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LIBR 575: Introduction to Copyright Librarianship


Hello, there. My name is Lindsay Tripp and I'm the copyright specialist at Langara College.

Welcome to my online guest lecture for LIBR 575. It's divided into five short video modules (plus a personal introduction and a conclusion). Some include supplementary readings for those wishing to dive deeper into the topic. Together, these will guide you through the copyright decision-making framework we apply in educational settings. 

In the digital era, it's easier to share content than ever before. But to do so legally and ethically is another matter. Wherever you envision yourself working in future, having baseline copyright knowledge will serve you well. 


Copyright Basics

Fair Dealing & the Six Factors

We've seen libraries and academic institutions lean more heavily on fair dealing during the quick pivot to digital service delivery necessitated by COVID-19. Here are some additional readings on the topic: 


Further reading:


Further viewing: 

Seeking Permission

Wrapping Up, Looking Forward

It's an interesting time for Canadian copyright. Here are some developments to keep an eye on:

  • Extension of the term of copyright protection by 20 years. CUSMA (Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement), often referred to as the new NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), includes a section on Intellectual Property and promises to extend the term of copyright protection in Canada to life of the creator +70 years for most works (+75 years for performances and sound recordings). The agreement is not yet ratified, but the extension will take effect as soon as it is. 
  • The York University v. Access Copyright lawsuit. There are two main issues in the case: (1) whether York is mandated to pay Access Copyright a fee per full-time enrolled student (referred to as a tariff), and (2) whether York's fair dealing guidelines are indeed fair to rights holders. (You'll remember from the Permissions video on this guide that Access Copyright is the collective that represents Canadian writers and publishers.) The Federal Court sided with Access Copyright on both issues. Upon appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal sided with Access Copyright on the fair dealing issue and with York on the mandatory tariff issue. In June 2020, both parties sought leave to appeal the decision. As you can imagine, the stakes are high for both Access Copyright and York. 

Test Your Knowledge

This 5-question quiz asks you to apply the concepts introduced in the video modules to copyright scenarios. The scenarios reflect questions I regularly receive in my day-to-day work. Incorrect responses receive feedback upon submission. 

Note that this exercise is just for fun and is not tied to your LIBR 575 course grade :) 

Further Learning

The following resources have been indispensable to my copyright education as a non-lawyer working at the intersection of higher education and intellectual property law:

  • Books:
  • Blogs:
    • Michael Geist. Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-Commerce Law. He addresses developments in Canadian copyright in terms that are easy for non-lawyers to understand. Find him on Twitter @mgeist.
    • Fair Duty is the blog of Dr. Meera Nair, Copyright Officer at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Find her on Twitter @fairduty.
    • Ariel Katz. Katz is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, where he holds the Innovation Chair in Electronic Commerce. Find him on Twitter @relkatz.
    • Excess Copyright, written by Howard Knopf, an intellectual property lawyer with Macera & Jarzyna, LLP in Ottawa, ON. He has also worked in government and academe. Find him on Twitter at @howardknopf.
  • Podcasts: 

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this guide is for educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.