Evidence of meeting #106 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 content.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Donna Bourne-Tyson  University Librarian, Dalhousie University, Chair of the Board of Directors, Council of Atlantic University Libraries
H.E.A.  Eddy) Campbell (President and Vice-Chancellor, University of New Brunswick
Terrilee Bulger  Co-owner, Nimbus Publishing
Teresa Workman  Communications Manager, Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers
Lesley Balcom  Dean, Librairies, University of New Brunswick
Andrea Stewart  Board of Directors Liaison to the Copyright Committee and Director of Libraries and Educational Technology, Council of Atlantic University Libraries
Scott Long  Executive Director, Music Nova Scotia
David Westwood  President, Dalhousie Faculty Association
James Lorimer  Treasurer, Canadian Publishers Hosted Software Solutions
Andrea Bear Nicholas  Professor Emeritus, St. Thomas University, As an Individual

3:15 p.m.

Co-owner, Nimbus Publishing

Terrilee Bulger

We don't have any complaints about the Copyright Board at this time.

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Ms. Balcom.

3:15 p.m.

Dean, Librairies, University of New Brunswick

Lesley Balcom

The Copyright Board isn't sufficiently timely in its decision-making. I would certainly echo the comment that Andrea has made. I think it's really important that their decisions be prospective and not retrospective. Especially given the delay in their decision-making, combining that with an ability to make retrospective decisions is not functional.

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

That seems to be one of the things that are controllable in the situation. We're just doing a review here. Whatever we do, we'll get a report and then we'll send it back to the minister, the minister will then digest the report and send something back out. Then if there is legislation or changes, I would suggest that it would most likely result in further hearings. Unilateral changes to our copyright laws without specific testimony related to those specific amendments would be highly unusual for legislation in this matter.

The thing that we would be looking for, if anybody has any further submissions.... What we're seeing as a regular trend here is that in terms of the timeliness of the decisions for the Copyright Board, there seems to be at least some thought that if the rules were applied more quickly and more consistently and more understandably, there might be some success right there.

Thank you.

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

You have a final couple of minutes, Mr. Jowhari.

May 7th, 2018 / 3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I have a quick question around open access. I have a 24-year-old daughter who's heavily involved in research that's she's trying to pursue...upper post-secondary education. When she heard the committee was doing the copyright study, I asked for her input. She talked about the fact that in doing her research often she needs access, aside from the publication, to a lot of data to be able to get an understanding of the genesis, if she wants to interpret the data in a different way. She has a hell of a time—oh, sorry, am I supposed to say that? She has a hard time getting access to the data. She started talking about open access and this was what we need.

I just quickly want to get your feedback. When I go back, what can I tell her?

3:20 p.m.

Dean, Librairies, University of New Brunswick

Lesley Balcom

I think open access is absolutely the way of the future, and something that we, as academic libraries in this region, are very committed to. For example, UNB has an institutional repository that we've invested heavily in developing. It means all our publications that are created within the UNB context have a place to be made available to people like your daughter, through open access.

We host 22 journals. We have a journal publishing platform, and half of those are open access.

Part of the reason this is so important is that it is our faculty members collectively and students, who are producing this information and then buying it back, as opposed to being able to make it available to our students....

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

I think when she was explaining to me, the way I understood it is, the whole work is being sold to these publishers, both the paper as well as all the data. The publication is shared and goes through the Copyright Act, and fair dealing, but the data is not. I'm trying to reconcile whether my understanding is true, and it it's the case, how is that going to help the entrepreneurs who are trying to get into research and development?

3:20 p.m.

Dr. H.E.A. (Eddy) Campbell

I think this goes way beyond copyright. I'm on the board of CANARIE, the national research network across the country. We are helping to fund Research Data Canada to explore these issues. If I understood you correctly, Majid, your daughter is interested in the data on which the papers are based—

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Yes.

3:20 p.m.

Dr. H.E.A. (Eddy) Campbell

—and there is a reasonably good argument for that data to be widely available, with open access, perhaps, but there is, alas, a strong sense of ownership of that data by the people who conducted the experiments that created it. There will need to be a significant change in culture around this.

I think you could argue, however, that much of this research is in fact publicly supported, and that gives our government an interest in the fate of that data and who has access to it.

You talk about a live issue. You have a difficult job dealing with this definition of “fair dealing”. I would argue that probably this is a much more complicated topic in the longer run. It is very active, and you were exposed to a range of opinions here today. The range is far greater on that particular issue, and a lot of work is going on.

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

I don't know how much time I have, but on the other side—

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Very quickly.

3:20 p.m.

University Librarian, Dalhousie University, Chair of the Board of Directors, Council of Atlantic University Libraries

Donna Bourne-Tyson

The tri-agency is working on a research data policy that will be a companion to their open access policy, making it a requirement to submit your dataset in addition to an open access copy of your publication. The Council of Atlantic University Libraries and CARL, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, have created a network called Portage, which is working to help all researchers write data management plans, figure out where they're going to deposit their data and aggregate their data appropriately, and provide metadata so that it's useful for other researchers. It's in the works.

