TORONTO, June 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The Copyright Consortium of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), responded positively to the passage yesterday by the House of Commons of Bill C-11, Canada's new copyright legislation which clarifies the country's copyright regime and establishes a clear legal framework for the digital age and its ever-advancing technologies.
The CMEC Copyright Consortium is composed of the ministers of education of the provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec.
"For years now, Canada's antiquated copyright laws have been of concern to the education community, particularly their negative impact on the use of the Internet and the ability of learners and teachers to harness the full potential of digital technologies," said the Honourable Ramona Jennex, Minister of Education for Nova Scotia and Chair of the CMEC Copyright Consortium. "Updating our country's copyright laws to address Canadians' evolving digital learning needs is long overdue."
Bill C-11 provides the legal framework necessary for students and teachers in elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities to use publicly available Internet materials in their educational pursuits. Consortium members believe this education amendment is essential at a time when governments are simultaneously increasing levels of connectivity, promoting skills development and innovation, and supporting the use of the Internet in classrooms.
The bill also includes education as an allowable purpose, under certain conditions, within the copyright fair dealing provision. "With this provision, the federal government has established that fair dealing is available to students and teachers and that copyrighted materials can be used for educational purposes," said the minister. "The fair dealing provision will have a positive impact, as it brings Canadians onto a level playing field with teachers and students in classrooms in the United States and around the world."
The CMEC Copyright Consortium has been active in the federal copyright reform process for more than a decade. It believes strongly that a modern and balanced copyright framework protects the public interest and provides a variety of social and economic benefits.
"The consortium is pleased to see that Canada's copyright laws will soon be modernized, providing opportunities for learning Canadians to excel in our digital world and helping to position the country's education sector as a leader in the information age," said Minister Jennex. "We applaud the federal government for moving forward."
Founded in 1967, CMEC is the collective voice of Canada's ministers of education. It provides leadership in education at the pan-Canadian and international levels and contributes to the fulfillment of the constitutional jurisdiction for education conferred on the provinces and territories. For more information, visit us at www.cmec.ca.
For further information:
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