Fall 2016

Class action against Université Laval 

Mark this date in your calendar!

November 23, 2016 

That’s the date chosen by the Quebec Court of Appeal to hear the parties in the lawsuit launched by Copibec, as representative for copyright owners, against Université Laval. 

You may recall that in February 2016, Justice Beaupré of the Quebec Superior Court decided that Copibec would not be given authorization to bring a class action against Université Laval on behalf of copyright owners whose works had been copied by the university. In the spring, Copibec decided to appeal that lower court ruling and filed a motion with the Quebec Court of Appeal. The university quickly filed its own motion to have Copibec’s appeal rejected so that we’d be prevented from going ahead with our lawsuit. But on June 6, after reviewing the file, the Court of Appeal dismissed the university’s motion and decided to hear Copibec’s appeal.

The hearings will be held at the Court of Appeal in Quebec City (300, boul. Jean-Lesage, Quebec City, G1K 8K6, Room 4.33) on November 23 at 9:30 a.m. Since the hearings are public, everyone is encouraged to attend. 

On June 28, the board of directors of the Fonds d’aide aux actions collectives (FAACO) was unanimous in once again agreeing to approve Copibec’s application for financial assistance.

Copying requests originating from Université Laval

We’d like to remind rightsholders that you may receive requests from Université Laval’s professors, library personnel, copyright bureau (Bureau du droit d’auteur) or any other administrative staff asking for permission to use excerpts from your publications for educational purposes. We’ve also been informed that if a book is out of print, the university asks for a digital copy (PDF) so that reproduction will be easier.

As you know, Copibec has been processing requests for copies from educational institutions, including those for out-of-print books, for many years.  We therefore encourage you to forward all copying requests to Nicolas Boudreault, Licensing and User Services Officer, to have them processed. 

Publishers who have given Copibec exclusive authority to manage print-format copying have already agreed, as part of that mandate, to send us all the copying requests they receive for any of the works in their catalogues. We hope that all publishers will do the same or, at the very least, will keep us informed about the requests you are sent.

SAMUEL getting better all the time!

Our digital content platform called SAMUEL had a makeover this summer!

Are you a teacher?

The improved search feature lets you find what you’re looking for more easily and makes it simpler to explore what’s available. After you log in, our theme-based selections are a great way to discover something new. Watch for new carousels being added regularly! They’ll also be featured on our Facebook page.

New partners have recently been added to SAMUEL, including publishers Les Malins and Mémoire d’encrier. Plus, hundreds of images from the dictionary Le Visuel, published by Québec Amérique, are now available. Log in to check it out.

Don’t have an account yet? Create your account in a few easy steps!

Are you a publisher who wants to be part of SAMUEL? 

Would you like more information about our digital platform? Contact us.

A few short videos about SAMUEL, including one in English, are also available on Copibec’s YouTube channel.

Our Educator Space is a goldmine of information!

With the new school year now in full swing, don’t forget to visit Copibec’s Educator Space. You’ll find summaries of all the various licensing agreements with the education sector. Each of the sections also has its own FAQ where we answer the most common questions. 

This dedicated space gives background on the Copyright Act and lists the organizations you should contact whenever you want to use any kind of copyright protected content. And don’t hesitate to ask a copyright specialist your questions by using the available online form. Our team is always happy to provide assistance and can help you get permission for the copies you need. If you’re interested in using a copyrighted work and have any questions, contact us. We’d be pleased to give you the answers you’re searching for.

Plus, the Educator Space has information for school libraries. Take a look and feel free to give us your comments and questions!

Publishers: Don’t forget to complete your titles!

A few times a year, we contact publishers about titles that need to be completed because data is missing. Those requests may be related to copy log entries or could be about titles that were added to our database by one of your authors. Please add the relevant data to make sure our catalogue of titles is as complete as possible and help ensure there’s no delay when future payments are made. 

On an annual basis, Copibec processes about 215,000 copy log entries concerning more than 65,000 different titles. If a reported title was published in Quebec and is not registered in our repertoire, it’s submitted to the publisher via Savia, our online copyright licensing and rights management system, so the bibliographic data can be checked and the rightsholders can be identified correctly. Avoid delays in royalty distributions by quickly completing the titles sent to you. 

