Saturday, May 30, 2009

Balanced Copyright Teaching Resource - for the USA

The amazing EFF has come out with a balanced and informative teaching resource about copyright, with materials for teachers and students.

Unfortunately, we don't have such a thing in Canada. We did have Captain Copyright, who was fortunately euthanized by his creator, Access Copyright, before he could do any damage. He is gone but not forgotten.

We still have Copyright Matters! in Canada by Wanda Noel and Gerald Breau, published by CMEC, which is aimed at teachers and which, as I have noted before, is overly cautious and was obsolete at the time of publication of the second edition in 2005 - because it does not mention or appear to even take into account the landmark 2004 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in CCH v. LSUC that opens the door to fair dealing for purposes of research or private study. It will be recalled that CMEC attempted to tout Noel and Breau's work as as being an "accurate and reliable" resource for use by teachers and students:
We disagree as well with Access Copyright’s assertion, also in the said August 9, 2006 letter, that there are no tools available to educators to help them teach their students about copyright. There are a number of accurate and reliable resources on copyright for use by teachers and students, such as the publication Copyright Matters!, which is now in its second edition.
We could use a balanced teaching program, not only for Canadian students but for the educational and library community, which largely continues to be afraid of its own shadow in this country - though there is some hope of potential empowerment and better leadership. In the meantime, the best source of information for teachers and librarians that I know of is book by Laura Murray and Sam Trosow, which I've reviewed here.

However, "balance" in the copyright context is becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible to achieve, as we witness certain content owner lobbyists going to more and more extraordinary lengths (for example, as just reported by Michael Geist) to control and manipulate public discussion and the public interest itself.


1 comment:

  1. Are you at all familiar with teaching resource about copyright in Canada in French?

    Of course there's the Gov of Canada website (en, fr) which has a note:

    The publication A Guide to Copyrights is currently being updated to reflect recent changes to the regulations. A new version of this guide will soon be available.