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CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS:
MEDIA ACCESS & COPYRIGHT WORKING GROUPS 2022-2023

[Version française ci-bas]

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In 2021, FSAC established a Media Access and Copyright (MAC) Working Group with a mandate to continue, and possibly expand, FSAC’s copyright advocacy work and develop guidelines on best practices related to access and use of media for scholarly purposes.

Over the 2021-22 academic year, the MAC group discussed a variety of opportunities and concerns that require targeted efforts (some of which fall outside the original MAC mandate). The group identified the following three areas of focus that encompass the opportunities and issues raised:

  1. Advocacy: Advocating for changes to the Canadian Copyright Act
  2. Access and Exhibition: Exploring issues and best practices pertaining to accessing and exhibiting media in educational settings
  3. Appropriation/Repurposing: Developing guidelines for videographic work that uses fair dealing and other user’s rights provided in copyright legislation.” (2021-22 MAC Working Group Summary Report, https://bit.ly/macsum, pg. 1)

The MAC group made a motion to FSAC that a dedicated working group be created for each of the above areas of focus, to continue work on the recommendations outlined in their 2021-22 final report. This motion was supported at the 2022 FSAC Annual General Meeting.

For each of these working groups, the FSAC Executive seeks 5-10 members who will include Black, Indigenous, racialized scholars and makers, as well as LGBTQ+, gender, and regionally diverse scholars and makers.

1) COPYRIGHT ADVOCACY (CA)

Mandate: The CA Working Group will focus on collaborative advocacy efforts for changes to the Canadian Copyright Act. Key issues requiring advocacy are outlined in the “Advocacy” section of the 2021-22 MAC Working Group Summary Report (https://bit.ly/macsum).

Duties: We anticipate this group will meet approximately monthly over the 2022-23 academic year to devise advocacy strategies and engage in advocacy work.

2) ACCESS & EXHIBITION (AE)

Mandate: The AE Working Group will focus on developing best practice guidelines related to the access and exhibition of media for scholarly purposes. Key recommendations for the activities of this group are outlined in the “Access and Exhibition” section of the 2021-22 MAC Working Group Summary Report (https://bit.ly/macsum).

Duties: We anticipate the group will meet approximately monthly over the 2022-23 academic year to investigate current and potential practices that facilitate access to, and exhibition of, media for scholarly purposes. The group will also develop related guidelines for use in educational, research and library settings.

3) MEDIA APPROPRIATION & REPURPOSING (MAR)

Mandate: The MAR Working Group will develop a best practices guide on lawful appropriation and repurposing of media in educational and research settings. For details on the recommended activities and focus of this group, please see the “Appropriation/Repurposing” section of the 2021-22 MAC Working Group Summary Report (https://bit.ly/macsum).

Duties: We anticipate the group will meet approximately monthly over the 2022-23 academic year to develop a guide for lawful appropriation and repurposing of media in educational and research contexts.

APPLICATION

Interested volunteers are encouraged to sign up for any of the above working groups no later than July 15, 2022: https://bit.ly/3zYAFzi.

Please indicate in your expression of interest if you would be interested to serve as chair of the working group.

For further information, or to send notification that you have signed up for one or more working groups, please email current MAC Co-chairs Rumi Graham (grahry@uleth.ca) and Aaron Taylor (aaron.taylor2@uleth.ca).

Please note: In July 2022, the full MAC report, including the rationale for its recommendations, will be made available in the Copyright section of the FSAC website: https://www.filmstudies.ca/category/news/copyright

 

 


 
 
 

APPEL À LA PARTICIPATION : GROUPES DE TRAVAIL SUR L’ACCÈS AUX MÉDIAS ET SUR LE DROIT D’AUTEUR 2022-2023

 

INFORMATIONS CONTEXTUELLES

En 2021, l’ACÉC a établi un groupe de travail sur l’Accès aux médias et le droit d’auteur (DAAM) avec comme mandat de poursuivre et peut-être d’élargir le travail de défense des droits d’auteurs de l’ACÉC ainsi que de développer des lignes directrices sur les meilleures pratiques quant à l’accès aux médias et leur utilisation à des fins académiques.

Au cours de l’année universitaire 2021-22, le groupe de travail DAAM a mené des discussions sur une variété d’opportunités et de préoccupations qui requièrent une attention ciblée (dont certaines dépassent le mandat original du DAAM). Le groupe a pu identifier les trois domaines d’intérêt suivants qui regroupent les opportunités et les enjeux soulevés :

  1. La revendication : la revendication de changements à la loi canadienne sur le droit d’auteur.
  2. L’accès et la projection : l’exploration des enjeux et des meilleures pratiques concernant l’accès et la projection de médias dans des contextes pédagogiques.
  3. L’appropriation et la réutilisation des médias : le développement de ligne directrices pour l’utilisation équitable d’œuvres audiovisuelles et autres droits d’utilisateurs prévus par la loi sur la défense du droit d’auteur. (Résumé du rapport de 2021-22 du groupe de travail sur l’accès aux médias et le droit d’auteur (DAAM), https://bit.ly/macsum, page 1).

