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Copyright and the Evolving

Learning Materials Market

Executive Summary
Campus Stores Canada joins other education users, including student groups, institutions, and
instructors, in supporting the existing fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act. The 2012 expansion
of fair dealing to include educational use as an exemption is an important clarification of user rights.
Government should preserve this in future updates to the Act.

About Campus Stores Canada

Campus Stores Canada is the only organization in Canada serving institutionally-owned and operated
campus stores for our universities and colleges. It provides them a voice and helps them deliver quality
education and services. By helping our member stores serve their institutions in the most effective
manner, we help ensure student, faculty and administrative success. Campus Stores Canada has 80
member stores and more than 150 vendor and supplier associates nationwide. This means that if you
know one of Canadas million post-secondary students, you probably know someone that is served by a
member of Campus Stores Canada.

What does a Campus Bookstore do?

Campus stores serve students by ensuring they have access to high quality learning resources, acting as
a conduit for the distribution and fulfilment of print and digital course material.

As part of this responsibility, stores strive for a clear balance in copyright legislation between user
rights, and those of creators and owners. Many stores assist academic community members to fully
understand and navigate the complexity of the copyright environment that promotes the access to and
dissemination of knowledge.

Most importantly, campus stores strive to keep the costs of academic materials at affordable prices by
providing choice for students and balancing the interests of all stakeholders. We ensure students have
access to the materials they need to succeed academically through the most economical means
available in the marketplace.

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A Fundamental Shift in the Course
Materials Market
Market forces1 and policy changes2 in the higher education publishing landscape have accelerated the
disruption of traditional business models for third party course content in a complex and rapidly
changing environment.

The shift from print to digital learning materials is causing all stakeholders involved in course content
creation, ownership, distribution, delivery, support and consumption to evaluate their role in this
changing landscape. Importantly, and as can be seen in the figure below, these changes began before
Canada updated the Copyright Act to include a specific fair dealing exemption for educational uses.

Figure 1: Independent College Stores Report which tracks "Performance Metrics for Independent Store Success". 74 stores were
included in this survey, including 15 from Canada.

These disruptive events are part of an industry faced with increased competition and more choice for
consumers in the ways they purchase, access, and consume course material. The unaffordable prices of
some course material has led to a decreased demand for expensive textbooks that may have been only
slightly updated. In addition, there has been significant market saturation of print learning material,

1See, for example:, Last accessed November 1, 2017

2 See, for example:, last accessed November 1 2017
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with increased competition through the growth of textbook rentals, imported international editions,
peer to peer selling and increased demand for less expensive, older editions.

Students, the ultimate users of learning materials, no longer see the value in expensive, single use texts.
As with other industries, like music and video, user expectations of value has shifted. New channels,
business models, and market entrants is further perpetuating the disruption of traditional print
revenues, fostering investment and development of digital products and services. As one example,
Campus eBookstore, a company that allows campus stores to offer digital course materials to students,
has seen consistent growth in sales.

Cumulative Digital Sales from January 2013


















Figure 2: Cumulative Sales of digital materials by Campus eBookstore, a company that allows campus stores to offer digital course
materials to students. This chart highlights strong cumulative sales growth, with increases year over year.

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What is Fair Dealing?
Fair dealing is a provision in the Copyright Act that allows for the royalty- and permission-free copying
of works for specific purposes. These uses traditionally have included research and private study and
have expanded users rights to include educational uses with the Copyright Modernization Act.

Institutional Procurement of Academic

Post-secondary institutions and students continue to pay creators and owners of copyright material for
their work in a much more dynamic and complex marketplace.

Since the implementation of the 2012 Copyright Modernization Act, universities and colleges have spent
millions of dollars annually on the acquisition and licensing of copyrighted digital content, including
ebooks and ejournals. In 2016-2017, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) managed over
$124 million in licensing expenditures.3

Students continue to spend millions of dollars on print and digital textbooks and other digital
interactive content and assessment products through traditional retail operations as well as emerging
student ancillary fee business models. These broader changes to the learning materials market
continued with expanded use of fair dealing. While there has been a shift away from the licenses
offered by Access Copyright, this shift must be understood in the broader context of traditional and
current procurement practices for academic material.

The use of fair dealing has resulted in a diminished value proposition offered by Access Copyright to
educational institutions. The license offered is a flat-fee all inclusive model of print and digital
copying, providing a blanket permission to copy within limits. However, in many cases, institutions, and
by extension students, have already paid for rights to materials. Students, the ultimate end user, should
not be paying for products and services they do not need.

3See:, Last Accessed November 1 2017

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Copyright law must reflect a balance between the right of creators to financially benefit from their work
and that of users to access it. It should strive to encourage creativity and innovation, recognizing that
this comes not just from those that hold rights, but also from those people that use copyrighted works.

Theres a reason that user groups in the education community have highlighted the value of fair dealing
and why there is interest in protecting the educational exemption. Clear user rights for accessing
materials are essential to an educational experience. Pure evidence does not support claims that this
benefit has in and of itself had a negative impact to rights holders.

It is important that fair dealing and the educational use exemption be maintained as it is an important
element of the evolving learning materials market. Actions by organizations like Access Copyright have
already challenged this, and federal court decisions in favour of Access Copyright risk are undermining
fair dealing altogether.

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