If you have any questions, please contact Isabelle Billeau, Communications and Rightsholder Services Officer, by email or by phone at 1-800-717-2022 or 514-288-1664 ext. 235. 

Large number of pay-per-use licences

Between July 2015 and June 2016, more than 200 educational institutions at the preschool, elementary and high school levels, including school boards, sent us 534 requests for pay-per-use licences (specific authorizations). Over 300 of those were to request copies of books in digital format for students with special needs. The schools and school boards paid a total of about $45,000 in royalties for permission to make copies that exceeded their licensed limits or weren’t covered by their licences. In cases where users want to copy more than 20% of a book published in Quebec, the costs are set by the publisher.

During the same period, 18 Quebec universities paid $334,600 and 60 CEGEPs and colleges paid $130,960 for pay-per-use licences. 

Copibec also issued pay-per-use licences for plays available through ADEL inc., the virtual bookstore of the Association québécoise des auteurs dramatiques (AQAD). A total of 248 licences were issued, bringing in $4,516. Most of the requests were to download individual plays and, in certain instances, print a few additional copies.

Many playwrights, novelists, illustrators, textbook authors and publishers have already been paid royalties for pay-per-use licences issued. The next royalty distribution in that licensing category will be in February 2017. 

Disappointing data collection process in 2015-2016 

Despite our best efforts to limit the impacts, our 2015-2016 data collection process was adversely affected by a late start date and teachers’ pressure tactics to have their demands met by the Quebec government. Whenever negotiations are taking place, we always notice that teachers are not as willing to collect data. In addition, because the licence renewal took longer than expected (new government, new minister, etc.), the process started a few months late, i.e. January 2016 instead of September 2015. 

The year’s participation rate was only 60% compared to nearly 80% for the 2014-2015 school year. On average, 15% of the copy log entries submitted were for copyright protected documents. In all the other cases, the personnel filling out the logs indicated that they hadn’t made copies or had used reproducible material or works in the public domain. 

So far for 2015-2016 we’ve received just over 7,500 copy log entries covering nearly 3,000 copyright protected works (books, magazines, songs, newspapers, plays, etc.). Among those entries, 69% were submitted online through Savia, our online copyright licensing and rights management system, and 31% were done on paper. About 16% of the entries were recorded in SAMUEL, our digital content platform. Slightly more than 15% of the entries were for digital-format copies, especially excerpts displayed using smartboards. 

With the new school year underway, the 2016-2017 data collection process has been launched. This year, no serious issues are expected. The 350 institutions selected to participate have all been contacted and the information kits have been sent to the various people in charge. The first online entries have already been recorded and a number of teachers have registered as new users in our online system. Since July 1, we’ve received approximately 200 copy log entries. 

New licensees

In recent months, we’ve added a few licensees to the thousands of others who’ve chosen to show respect for the work done by authors and publishers by paying royalties when they use text-based material, illustrations, photos, sheet music and song lyrics. 

Here are our new licensees:
  • École de musique Jésus-Marie, a private music school in Lévis
  • Maison de la musique de Sainte-Foy, a private music school in Quebec City
  • Centre de justice de proximité Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine, a not-for-profit in Chandler that provides free information and support services
  • Directeur général des élections du Québec
  • Centre d'information et de documentation de l’Institut de la statistique du Québec
  • Canadian Dupuytren Society, a not-for-profit in Pointe-Claire that provides information and research support about Dupuytren’s disease
Copibec is pleased to welcome these new partners and would like to thank them for their commitment to copyright. 

The list of our licensees can be viewed any time on our website.

Free information sessions!

Copibec offers training about copyright, the various licences issued and our SAMUEL platform. The sessions are available to all education sector licensees, students in education faculties and any company or organization that has a licensing agreement with us. 

To find out more, please contact us!

Copyright news from Canada and beyond 

Fix copyright law in 2017 before academic publishers go under 

Canada — In Prime Minister Trudeau’s mandate letter to Mélanie Joly when she was appointed Minister of Canadian Heritage, copyright policy didn’t receive a single mention. Richard Owens, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, is worried about that fact. He explained that the Copyright Act is scheduled to be reviewed in 2017 and it’s important to restore creators’ rights so the educational publishing industry can be saved.