Le groupe de travail DAAM a présenté une motion à l’ACÉC pour qu’un groupe de travail dédié à chacun des domaines d’intérêt énoncés ci-haut soit formé afin de continuer le travail en lien avec les recommandations de son rapport final de 2021-22. Cette motion fut appuyée à l’assemblée Générale de l’ACÉC en 2022.

Pour chacun de ces groupes de travail, le conseil exécutif de l’ACÉC recherche entre 5 et 10 membres incluant des universitaires et cinéastes/vidéastes noir(e)s, autochtones et racisé(e)s, ainsi que ceux/celles qui sont LGBTQ+ et/ou de genres, de sexes et de provenances régionales diversifiés.

1) LA MODIFICATIONS DES DROITS D’AUTEUR (DA)

Mandat : Le groupe de travail sur le droit d’auteur (DA) se concentrera sur des efforts de revendications collaboratives pour demander des modifications à la loi canadienne sur le droit d’auteur. Les éléments clés qui font l’objet de ces demandes sont décrits dans la
section « Revendications » du rapport final du groupe de travail DAAM complété en 2021-22 (https://bit.ly/macsum).

Tâches : Nous anticipons que ce groupe se rencontrera environ une fois par mois pendant l’année universitaire 2022-23 afin d’élaborer des stratégies de revendication et de les mettre en action.

2) ACCÈS ET PROJECTIONS (AP)

Mandat : Le groupe de travail sur l’accès et les projections des médias (AP) se concentrera sur le développement de lignes directrices quant aux meilleures pratiques concernant l’accès aux médias et leur projection à des fins pédagogiques. Les recommandations clefs concernant les activités de ce groupe sont décrites dans la section « accès et projections » du résumé du rapport 2021-22 du groupe de travail DAAM (https://bit.ly/macsum).

Tâches : Nous anticipons que le groupe de travail se réunira environ une fois par mois pendant l’année universitaire 2022-23 afin d’étudier les pratiques actuelles et potentielles qui facilitent l’accès aux médias et leur projection à des fins académiques. Le groupe développera également des directives reliées à leur utilisation en contextes d’enseignement, de recherche et dans les bibliothèques.

3) APPROPRIATION ET RÉUTILISATION DES MÉDIAS (ARM)

Mandat : Le groupe de travail sur l’appropriation et la réutilisation des médias (ARM) développera un guide sur les meilleures pratiques quant à l’appropriation et la réutilisation légale des médias en milieux pédagogiques et de recherche. Pour plus de détails sur les activités recommandées et le domaine d’intérêt de ce groupe, veuillez consulter la section « appropriation/réutilisation » du résumé du rapport 2021-22 du groupe de travail DAAM (https://bit.ly/macsum).

Tâches : Nous anticipons que ce groupe se réunira environ une fois par mois durant l’année universitaire 2022-23 afin de développer un guide sur les meilleures pratiques quant à l’appropriation et la réutilisation légale des médias en milieux pédagogiques et de recherche.

POUR SOUMETTRE SA CANDIDATURE

Les personnes intéressé(e)s sont encouragé(e)s à se porter volontaire pour travailler au sein des groupes décrits ci-hauts avant le 15 juillet 2022: https://bit.ly/3zYAFzi.

Veuillez indiquer dans votre demande si vous seriez intéressé(e) à servir en tant que président(e) du groupe de travail qui vous intéresse.

Pour plus d’information, ou pour nous informer que vous êtes inscrit(e) dans un ou plusieurs groupe(s) de travail, veuillez s’il vous plaît contacter les co-présidents actuels du DAAM : Rumi Graham (grahry@uleth.ca) et Aaron Taylor (aaron.taylor2@uleth.ca).

Veuillez noter : En juillet 2022, le rapport complet du DAAM, y compris le raisonnement derrière ses recommandations, sera rendu disponible dans la section droits d’auteurs du site web de l’ACÉCM: https://www.filmstudies.ca/category/news/copyright

 

FSAC Statement on Copyright and Online Screening

[Version française ci-bas]

Since the emergence of dedicated courses and departments in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the teaching of Film Studies in universities and colleges has depended upon consistent access to a full range of film and related audio-visual media content for screening in classes. This access is a cornerstone of teaching film and media studies at the post-secondary level – in fact, no academic discipline is more dependent upon this access.

Copyright legislation in Canada sets out to ensure a reasonable balance between the rights of content creators and the rights of users and consumers of that content. It is as concerned about enshrining the rights of the latter as it is about the rights of the former. Copyright law in Canada allows for a considerable range of rights for educators of film and media studies, notably through Fair Dealing (section 29) and exemptions for Educational Institutions (sections 29.4 and 29.5).

The current global pandemic has forced a radical transformation of post-secondary course content delivery. Yet, while the pandemic has made necessary an almost total, temporary transition to online teaching, this format of instruction existed before COVID-19, and will surely continue once this global crisis has receded. Though the circumstances necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis has brought this issue to the fore, we believe that the conclusions found here regarding screening practices in an education environment extend beyond this immediate historical context.

