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IPA Vice President testifies at Canadian Copyright Review

  • Canada an international outlier since its introduction of a broad exception for educational uses.

  • Changes have resulted in a dramatic loss of income for Canadian publishers.

Appearing yesterday before the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology which is conducting the statutory review of the Canadian Copyright Act, IPA Vice President, Hugo Setzer, made the case for a well-balanced educational publishing infrastructure that encourages investment through a mix of targeted exceptions and affordable collective licensing solutions.

During his testimony he questioned whether the current Copyright Act satisfied Canada’s international commitments under the Berne Convention and drew the Committee’s attention to losses of 30 million Canadian Dollars in licensing revenues and the closure of a number of publishers’ K-12 divisions.

Hugo Setzer closed his testimony by underlining the value publishers bring to educational materials through their work with local authors, translating curricula into quality materials in a variety of formats based on the latest research into teaching and learning.

His testimony came the day after Richard Prieur, Director General of IPA member the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), took the floor before the same Committee in Montreal. Mr Prieur shared his frustration at the negative international perception of the Canadian educational exception and the country’s status as an example of bad practice in the copyright arena. He criticised the legal insecurity created by the lack of clarity in the Copyright Act and the impact multiple court cases are having on the legal framework. He called for the law to be revised to clearly and narrowly define the exception for educational uses and to recognise the fundamental role collective management organisations play in a well-balanced copyright regime.

Two weeks earlier, Glenn Rollans, President of another IPA member, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), testified before the Committee. He also called on legislators to fix the damage created by the Copyright Modernization Act through a clarification of fair dealing, a return to collective licensing for educational uses, and increased statutory damages to discourage abuse.

The committee hearings continue.

Press contact: James Taylor,

About the IPA
The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the world’s largest federation of publishers associations with 76 members in 65 countries. Established in 1896, the IPA is an industry body with a human rights mandate. The IPA’s mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness of publishing as a force for economic, cultural and social development. Working in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and numerous international NGOs, the IPA champions the interests of book and journal publishing at national and supranational level. Internationally, the IPA actively opposes censorship and promotes copyright, freedom to publish (including through the IPA Prix Voltaire), and literacy.

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