Evidence of meeting #101 for Industry, Science and Technology in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was access.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Paul Davidson  President, Universities Canada
Charlotte Kiddell  Deputy Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students
Paul Jones  Education Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
Shawn Gilbertson  Manager, Course Materials, University of Waterloo, Campus Stores Canada

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Matt Jeneroux Conservative Edmonton Riverbend, AB

Okay. Great.

How would you assess the value and impact of collective licensing agreements proposed by Access Copyright and Copibec, since 2010, on students, teachers, and copyright holders?

4:20 p.m.

Deputy Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students

4:20 p.m.

President, Universities Canada

Paul Davidson

I think Access Copyright was a creative solution in a different century. It has a product that is not meeting the needs of students. It has a product that's not meeting the needs of institutions. Institutions have made efforts to encourage them to be more market-oriented and work with one of their largest customers in a period of disruption. Instead of that, we've had continual litigation.

The experience that Canadian universities have had with the copyright agencies has not been universally positive. What we strive to do is make sure that creators are appropriately compensated, that users are able to exercise their rights in a way that's fair and balanced.

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Matt Jeneroux Conservative Edmonton Riverbend, AB

Do you concur?

4:20 p.m.

Deputy Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students

Charlotte Kiddell

I do. As I spoke about in my remarks, trends we've seen within the academic community are opting towards more open models of accessing information that result in content creators being able to produce information and provide that information directly to the academic community in lieu of being forced to sell it to large corporate content owners and buy it back to access it at inflated prices. It shows that the priority of the education community is very much on being able to exchange and access information in a way that allows for dynamic sharing of multiple forms of learning materials, multiple media, and a diversity of sources, which is absolutely in the best interest of researchers and educators, and ultimately of students.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you very much.

Mr. Jowhari, you have five minutes.

April 17th, 2018 / 4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Thank you.

Thank you to the witnesses for coming in today.

I'm going to echo back some of the numbers I heard and try to come back to my colleague Mr. Baylis' question in a different way.

I heard about a billion-dollar investment over three years, and about $370 million this year. I heard that we have made the transition to about 20% print and 80% digital. I also heard that over 90% of the knowledge that's there is being generated by academia.

When it comes to fair dealing, with regard to a lot of the content that's being used, is it by that 20% hard copy that's been published, or is it a portion coming from the digital knowledge that's there? Are they correlated? I'm trying to get into really bringing a balance between fair dealing between the user and the creator and also figuring out how the students fit into this fair dealing. Could you shed some light on that one? How does this fair dealing factor into your tuition, basically?

4:25 p.m.

Deputy Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students

Charlotte Kiddell

I am a little bit confused about your question, but I would say that fair dealing allows students to access a greater diversity of sources in terms of professors being able to bring sources outside traditional learning material into the classroom to supplement textbooks and what have you.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

And the universities pay for that.

4:25 p.m.

Deputy Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students

Charlotte Kiddell

That's allowed for under university licensing agreements.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Going back to the universities, you've given us the amount of the investment that's been made—$1 billion over two years, $370 million—and where the sources are, and there is still the discrepancy between the creators saying their revenue is dropping, and you are spending more money.

Coming back to my colleague's question, where is that money going, in your opinion?

4:25 p.m.

Deputy Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students

Charlotte Kiddell

I would first affirm that content creators worldwide are seeing a decline in income, and that is in countries with and without fair dealing. This is a global trend—decreased wages, stagnant wages, decreased public funding in arts and culture. That's outside fair dealing and spending trends in the education sector, which, as Mr. Davidson has affirmed, are on the rise.

Do you want to comment further?

4:25 p.m.

President, Universities Canada

Paul Davidson

Sure.

One of the critiques made in particular by Access Copyright is that their revenues are declining and therefore universities must not be paying. Universities have other sources to legally buy intellectual property, whether it's other copyright collectives, clearance centres—

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

And this is an opportunity for you to tell us where the other sources are so that we can get educated on that.

4:25 p.m.

President, Universities Canada

Paul Davidson

Sure. I might refer you to the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, who I believe made a request to appear before you, and who can describe the multi-million dollar licences they negotiate on behalf of a consortium of universities to ensure that researchers and students have the most updated research and information available at their fingertips and that the creators are appropriately compensated.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Okay.

You also touched on the Copyright Board. With about a minute left here, what would you change on the Copyright Board, if you were going to change one thing to help them?

4:25 p.m.

President, Universities Canada

Paul Davidson

We did make a submission through the consultation process that was under way where we talked about timely renewal of board members, full staffing of the board, and improving the resources available for the board to do its work. Those are two or three suggestions right off the top, and I'd be happy to send you the copy of our submission.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Okay. Thank you.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you.

For the final two minutes we have Mr. Masse.

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I think one of the challenges we have with the creators is that if we do something different from right now, turning over compensation to the universities and organizations independent from Parliament, it's going to be highly complicated to see that followed through for real results.

You mentioned that more money than ever has been spent on materials, but the vehicles you now use to access that information appear to have changed from the past. Is that where the discussion is? They're asking on the other side about where the money is going. To be quite clear, though, you're spending more money; it's just going to different avenues than traditionally it has in the past. Is that correct?

4:30 p.m.

President, Universities Canada

Paul Davidson

It's part of the digital disruption of an evolving landscape; it's about the needs of students to be able to access different materials; and it's about the ability, in the case of Canadian independent publishers, to produce materials that are relevant and important to the research work of universities.

Again, I have sympathy for the small independent publishers. I have sympathy for the creators. But I think a fair dealing approach is the wrong tool. There are other mechanisms, like the public lending right, like the aid to publishing, like other Department of Canadian Heritage issues. To suggest that fair dealing is the reason for the current state of Canadian publishing is misplaced.

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Yes: I'm just not sure whether the supposed salvation would be just getting rid of fair dealing for them anyway. That's what I worry about.

4:30 p.m.

President, Universities Canada

Paul Davidson

Respectfully, fair dealing is a right that's existed for decades. Fair dealing is a right that's been extended to the education sector not only by Parliament but by the Supreme Court in five significant rulings in 2012. I can't imagine members of Parliament suggesting that they negotiate away other kinds of rights because these are just rights; we can just negotiate away rights.

This is the anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Are we just going to negotiate away our rights and freedoms?

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Last, for students, has there been any measurement, or is there any way to measure if something changes with regard to copyright under these discussions here—the increased potential cost or reduction in cost if a new system or regime is put in place? Is that too complicated, or is that something perhaps we should put on the government? Should it change legislation, perhaps part of that legislative change should be some type of measurement for the costs of students for changing copyright.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Speak very briefly, please.