The Film Studies Association of Canada encourages educators of film and media studies in Canada to embrace the full scope of rights accorded to them through the Canadian Copyright Act. The regular screening of motion pictures, both in their entirety and in shorter excerpts, is the foundation of teaching Film Studies in Canada. This is an entirely educational exercise, and presents no competitive challenge to the marketplace of copyrighted audio-visual content. Section 29 of the Canadian Copyright Act clearly indicates that “Fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire does not infringe copyright.” Further to this, Section 29.5 allows for “the performance in public of a cinematographic work, as long as the work is not an infringing copy” on the premises of an educational institution, for educational purposes, to an audience of consisting primarily students. Courses taught through existing college or university infrastructure in an online environment are understood as “on premises” of that institution. Section 29.4 states that it is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution to reproduce a work for the purposes of education.* In short, it is not an infringement for reproductions of a legally obtained copyrighted work to be exhibited to students, for the purposes of education, through official university or college online infrastructure.

Educators should make a reasonable effort to incorporate into their classes film and media titles currently licensed to their institutions via streaming platforms (Kanopy, Criterion-on- Demand, etc.). However, educators should not be expected to entirely reconfigure their courses solely around the online collections licensed to institutions, nor should universities and colleges be obliged to spend very large sums to acquire further licensed copies through such services for films and other AV material that they already own in other formats, and which they already have the right to show in the classroom at no charge. It should also be noted that these commercially available streaming services have limited holdings, and to expect educators to remodel the entirety of Film Studies curricula based on the holdings of these services and their collections is not only unrealistic, but in the case of certain course offerings, simply impossible. An insistence upon this would represent a serious threat to the pedagogical integrity of the discipline and the policies aimed at Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Universities have adopted such policies in order to decolonize and diversify the curriculum. It is well known that many of the more common platforms have limited range of titles, often with a decided focus on filmmaking by white and largely male directors from the English-speaking western world. While every reasonable effort should be made to make use of the licensed, digital content available to educational institutions, a strict adherence solely to these collections would unquestionably represent a barrier to the best educational experiences of students and to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policies of the university.

Most university and college film and media studies departments across the country have physical archives of legitimate, legally obtained copies of films and related media products, which they rely upon for in class screenings. In instances where required titles are not reasonably accessible via currently held online licensed services and platforms, instructors should be allowed to make this content available to students, under very specific circumstances. These film and media titles could be streamed via an e-learning platform employed by the host institution for its registered students, effectively reproducing as closely as possible a typical in-person classroom screening experience.

Further to this, and ultimately a decision for the instructor of any given course, we believe that AV content needs to be available to students in an asynchronous format. There are simply too many hurdles associated with online learning that risk prejudicing the experiences of students burdened by technological limitations. Technological barriers should not be an impediment to a fully realized learning experience. Educators should have the right to make AV content available in an asynchronous format – in other words, when licensed content is unavailable, instructors should be able to make unlicensed content available (from a legitimate, legally and commercially obtained source) to students in an asynchronous format. Every effort should be made to ensure that students cannot easily download the file, or use it for non-educational purposes (i.e. making the content available for streaming, as opposed to simply posting a digital copy for download.) Students should be consistently reminded that all copyrighted material in a course is to be used exclusively within that educational context. Instructors and educational content providers (i.e. university libraries and AV resource centers) must ensure that any digitized copyrighted material made available by them through the mechanisms of the online infrastructure needs to be removed from this infrastructure upon conclusion of the course. All course material that contains any copyrighted material, licensed or otherwise, should always be password-protected, and access should be strictly limited to students enrolled in the course.

Ultimately, educators should always operate under the frameworks permitted by their institutions and in alignment with EDI. We encourage film and media instructors to work closely with the relevant personnel at their institution to develop practices and standards that make full use of the rights accorded through Canadian copyright law.

Prepared by the FSAC ad hoc committee on online screening, with assistance from Lisa Macklem and Samuel E. Trosow.

*  Section 29.4 (3) explains that this exemption does not apply if the work is “commercially available.” Commercially available is defined in section 2 as “(a)available on the Canadian market within a reasonable time and for a reasonable price and may be located with reasonable effort,” or; “(b) for which a licence to reproduce, perform in public or communicate to the public by telecommunication is available from a collective society within a reasonable time and for a reasonable price and may be located with reasonable effort.” We do not believe that it is reasonable for an educational institution to repurchase, in another format, copies of films that it already owns and has rights to exhibit, nor do we feel it is reasonable to place the burden of cost onto students. These are expenses that would not exist in an in-person teaching environment.

 


 


 
Déclaration sur le droit d’auteur et la projection en ligne de l’ACÉC

Depuis l’émergence de cours et de départements dédiés à la discipline au cours des années 60 et au début des années 70, l’enseignement des études cinématographiques dans les universités et les collèges dépend d’un accès constant à une gamme complète de films et de contenus audiovisuels connexes pour la projection en classe. Cet accès est une pierre angulaire de l’enseignement des études cinématographiques et médiatiques au niveau postsecondaire. En fait, aucune discipline universitaire n’est plus dépendante de cet accès.

