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Association of American Publishers calls for tighter copyright controls in Canada

In a statement released today, the Association of American Publishers is singling out Canadian copyright law for greater scrutiny. Drawing attention to 2012’s Copyright Modernization Act, the AAP is expressing particular concern about the lack of parameters around the “education” purpose added to fair dealing exceptions for the reproduction of copyright-protected materials in Canadian schools and postsecondary institutions.

AAP president and CEO Tom Allen says the act has had a damaging effect on the value of books and journals published in the U.S. “We are urging Canada to officially clarify the scope of its new policies so they align with established international laws, ensure fair compensation to copyright owners in legitimate markets and continue Canada’s access to rich educational content,” he says.

The statement follows a special report submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, a coalition representing U.S. copyright-based industries. The report calls on the USTR to place Canada on an 18-country U.S. government watch list that monitors intellectual property rights abroad.

According to the AAP, the defection of Canadian schools from Access Copyright’s content-licensing agreements is resulting in a decrease in direct sales of educational materials. Last month, The Writers’ Union of Canada staged a demonstration outside the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library responding to the school’s decision to opt out of Access Copyright licences.

The AAP also expressed concerns about online piracy of scholarly journals and the unauthorized sharing and trafficking of documents through bitcoin systems in China.