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ETFO welcomes new policy and guidelines supporting fair use of copyright- protected materials for classroom learning

March 7, 2018

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) welcomes the policy statement and guidelines on copyright issued by Canadian education ministers today which support fair use of copyright-protected materials for classroom learning.

“This policy is extremely important for our classrooms and teachers,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Since 2012, educators have been able to use short excerpts of copyright-pritected materials in an educational context. It was important that such usage be described in a written policy from the education ministers.”

Through the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, ETFO has been part of a coalition of national education organizations advocating for more than a decade for the rights of teachers and students in the government’s copyright reform process. Today’s Education Ministers’ Policy Statement on Fair Dealing policy and guidelines was issued by the Copyright Consortium of the Council of Ministers of Education.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it is fair for teachers to communicate or make copies of short excerpts from copyright-protected work for students. During a Copyright Board of Canada hearing of this decision in 2014, ETFO made a deputation in support of the Supreme Court’s finding.

“Since the Supreme Court copyright decision, ETFO has continued to educate its members on their professional rights and legal obligations regarding the selection and use of copyright-protected materials in the classroom,” added Hammond.

ETFO is committed to building better schools. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at www.buildingbetterschools.ca. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 80,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.