La législation canadienne sur le droit d’auteur vise à assurer un équilibre raisonnable entre les droits des créateurs de contenu et les droits des utilisateurs et des consommateurs de ces contenus. Elle est aussi soucieuse de consacrer les droits des seconds que les droits des premiers. À l’heure actuelle, la loi sur le droit d’auteur au Canada accorde un éventail considérable de droits aux éducateurs en études cinématographiques et médiatiques, notamment par le biais de l’utilisation équitable (article 29) et des exemptions pour les établissements d’enseignement (articles 29.4 et 29.5).

La pandémie mondiale actuelle a forcé une transformation radicale de la prestation du contenu des cours postsecondaires. Pourtant, alors que la pandémie a rendu nécessaire une transition presque totale et temporaire vers l’enseignement en ligne, ce format d’enseignement existait avant la COVID-19, et se poursuivra sûrement une fois que la crise mondiale aura passé. Bien que les circonstances nécessitées par la crise de la COVID-19 aient mis cette question au premier plan, nous pensons que les conclusions trouvées ici concernant les pratiques de visionnement dans un environnement éducatif vont au-delà de ce contexte historique immédiat.

L’Association canadienne d’études cinématographiques encourage les éducateurs en études cinématographiques et médiatiques au Canada à embrasser toute l’étendue des droits qui leur sont accordés par la Loi canadienne sur le droit d’auteur. La projection régulière de films, à la fois dans leur intégralité et en extraits plus courts, est le fondement de l’enseignement des études cinématographiques au Canada. Cet exercice est entièrement éducatif et ne présente aucun défi concurrentiel pour le marché du contenu audiovisuel protégé par le droit d’auteur. L’article 29 de la Loi canadienne sur le droit d’auteur indique clairement que « L’utilisation équitable d’une œuvre ou de tout autre objet du droit d’auteur aux fins d’étude privée, de recherche, d’éducation, de parodie ou de satire ne constitue pas une violation du droit d’auteur. » De plus, la section 29.5 permet « l’exécution en public d’une œuvre cinématographique, à condition que l’œuvre ne soit pas un exemplaire contrefait » dans les locaux d’un établissement d’enseignement, à des fins éducatives, à un public composé principalement d’étudiants. Les cours dispensés au moyen d’un logiciel collégial ou universitaire dans un environnement en ligne sont considérés comme « dans les locaux » de cette institution. L’article 29.4 stipule que ce n’est pas une violation du droit d’auteur pour un établissement d’enseignement de reproduire une œuvre à des fins éducatives.* En bref, dans le cas de la reproduction d’une œuvre protégée légalement obtenue, il ne s’agit pas d’une infraction que de la présenter aux étudiants, à des fins d’éducation, par le biais de l’infrastructure en ligne officielle d’une université ou d’un collège.

Les éducateurs devraient faire un effort raisonnable pour incorporer dans leurs cours des titres de films et de médias actuellement sous licence à leurs établissements via des plateformes de streaming (Kanopy, Criterion-sur-demande, etc.). Cependant, les enseignants ne devraient pas avoir à reconfigurer leurs cours uniquement autour des collections en ligne sous licence aux établissements, ni les universités et les collèges ne devraient-ils être obligés de dépenser beaucoup d’argent pour acquérir d’autres copies sous licence par le biais de ces services pour les films et autres matériels audiovisuels qu’ils possèdent déjà, et pour lesquels ils ont déjà les droits de diffusion gratuite en classe. Il convient également de noter que ces services de diffusion en continu, disponibles commercialement, ont des collections limitées et que non seulement est-il irréaliste d’attendre des enseignants qu’ils remodèlent l’intégralité des programmes d’études cinématographiques en fonction des fonds de ces services et de leurs collections, mais dans le cas de certaines offres de cours, cela est tout simplement impossible. Une insistance sur ce point représenterait une menace sérieuse pour l’intégrité pédagogique de la discipline et les politiques visant l’équité, la diversité et l’inclusion (EDI). Les universités ont adopté de telles politiques afin de décoloniser et de diversifier les programmes. Il est bien connu que bon nombre des plateformes les plus courantes ont une gamme limitée de titres, souvent avec un accent décidé sur la réalisation de films par des réalisateurs blancs et majoritairement masculins du monde occidental anglophone. Bien que tous les efforts raisonnables doivent être faits pour utiliser le contenu numérique sous licence mis à la disposition des établissements d’enseignement, une adhésion stricte uniquement à ces collections représenterait incontestablement un obstacle aux meilleures expériences éducatives des étudiants et aux politiques d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion du Université.