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Okay. I think my time is over, but I thank you for that. At least I'll have something to go back to my daughter with.

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

On that note, I'd like to thank our first panel for coming in today and sharing your stories in a nice, respectful way. This is a very complex file, and there are a lot of moving pieces, so we're certainly getting a variety of feedback.

3:25 p.m.

Dr. H.E.A. (Eddy) Campbell

Thank you all very much for listening to us.

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Oh, you're very welcome. We're going to suspend until four o'clock.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Welcome back, everybody, for the second portion of our panel.

Today we have with us from Dalhousie Faculty Association, David Westwood, president. From Music Nova Scotia, we have Scott Long, executive director. I understand you had your meetings here yesterday?

4 p.m.

Scott Long Executive Director, Music Nova Scotia

All since last Wednesday, yes.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Excellent, so you're familiar with the building.

4 p.m.

Executive Director, Music Nova Scotia

Scott Long

I don't have much of a voice left; that's the problem.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

From the Canadian Publishers Hosted Software Solutions, we have James Lorimer, treasurer. Finally, as an individual we have Andrea Bear Nicholas, professor emeritus, from the Maliseet First Nation.

Each of you will have five to seven minutes, and then we'll go to a round of questions. Thank you very much for coming, and we're going to start off with Mr. Westwood. You have up to seven minutes.

4 p.m.

David Westwood President, Dalhousie Faculty Association

Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today.

As you mentioned, my name is Dave Westwood. I'm the current president of the Dalhousie Faculty Association, and we represent 950-plus academic staff, librarians, and professional counsellors at Dalhousie University. We are the largest research-intensive university in the Atlantic region.

Our interests—what I'll be speaking about today—align, of course, in the academic realm with two fundamental aspects of our mission, which are teaching and research, primarily guided by the notion of the public good. Our interests are in the area of accessing content and producing and protecting content. Both are a key part of our role at the university.

We support a balance of rights for users and producers primarily for those reasons. We respect the need for content to guide our scholarly work, and we also appreciate the need to access materials for the purpose of educating the leaders of tomorrow. We support a continuation of the 2012 Copyright Modernization Act.

Our specific interests would be in preserving the fair dealing exception that is in effect today. We believe it is necessary and fundamental for the education of Canadians, and we believe it strikes a good balance between the needs of those who access content and content producers.

Many of my speaking notes are in alignment with the Canadian Association of University Teachers, CAUT. I believe they have already spoken or will probably be speaking at a panel in the future, and so many of our points are simply a reflection of their interests.

We believe that aboriginal peoples' rights need to be recognized and reconciled with current copyright legislation. Of course, aboriginal ways of knowing differ in many ways from European ways of knowing, and the notion of ownership and sharing are quite different between the dominant culture and aboriginal culture. We believe that needs to be reflected in whatever version of the legislation comes next.

We believe digital locks have a place, of course, but we believe that not indicating the conditions under which those locks need to be and should be broken puts the quality of education at risk. We think to enforce or to take advantage of the fair dealing rights, sometimes digital locks need to be circumvented, and we believe there should be better indication of the conditions under which that is appropriate.

We believe in maintaining copyright term of life plus 50 years. It strikes a good balance again between the rights of the families of those who produce content and the need for and the benefit of accessing that content for the purpose of education and keeping education current with issues that are of recent interest.

We don't believe that crown copyright serves a good educational purpose in the sense that many of those works were funded already by the public purse and paying for them again doesn't, in our view, seem to make much sense.

As I said, our primary belief is in the emphasis of balancing rights, and we believe the current Copyright Act serves those purposes quite well.

I'd like to raise a number of additional issues that go beyond those that CAUT would be speaking about. One is to recognize the new challenges posed by the digital era. One issue in particular that comes up is how taking advantage of fair dealing rights in the performance of a research piece, like a dissertation, can become complicated when the dissertation is released online as a part of policy because then it becomes available to others who may not be using it for fair dealing. We believe that's an important issue that needs to be given some thought.

Of course the issue of multilateral trade partnerships is front and centre in extending the lifetime of copyright, and those are complex issues. Unfortunately, I don't have much to say about that today, but just recognizing that will be a challenge, of course, for copyright legislation.

The challenges of open access models are very real. These are exciting times for us in academia with the ability to pay up front, take copyright, and make the work freely available to everybody, but of course challenges are posed by that as well. I believe it's time to take that into consideration in copyright legislation.

One issue of particular concern for many of our members is online crowd-sourced platforms where things like our own lecture notes, test materials, and recordings of our lectures are now being released online without our permission. You can see that we have a vested interest, as well, in protecting our own works from inappropriate use.

Issues around academic fraud are also a part of the copyright equation, to some extent. Things where people are paying others to author works that will be submitted for course credit overlap in the area of academic integrity and copyright, and I believe some of those issues may be of interest to your panel.

Thank you.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you very much.

Now we're going to move to Music Nova Scotia and Mr. Scott Long. You have up to seven minutes.