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With due respect to PricewaterhouseCoopers

TitleWith due respect to PricewaterhouseCoopers
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsNair, M.
PublisherFair Duty
Access Year2017
EditionAugust 3, 2015 at 7:20 pm
Access Date2017-11-27
Date Published08/2015
Type of WorkBlog post
Keywordscopyright, K-12, OER, policy

Howard Knopf (a prominent intellectual property lawyer and longstanding advocate for maintaining the limits upon copyright as prescribed by law) has drawn our attention to a new study commissioned by Access Copyright and carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The study concludes that the end is nigh for educational publishing in Canada. Which in turn shall impose great hardships upon Canadian authors and illustrators, and ultimately mark the end of Canadian culture. The root cause of these troubles, according to PwC’s assessment, is the advent of fair dealing upon the Canadian educational landscape. Because fair dealing is actually practiced now (with guidance from the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada (AUCC) and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CIC)), the publishing industry is denied its time-honoured income gained through blanket-licensing of written materials for education in Canada.

There was a time when I would direct students to PwC reports as exemplars of informed and dispassionate analysis. I am not sure I would do so today. With due respect to PwC, their knowledge of copyright in general (and fair dealing in particular) is scant. But even setting aside any lack of understanding of copyright, the spectacle of being a paid messenger to a biased cause does little credit to PwC.

And the message is this: Canadian educational publishers can maintain their industry only by returning to the level of payments received from schools and post-secondary institutions in the past. Educational institutions must continue spending as before, regardless of: (1) the position of the law, (2) the general decline of funding to education, (3) availability of alternative resources, or (4) better fiscal management on the part of educators and administrators. All of this is set upon a lament about the perils of coping with new technology.


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Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Refereed DesignationDoes Not Apply
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