La plupart des départements universitaires et collégiaux d’études sur le cinéma et les médias à travers le pays possèdent des archives physiques de copies légitimes et légalement obtenues de films et de produits médiatiques connexes, sur lesquels ils comptent pour les projections en classe. Dans les cas où les titres requis ne sont pas raisonnablement accessibles via les services et plates-formes sous licence en ligne actuellement détenus, les enseignants devraient être autorisés à mettre ce contenu à la disposition des étudiants, dans des circonstances très spécifiques. Ces titres de films et de médias peuvent être diffusés via une plate-forme d’apprentissage en ligne utilisée par l’institution éducative pour ses étudiants inscrits, reproduisant ainsi aussi fidèlement que possible une expérience de projection en classe.

Finalement, nous pensons que le contenu audiovisuel doit être disponible pour les étudiants dans un format asynchrone, selon la décision prise par l’instructeur d’un cours donné. Il y a tout simplement trop d’obstacles associés à l’apprentissage en ligne qui risquent de nuire aux expériences des étudiants accablés par des limites technologiques. Les barrières technologiques ne devraient pas être un obstacle à une expérience d’apprentissage pleinement réalisée. Les enseignants devraient avoir le droit de rendre le contenu audiovisuel disponible dans un format

asynchrone. En d’autres termes, lorsque le contenu sous licence n’est pas disponible, les formateurs devraient être en mesure de rendre disponible du contenu sans licence (à partir d’une source légitime, obtenue légalement et commercialement) aux étudiants dans un format asynchrone. Tout doit être fait pour que les élèves ne puissent pas facilement télécharger le fichier ou l’utiliser à des fins non éducatives (c’est-à-dire rendre le fichier disponible pour diffusion en continu, au lieu de simplement publier une copie numérique pour téléchargement). Il convient de rappeler systématiquement aux étudiants que tout le matériel protégé par le droit d’auteur d’un cours doit être utilisé exclusivement dans ce contexte éducatif. Les instructeurs et les fournisseurs de contenu éducatif (c’est-à-dire les bibliothèques universitaires et les centres de ressources audiovisuelles) doivent veiller à ce que tout matériel numérisé protégé par le droit d’auteur mis à disposition par les mécanismes de l’infrastructure en ligne soit retiré de cette infrastructure à la fin du cours.

En fin de compte, les éducateurs devraient toujours opérer dans les cadres autorisés par leurs institutions et conformément à l’EDI. Nous encourageons les professeurs de cinéma et de médias à travailler en étroite collaboration avec le personnel concerné de leur établissement pour élaborer des pratiques et des normes qui utilisent pleinement les droits accordés par la loi canadienne sur le droit d’auteur.

Preparé par le comité ad hoc de l’ACÉC sur la projection en ligne, avec l’aide de Lisa Macklem et Samuel E. Trosow.

*  Le paragraphe 29.4 (3) explique que cette exemption ne s’applique pas si l’œuvre est
« accessible sur le marché ». « Accessible sur le marché » est défini comme « a) qu’il est possible de se le procurer, au Canada, à un prix et dans un délai raisonnable, et de le trouver moyennant des efforts raisonnables; » ou « b) pour lequel il est possible d’obtenir, à un prix et dans un délai raisonnables et moyennant des efforts raisonnables, une licence octroyée par une société de gestion pour la reproduction, l’exécution en public ou la communication au public par télécommunication, selon le cas. » Nous ne pensons pas qu’il soit raisonnable pour les universités de racheter dans un autre format des copies de films dont elles sont déjà propriétaires et ont les droits de diffusion, et nous ne pensons pas non plus qu’il soit raisonnable d’imposer le fardeau des coûts aux étudiants. Ce sont des dépenses qui n’existeraient pas dans un environnement d’enseignement en personne.

 

This statement was prepared by Dr. Marc Furstenau (President, FSAC), Assistant Professor of Film Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa with assistance from Dr. Michael Zryd (Former President, FSAC), Associate Professor of Film Studies York University, Toronto. For further information contact: Dr. Marc Furstenau

Click here for a PDF version of this statement.

PREAMBLE

This statement has been unanimously ratified by and represents the opinions of the membership of the Film Studies Association of Canada. It is a general statement on the legitimate uses made by film and media scholars and educators of copyrighted material, and it describes common practices at colleges, universities and other scholarly and educational institutions in Canada. It is being presented now as a response to copyright reform legislation (Bill C-61, tabled June 12, 2008), and as an expression of the dismay of FSAC members, who are deeply concerned that the proposed bill would severely limit our rights and freedoms as scholars and educators. We call for a truly balanced Copyright Act, which would protect the rights of creators and copyright holders, andthe legitimate rights of users of copyrighted material, particularly the rights of scholars and educators.

1. EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND COPYRIGHT

The Film Studies Association of Canada (FSAC) represents film and media scholars and educators in universities and colleges across the country, providing scholarly support, organising an annual meeting, publishing an academic journal (The Canadian Journal of Film Studies), and advocating on behalf of its members. A key issue facing film and media scholars today is the use and presentation of copyrighted material – still and moving visual imagery in particular – in the classroom and in our research and scholarship. Digital technologies have provided us with a variety of new modes of access and engagement. However, we are restricted by copyright legislation that has not fully acknowledged the new technological environment, and which limits users’ rights in favour of copyright owners. Given the importance of providing students with the critical tools necessary to analyse a complex visual media culture, of fostering a vital and dynamic field of film and media scholarship in Canadian colleges and universities, and of promoting a vibrant, democratic culture of exchange, discussion and debate, we need copyright legislation that strikes a fair balance between the rights of owners and the rights of users.

