Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 16 York Region

Copyright Matters

Use of Copyrighted Protected Works for Education

The Ministry of Education released Policy/Program Memorandum No. 157 on June 21, 2013

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/157.pdf. Taking immediate effect, the memorandum sets out the guidelines for school boards, schools, and teachers that describe the conditions and limits of fair dealing for education when it comes to copying and showing copyrighted material. The P/PM follows the Copy Modernization Act, 2012 and is also pursuant to the Supreme Court of Canada’s July 2012 decision that clarified that educators may copy “short excerpts” of copyright-protected works for students in their classes.

The P/PM also instructs school boards to incorporate the “Fair Dealing Guidelines” into their board policies and lists compliance strategies that may be used. A key amendment expanded the fair dealing provision to identify education as one of the eligible purposes for fair dealing. This means that all employees in elementary and secondary school settings will be able to use copyright-protected works within set conditions and limits without obtaining permission and without paying a fee to the copyright owner or to a copyright collective.

A resource explaining the copyright changes that will prove invaluable to educators is available. The link to the CMEC/CTF/Canadian School Boards Association publication Copyright Matters-4th Edition (2016). The Copyright Matters booklet provides an overview of the issues, rights, and responsibilities surrounding the use of copyrighted materials in schools.

OSSTF/FEESO staff continue to monitor and gather additional information at events such as the OTF Curriculum Forum. Local leaders should monitor district school boards for new policies and ensure OSSTF/FEESO members are notified by the employer. 

September 2016


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