Canadian Universities and the Job of Protecting Copyright
by John Degen
(photo courtesy me and my little camera)
As Canadian universities controversially insist they may copy enormous amounts of published work for free, we’ve seen the rise of the Copyright Officer on campuses across the country. The CO is generally a non-teaching position charged with the respectful and conscientious clearance of copyright for educational purposes. Currently, hundreds of millions of pages per year are photocopied and/or scanned for student readings in Canada. For decades, those copies were all respectfully paid-for through licences — until 2012 when most schools across Canada opted out of licensing arrangements in favour of claiming the same work for free.