This statement is presented on behalf of FSAC members, describing the scholarly and educational uses of copyrighted material within the fields of film and media studies, and suggesting how copyright legislation may be changed to recognise the new technological conditions within which film and media education is undertaken, and to reflect new pedagogical strategies and scholarly research methods that have emerged. There are two main issues that we face. The first is the relatively restrictive language in present copyright legislation describing “fair dealing,” which limits the legitimate use of copyrighted material in educational and scholarly contexts. A particular issue related to this is the obligation on the part of educational institutions to purchase classroom screening rights from “distributors,” in addition to the original cost of purchasing video material. FSAC supports the adoption of a more expansive “fair dealing” provision in copyright legislation, comparable to the “fair use” provision in U.S. law, which would enlarge the scope of scholarly and educational use, and allow for less fettered access to copyrighted material – publicly circulating and archival material – for use in teaching, research, and scholarly publication. The second issue is the question of reproduction and “format-shifting.” Digital video technologies have made this much easier and more effective, and have provided film and media educators and scholars with many new possibilities for critical and creative engagement with cultural materials. We are constrained, however, by current copyright legislation, which offers only vague and ambiguous guidance in an era of digital reproduction. FSAC opposes further restrictions on legitimate copying, and is particularly opposed to any blanket anti-circumvention provisions. We support the expansion of the rights to access and fair use. These issues will be considered in more detail below, following a brief account of the historical context of film and media education in Canada.

2. FILM AND MEDIA EDUCATION IN CONTEXT

Film study began in Canada in the late 1960s, with the increased availability of films on the 16mm, non-theatrical format. These were typically rented for classroom projection, and projection rights were included in the price of the rental. Universities were willing to pay the costs necessary to make films available in an era of relatively restricted access. Movies had historically been shown for only a brief period of time in theaters, and were not readily available to be seen again, except perhaps on broadcast television. The more portable format of 16mm made the “cinema” available for scholarly analysis in the same way that printed texts had made the study of “literature” possible. Still, 16mm projection limited the mode of engagement with film texts, which were typically screened once, and then only subsequently discussed. By contrast, literary texts could be subjected to repeated reading and close analysis, given that they were in print form. They could be easily consulted after the initial reading, and passages could be read again, or read aloud in class. Some film programs used editing equipment, or else so-called “analytical” projectors, which allowed viewers to “re-view” scenes and sequences. Not every university owned such equipment, however, which was both expensive and not especially easy to use.

The academic study of film and other visual media expanded considerably in the 1980s, when video was introduced. This first of all allowed film educators to record films off of broadcast television, but very soon studios and distributors had made large portions of their film collections available on VHS, and film departments could begin to build extensive video libraries. This made films readily available for classroom screening, but also for relatively effortless re-viewing and close analysis, given the ease with which one could pause, rewind and fast-forward. Films had, practically speaking, become as “analysable” as literary texts. The effect of this new technology on the discipline of film studies cannot be underestimated, and in the last two decades the number of film studies departments and programs in Canadian universities and colleges has increased dramatically, and the discipline has become firmly established within academia.

New digital video and computer technologies have further increased the modes of engagement, and offered new possibilities for film and media teaching and research. New video formats, specifically DVD, have made the viewing and re-viewing of film texts even easier, and have made an even larger number of films available, often in far higher quality versions. Digital projectors have provided teachers and researchers with more opportunities to subject such material to critical analysis, and offered more pedagogical possibilities, allowing for the creative engagement with high quality images presented on classroom screens. With computers, it has become relatively easy to “shift” digital material from one format to another, to make copies, clips and excerpts from original sources for the purpose of study, analysis, and critique, and for re-presentation in classrooms and other teaching and scholarly contexts. We are able to move quickly from one image to another, allowing for effective comparisons and contrasts to be made, encouraging students to become even more discerning in their critical analyses of visual material.

The history of film and media studies is intimately tied to developments in video and information technologies. Our discipline is a necessarily “technological” one, and we have, as a result, a great stake in new copyright legislation, which will have a significant effect on our ability to critically engage with and effectively use new digital media. As film and media scholars are deploying new technologies, new pedagogical practices and research methods are being developed in universities and colleges across the country. Copyright legislation must reflect these new conditions and practices. FSAC is specifically concerned with two basic issues: the concepts of “users’ rights” and “fair dealing”; and the questions of reproduction and format-shifting.

