OTTAWA, June 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Canada's campus bookstores lamented
that amendments proposed to the Copyright Act will continue to financially and
academically hurt Canadian university students. Legislation amending the
Copyright Act, Bill C-61, was introduced in the House of Commons last week by
Industry Minister Jim Prentice.
Since 1998, the Copyright Act has allowed publishers to establish
Canadian import monopolies on books by authors from around the world. These
exclusive distributors can in turn add an additional 10 or 15% to the price of
a book. This surcharge is not to the direct financial benefit of a book's
author, but is instead kept by the exclusive distributor. The Copyright Act
makes it a violation for individual bookstores to purchase from foreign
distributors, a process known as "parallel importation."
"Restrictions on parallel importation have meant that, over the past
decade, millions of dollars have been taken from the wallets of Canadians,
particularly students," said Queen's University Bookstore Manager Chris Tabor.
"Rather than see the cost of textbooks reduced by as much as 15% overnight,
this act will ensure that Canadian students will, with little accountability
as to where this money goes, continue to overpay millions of dollars more in
the coming decade."
C-61 will also serve to increase the current chill in Canadian libraries
with regards to a number of legitimate research activities. Proposed
amendments would limit individual users' ability to make single copies of
portions of works for academic uses such as research and private study, better
known as fair dealing. The Bill would make it a copyright violation for
academic users to make such personal copies if content creators opt to put
copy restrictions on their work, be it with a warning or by using so-called
"digital locks." Even when such copying restrictions are not in place,
electronic copies must "self-destruct" after five days.
"For true academic success, Canadian students and the libraries that
serve them need to be confident that they will not commit copyright violations
as part of the ordinary course of research," said Tabor. "Instead of
clarifying the legality of fair dealing, this legislation obfuscates the
situation even more."
Canada's Campus bookstores believe that copyright must ensure that
authors and other creators are able to benefit from their work, but it is
equally important to ensure that users, such as students, are not unduly
hindered by creator's protections. "Unfortunately," says Tabor, "the Copyright
Act, even with the changes proposed by the government, does not strike this
balance. It remains anti-student."
Campus Stores Canada is the national trade association dedicated to
providing a unified voice for Canadian post-secondary, institutionally owned
and operated Campus stores, and by doing so enabling them to serve their
institutions in the most effective manner. Campus Stores Canada has almost
100 member stores nationwide and almost 120 vendor and supplier associates.
This means that if you know one of Canada's million post-secondary students,
you probably know someone that is served by Campus Stores Canada.
For further information:
For further information: Chris Tabor, Manager, Queens University
Bookstore, (613) 533-2955, firstname.lastname@example.org; Todd Anderson,
Director, University of Alberta Bookstore, email@example.com, (780)