York University ordered to pay up after losing copyright battle

Posted on July 19th, 2017

The Federal Court of Canada has ruled against York University in its legal dispute with Access Copyright. In 2011, the university opted out of Access Copyright, which provides institutions access to protected intellectual work. The court ruled that the guidelines the university established after that, including allowing copying up to 10 percent of a protected work for course materials, were not fair. Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa law professor and expert on intellectual property, said the ruling could have wide-reaching consequences throughout the post-secondary system. “The issue of fair dealing and copyright within education has an enormous impact on the rights of students and teachers. The Supreme Court has emphasized that all students are entitled to exercise their fair dealing but this ruling seriously undermines those rights, potentially leading to huge new costs for students and lost flexibility for teachers,” he said. “I think the judge’s interpretation of fair dealing run counter to multiple Supreme Court of Canada decisions on the issue and the case is certain to be appealed.”