3. THE RIGHTS OF USERS: ‘FAIR DEALING’ OR ‘FAIR USE’?

The use of copyrighted material in educational contexts in Canada is governed by the “Fair Dealing” provision of the Copyright Act, where it is listed as one of the basic “exceptions” to copyright infringement. Section 29 states that, “Fair dealing for the purpose of research or private study does not infringe copyright,” and, in Sub-sections 29.1 and 29.2, the further categories of “criticism,” “review,” and “news reporting” are added to “research” and “private study.” Many commentators on the Copyright Act have noted that this is a restrictive list, and contrast this section with the provisions for “Fair Use” in U.S. legislation, which states in Section 107, in more suggestive or open-ended terms, that fair use is not an infringement of copyright when works are used “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research” (emphasis added). By including the phrase “such as,” U.S. legislation does not limit the realm of fair use, but instead provides illustrative examples of the sorts of areas where fair use provisions should apply, providing a stronger basis for the idea that there is a broad and dynamic range of legitimate uses of copyrighted material, and for the concomitant notion of “users’ rights.”

Recent judicial decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada have emphasised the importance of the fair dealing exception, which the court has defined precisely as “a user’s right.” In a 2004 decision (CCH v. Law Society of Upper Canada), the court stated that: “In order to maintain the proper balance between the rights of a copyright owner and users’ interests [the ‘fair dealing’ exception] must not be interpreted restrictively.” FSAC supports changes to the present legislation that would encourage just such non-restrictive interpretations, bringing it into line with current judicial thinking, which acknowledges the  cultural and intellectual benefits of new technologies of reproduction and dissemination.

A non-restrictive fair use exception would also resolve a specific issue faced by film and media studies departments across this country. By allowing educators to show legitimately purchased, commercially available videos in classrooms and other educational contexts, according to a more expansive notion of fair use, departments and universities would be freed from the financial burden of having to continuously pay fees to the “rights holders” of these films – distribution companies that had, in the past, provided films and performance right, but who now only provide the rights. The two main companies, Audio Cine and Criterion, were and are in the business of acquiring Canadian rights to classroom rentals of major U.S. distributors’ releases. They used to provide 16mm prints in exchange for rental monies. Now, they simply sell the rights that they have acquired and do not supply the actual print or video copy. Audio-Cine’s and Criterion’s catalogues consist mainly of Hollywood feature films, and some other independent narrative and documentary works, largely from the U.S., films for which the actual DVDs (the dominant medium used in classrooms) are commercially available.

These companies no longer provide a service; rather, because copyright law in Canada does not allow for educational fair use, they sell blanket site licenses to Canadian universities, basically making money through a provision in the law. This creates an unnecessary financial expense for universities. It is also a time waster for A-V libraries, which have to compile reports on films screened in classes for the two companies. Finally, this vestige of the pre-video era has driven many educators ‘underground,’ as instructors show DVDs or clips from DVDs that they own for educational purposes but do not declare the screening. New copyright legislation should acknowledge and reflect current conditions, practices and educational needs, and provide educators and scholars with less fettered access to copyrighted material, recognising the right to screen legitimately procured material within educational contexts without having to pay additional fees for each use.

A broader, and more expansive fair use exception would also strengthen and enlarge the basic scholarly freedom to access and use audio-visual material, either in public circulation or housed in archives, and to publish excerpts (film stills, “frame grabs,” publicity photos, and promotional material, for example) for the purposes of critique and analysis. The publication of an image alongside a scholarly article is equivalent to the use of quotation in other fields (e.g. literature, philosophy, classics, etc.), as support for a claim in an argument or as the actual object of analysis, and scholars need the freedom to do so. Film and media scholarship is also hampered by overly restrictive copyright requirements which prevent ready access to the archives of the CBC and the Library and Archives of Canada, the biggest repositories of Canadian audio-visual material. An effective fair use provision would safeguard rights of public access to film and television productions funded by the public purse, and allow scholars and students to engage more effectively with vital cultural material. The concept of fair use or fair dealing is the basis upon which a thriving research culture will be maintained and developed in Canada. FSAC supports the inclusion of a clear, and expansive fair use or fair dealing provision, with a broad and unambiguous scholarly and educational exception, in any reformed version of the Copyright Act.

4. TEACHING AND TECHNOLOGY: REPRODUCTION AND FORMAT-SHIFTING

Most classrooms in Canadian universities and colleges are now equipped with a full range of video and computer technologies, allowing for very dynamic presentations of audio-visual material. Educators in all disciplines, but especially film and media educators, depend more and more on such presentations, and on the ability to gather, organise and re-organise material in order to teach and analyse media, and to provide students with opportunities for critical and creative engagement. Digital media allow for the integration of illustrative and exemplary material in presentations (such as “Powerpoint” slideshows), which can fulfill important analytical and critical purposes. Such presentations depend upon the ability to copy excerpts or capture stills from films or television programs, to alter and rearrange sounds and images, and to edit and re-edit audio-visual material which may now be easily “shifted” from one format to another. Such practices are only possible, however, if digital content is not “locked-up” – if it is not controlled by so-called “digital rights management” technologies, or copy protection systems, or if the circumvention of such controls under certain, legitimate circumstances is allowed according to the provisions of fair use or fair dealing. The fact that such control technologies exist, and that digital content is technically amenable to such control, should not be the basis for the extension of the rights of copyright holders. New copyright legislation should recognise that such practices fall within a broadly conceived realm of fair use or fair dealing. The entrenchment of the right of fair use would place Canadian educators on par with standards adopted by sister scholarly organizations like the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, an international association based in the U.S.

