Evidence of meeting #116 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 video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Zach Churchill  Minister, Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
Wanda Noel  External Legal Counsel, Copyright Consortium, Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
Frédérique Couette  Executive Director, Copibec
Roanie Levy  President and Chief Executive Officer, Access Copyright

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Thank you, Ms. Levy and Ms. Couette. You were very clear in explaining to us the difference between acquisition and reproduction. We were always trying to find the reason why the cost of acquisition was increasing. Now it's become clear, at least for me, that a lot of that has to do with the articles as well as the publication that's being done and the transition into digital.

One of the other things we heard was that the students get their instruction material either from the textbook store or through the course packs. Usually, the university or the libraries also buy one or two copies and put it in the library. We're also told that the number of course packs that are being created is also drastically reduced. In one example, I think we were in Halifax and we were looking at the university. They said they have one course pack for all their curriculum. We were asking how that could be. Where are they getting the material?

Help me understand. If the textbooks are not showing up at the textbook store to buy and the course packs are not created and printed—I know you touched on it being digital now—and it's not part of the acquisitions, where are the students getting the material they need to get instructed? How do 600 million pages show up?

5:25 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

Educational institutions across the country have what is called “learning management systems”. They're essentially digital platforms that allow professors and students to upload content and share it with a class. They've gone from taking the material that was published and produced in course pack form to making it available on learning management systems.

It's not that they're not using the content anymore because it's not in a paper course pack. They're still using the content. They've now moved it from paper to digital. It's still being used. This we saw in the York University case, where, because it was part of the discovery process of the case, we had a look at not only the paper course packs that they produced but at everything the university posts on learning management systems.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Does the university actually scan the textbook and put the content in a PDF?

May 22nd, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

Sometimes they scan it. Sometimes they already have it in a PDF. Sometimes they extract it from a larger PDF. There are many ways they get it in digital form and then upload it onto learning management systems.

To be clear, the study that we did at York University did not have anything to to with links, so any links were excluded. It was just documents that were posted on the learning management systems, and, importantly, in that study we needed to see whether or not they already had the rights for those works, because you have heard of hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on accessing content, and those claims were made to the judge as well. York said at the beginning of the process that most of what they copy they have licences for.

By the end of the hearing, they had to abandon that claim completely because they could not marry the works they upload on learning management systems and copy in course packs with the licences that they have. It is not a question of faulty paperwork. It's because these are different works.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you.

For the final minute, Mr. Masse.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Rémi Massé Liberal Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

We're going to have hearings and we'll make a report to the minister and the minister will then respond to the report. Then I imagine it would take, if there are going to be some changes, legislation, which would be another review.

As this has progressed, are there things in the interim you would suggest could be done from your perspective right now?

5:30 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

There are things that can be done immediately by communicating from the government's perspective whether they believe this approach is right or not. Just signalling to the education sector is a start.

The government has also committed to making some changes to the Copyright Board of Canada process, and while that does not touch on fair dealing, at least what is left after the ravages of fair dealing, at least what is left after all of that has been taken off, is something that is enforceable and usable. That would be another suggestion.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Rémi Massé Liberal Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Has your organization conveyed that to the minister at this time?

5:30 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

Yes, we have.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Rémi Massé Liberal Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Would you be willing to share that information with the committee?

5:30 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

Absolutely.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Rémi Massé Liberal Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Thank you.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

If you forward that to the clerk, that would be great.

On that note, we could have spent two hours with you. I want to thank you both for coming in today and sharing your experience and knowledge with the committee.

On that note, we will adjourn.