copyrighted material that currently, under fair dealing practices, we're attempting to be able to issue multiple copies of in the classroom. The same could be said of a piece of video, for instance, that the professor wants to have the students work with to write an essay or dissect and report on. They need to be able to have access to this beyond the live class activity in order to do that work. It is not unfair to presume that they could have access to that in the same way they have access currently to the printed version. To us, it should be the same.

We're talking about two different modes: synchronous or asynchronous modes of delivery.

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

But the debate seems to be that online or distance education will fall apart and collapse or become even less available because students are going to be burning all of their notes and teachers will be redoing their lesson plans all over again. That seems to me to be (a) not true and (b) completely unrealistic. If I'm a student taking the course and don't turn it off 30 days later, what stops me as a student from taping and giving a copy of that course to my neighbours because they are taking it next semester and telling them to watch it now and not worry about it?

What benefit would it be for you to never turn that course off? How is that a benefit to your institution? How is it a benefit to distance education learners? Will it increase the availability of distance education? If everybody is allowed to make a copy of your course and just disseminate it at will or put it on YouTube, how does that help you?

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

You have 30 seconds, please, Mr. Brulé, to answer.

11:20 a.m.

Dean, Algonquin College, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

Claude Brulé

I think we're not talking about the same thing here.