Read the article in the Financial Post

Canadian educational publishing has plummeted

Canada — The availability of Canadian educational material has “fallen off a cliff” in recent years. In fact, teachers in provinces other than Quebec now have to look to foreign publishers for the content they need. John Degen, Executive Director of The Writers’ Union of Canada, blames this precipitous decline on changes to the Copyright Act that have pushed major academic publishers to the brink of bankruptcy. 

Read the article by CBC News

Calling for better education about copyright

Lesley Ellen Harris, a copyright lawyer, has written a compelling article describing why we need more education about copyright in the business and education sectors. She gives many tips on how to set up effective programs and points out that copyright awareness in the workplace opens the door to greater creativity and productivity.

Why are young people so attracted to illegal content?

Europe — In an effort to better understand online piracy, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) did a behavioural study of 15-24 year-olds, the generation born in the digital era. The study shows that, among other reasons, high retail prices for content such as movies, songs and videogames are a major factor encouraging illegal downloads.

Read more on TorrentFreak
Complete study 

Is this the end of BitTorrent and piracy?

Life is getting more difficult for Torrent piracy sites. Two well-known sites were recently shut down by regulatory authorities and the individuals running the sites were charged with copyright infringement. Pirates are also abandoning ship and trying to clean up their act by using Netflix, iTunes, Steam and Spotify. Does this signal the end of the BitTorrent protocol allowing anonymous peer-to-peer transfers of pirated digital files such as music, movies and videogames?

Read the article on Ici Radio-Canada (in French)

Publishers have to pay legal costs after losing GSU e-reserves case 

United States — Canada isn’t the only place where copyright owners are being devastated by fair use, the U.S. equivalent of our fair dealing. In 2011, a group of publishers launched legal proceedings against Georgia State University for using copyright protected works to make digitized course readings, known as e-reserves, without the rightsholders’ permission. After ultimately losing their case, the publishers have been forced to cover the university’s legal costs! The ruling is now being appealed.

Read the article by Publishers Weekly

Do file hosting sites have to filter pirated content?

Germany – Are file hosting services liable for the online content made available by users? The Regional Court of Munich thinks so. It found file hosting service guilty of failing to take measures against online piracy on its site. 

Read more on TorrentFreak 

Costly lesson on the meaning of “free license”

Italy Free license and public domain don’t mean the same thing. Even though free licenses allow works to be reused free of charge, some conditions can apply. An Italian festival learned the distinction the hard way by using content under a Creative Commons license without complying with its terms and conditions.

To learn more, read the Wikimedia blog post available under license CC BY 3.0

The strange case of painter Peter Doig

United States – Hard to believe but renowned artist Peter Doig had to show up in court to prove that he hadn’t painted a work that could be worth millions of dollars. In the end, the judge agreed, ruling against the painting’s owner, Canadian Robert Fletcher, who was hoping to sell it for a tidy profit. Fletcher remains convinced that Doig created the work and is considering an appeal.

Read more on The Globe and Mail

People on the move at Copibec!

There have been a few changes in the Copibec team lately. Magalie Dufresne, who was Receptionist and Communications and Rightsholder Services Assistant, has left to pursue other career opportunities. We’d like to wish her good luck and thank her for all the hard work she did as a member of our team.

The new voice you’ll hear when you call Copibec is that of Eve St-Aubin. In addition to managing our reception services, she’ll play a key role in Copibec’s “social life” by helping to generate social media content. 

Guillaume Saucier, who worked for our analysis and reporting team while he completed his translation studies, has left Copibec to get his career as a translator started. Congratulations Guillaume! We hope you’ll enjoy much success.  

In addition, Annie Massicotte has joined our team as a legal intern. She’ll lend a hand for anything of a legal nature. Annie has completed her Quebec Bar segment and will be doing an internship with us for a few months. 

We’d like to welcome our new recruits. We hope you’ll enjoy being part of our dynamic team!

Even though fall is settling in, Copibec wishes everyone a great school year!

Click the image to see the entire comic strip


©  ©  ©

Coordinator: Caroline Lacroix 
Contributors: Rose-Marie Lafrance, Frédérique Couette, Kevin Charron, Eve St-Aubin and Nicolas Boudreault
Translator: Brian Colwill 

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