The Copyright Act currently provides exceptions for Educational Institutions, which allow for reproduction for the purposes of education and training and for the administration of tests and examinations, but the language is vague and ambiguous. Sub-section 29.4 (1) states that, “It is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution or a person acting under its authority to make a copy of a work … (b) as an image projected using an overhead projector or similar device for the purposes of education.” Sub-section 29.4 (2) states, that, “It is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution or a person acting under its authority to reproduce, perform in public or communicate to the public by telecommunication a work for any purpose related to the giving of an assignment, test or examination.” These provisions are rendered superfluous, though, in the case of digital media which are “locked-up” by copy protection systems, and if circumvention is broadly prohibited. New copyright legislation should reflect current educational and scholarly practice, and should follow recent judicial decisions, such as that of the Supreme Court of Canada in Théberge v. Galerie d’art du Petit Champlain inc., which states that, “[o]nce an authorized copy of a work is sold to a member of the public, it is generally for the purchaser, not the author, to determine what happens to it.” The court went on to observe that, “[e]xcessive control by holders of copyrights and other forms of intellectual property may unduly limit the ability of the public domain to incorporate and embellish creative innovation in the long-term interests of society as a whole, or create practical obstacles to proper utilization.”

Once purchased, the uses to which copyrighted material may be put should be governed by legislation that takes into account the context of use, as the law already acknowledges. This important qualification should not be superseded by the blanket application of content-control systems. The rights of copyright holders are not universal – they are subject to specific exceptions in order to balance the rights of users – but the effect of copy protection technology and blanket anti-circumvention prohibitions is to enlarge the rights of owners while severely limiting legitimate use. As it stands, the rights of users within educational contexts are unduly constrained by copy protection systems, which prevent the legitimate production of clips, excerpts and stills, and the reorganisation of such material for presentation in classrooms and other scholarly settings. FSAC calls for the explicit acknowledgement of the right of educators and students to produce copies of legitimately procured audio-visual materials for the purposes of study, analysis and critique, and the right to re-organise and re-present such material in educational and academic contexts and in scholarly publications. Such activity is already an integral element of film and media research and education, and is undertaken according to already existing academic protocols of quotation and acknowledgement. FSAC believes that new copyright legislation should not contain any elements comparable to the “anti-circumvention” provisions of U.S. 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which would limit the right to make legitimate copies of copyrighted material within educational contexts, or which would force educators to illegally bypass copy protection systems in order to assert their legitimate rights to reproduce material for educational and scholarly purposes.

5. COPYRIGHT LEGISLATION: THE BALANCE OF RIGHTS

The primary goal of copyright legislation is to provide for the free but orderly circulation of ideas in order to foster creativity and innovation, and to foster the democratic right of critical engagement with cultural material. Copyright, as the Supreme Court has said, should function to “incorporate and embellish innovation in the long-term interests of society as a whole.” Canadian copyright legislation has historically struck a balance between the rights of owners and users, understood as a necessary balance to ensure such circulation and to serve broader societal interests by protecting the rights of creators. In the era of digital media, the balance appears to have been upset, as owners are discovering that new technologies provide the means for the far-reaching control of content, and as users are discovering that content may be easily copied and reproduced. FSAC is concerned that, in this context, the tendency is to legitimise greater technical control over copyrighted material, at the expense of the legitimate rights and interests of users. As an association representing film and media scholars and educators, for whom the freedom to engage critically and analytically with copyrighted material is a fundamental interest, we feel it is important to insist on the need to maintain a fair balance of rights. The free, open exchange of ideas, and the circulation of texts, documents, images and sounds that is necessary for such an exchange, is a basic social good that copyright legislation has historically been designed to support and protect. Educational and scholarly institutions play an essential role in fostering a dynamic culture of exchange and debate, and have traditionally been offered specific protections and exceptions in copyright legislation. As new technological innovations offer educators and researchers more pedagogical and scholarly opportunities, these protections and exceptions should not be eroded, but should be revised to reflect the current practices and methods being developed through creative and critical scholarly engagement with new digital media.

WORKS CONSULTED DURING THE PREPARATION OF THIS STATEMENT:

Geist, Michael, ed. In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law. Toronto: Irwin Law, 2005.

Harris, Lesley Ellen. Canadian Copyright Law, 3rd Edition. Toronto: McGraw Hill Ryerson, 2001.

Murray, Laura J. and Samuel E. Trosow. Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2007.

Petrie, Graham. “Brief concerning the proposed new Canadian copyright legislation, Bill C-32.” Released 1996.www.filmstudies.ca/ARCH_copyright.htm

Society For Cinema and Media Studies (U.S.). “Statement of Best Practices for Fair Use in Teaching for Film and Media Educators.” Released 2006. www.cmstudies.org

Tamaro, Normand. The 2006 Annotated Copyright Act. Toronto: Thomson Carswell, 2005.