Policy on Copyright Management

1. Effective Date

This policy has been approved by LAC Management Board and takes effect on May 18, 2015.

2. Application

The Policy on Copyright Management applies to all activities related to copyright management and the application of copyright law in all sectors of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). This policy aligns with the Access Policy Framework and is intended for use with all applicable policies, guidelines, standards and tools under the framework, including the Policy on Making Holdings Available and the Policy on Making Holdings Discoverable and other related tools.

The Policy on Copyright Management supersedes the Guidelines on Copyright Act NAC (1999).

3. Definitions

See Appendix A of the Access Policy Framework for most definitions. For additional definitions, see Appendix A of this policy.

4. Context

The objects and powers set out in the Library and Archives of Canada Act include facilitating access to Canada’s documentary heritage. In pursuit of this, as indicated in the Access Policy Framework (2011), LAC proactively works to ensure that its holdings are “as accessible as possible.” In this context, LAC’s goal is to facilitate and enable clients’ access and use of documentary heritage, without infringing on the rights of creators.

Technology and the Internet have changed the way information is created, shared, consumed and accessed. Traditional publishing industries are undergoing fundamental changes as they transition to new business models for publishing and distributing content. Furthermore, mobile devices and social media platforms now allow individuals, on the one hand, to more easily create, share and publish content, and on the other hand, to view or access content anywhere and anytime. The change in technology and the shift in how individuals and organizations increasingly create and access content are resulting in an increased interest in copyright law.

To keep pace with these social and technological changes, the Government of Canada has recently amended its copyright legislation. The Copyright Modernization Act (2012) includes certain new rights and exceptions aligning Canadian copyright law with the realities of the digital economy. At the same time, a body of precedent-setting case law has established certain principles providing new guidance on the application of rights and exceptions.

These social, technological and legal changes are important for how LAC fulfills its access mandate. In order to ensure that its practices, procedures and operations keep pace with these changes, LAC has undertaken a review of its copyright policy environment to keep in step with the expectations of Canadians, within the framework of existing Government of Canada legislation, regulations, and policies including, but not limited to: the Library and Archives of Canada Act (LAC Act), the Copyright Act, the Access to Information Act, the Official Languages Act, and the Privacy Act. See Appendix B for a list of relevant legislative, regulatory and policy instruments.

5. Purpose

In support of maximizing access to LAC holdings, the Policy on Copyright Management sets out policy requirements in order to:

  • Ensure that copyright-related activities at LAC are aligned with LAC’s mandate under the LAC Act as well as legal requirements under the Copyright Act;
  • Facilitate statutory compliance and to enhance effective application of the Copyright Act in the furtherance of LAC’s mandate under the LAC Act and the objectives of the Access Policy Framework;
  • Ensure consistent practices and procedures in managing copyright is implemented across LAC, and in particular the establishment of enterprise-wide approaches to copyright assignment, licensing, fair dealing, orphan works, the public domain and Crown copyright; and
  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities for copyright management at LAC in order to streamline the process for making copyright-related decisions, including for partnering arrangements.

6. Policy Statement

Consistent with its mandate under the LAC Act and the objectives of the Access Policy Framework, LAC maximizes access to its holdings through a transparent and risk-managed approach to copyright management that respects both the rights of copyright owners and the rights of content users.

7. Policy Requirements

As a trusted repository for documentary heritage, LAC carries out the following:

7.1 An Open Approach to Managing Copyright

LAC applies a streamlined and risk-managed approach to copyright management through:

  • Central coordination of copyright management, consistent application of copyright law, and documented decision making to facilitate consistency;
  • Communication of LAC’s policy and procedures related to copyright to the public to inform patrons of their rights and obligations with respect to access and use of LAC holdings and to promote best practices; and
  • Alignment with the Government of Canada’s open government initiative.

7.2 Maximizing Access

LAC maximizes access to documentary heritage holdings in accordance with the Copyright Act, and in a manner that respects both the rights of content users and copyright holders, through:

  • Leveraging fair dealing and other exceptions under copyright law to maximize access to holdings;
  • Providing and protecting access to public domain holdings on an ongoing basis;
  • Applying a risk-managed approach to the management of access to orphan works;
  • Applying the principles of the Government of Canada’s open government licence to all eligible Crown material in its holdings; and
  • Adopting consistent contractual practices to maximize access to documentary holdings acquired via purchase or donation.

8. Roles and Responsibilities

The Librarian and Archivist of Canada is responsible for overall access to the holdings.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for the overall management of copyright at LAC. As such, the COO is responsible for ensuring implementation of and compliance with the policy requirements and making employees of LAC aware of the legal and policy requirements.

The Director General of Services Branch, as the director general responsible for the Copyright Services unit, is the business owner for the Policy on Copyright Management and oversees the management of copyright services within LAC.

Copyright Services are the central coordinating body for managing copyright, acting as the office of primary interest for copyright decisions and ensuring copyright decisions are consistent and documented.

The Strategic Policy and Advice division supports the various sectors and branches of LAC in the application of the policy requirements by coordinating requests for legal advice in respect to any matter related to its application.

Because copyright management affects all sectors and branches of LAC, implementation and adherence to this policy is a shared responsibility of all Directors General. Directors General are responsible, within their respective areas of responsibility and delegated authority, for ensuring compliance with the Policy on Copyright Management and, in co-operation with Copyright Services, for establishing operational copyright policy tools, such as establishing effective processes and practices or issuing directions and guidance in support of the policy.

The Director General of Innovation and Chief Information Officer branch is responsible for providing the infrastructure to support copyright management and further the object of the policy.

The Director General of Strategic Research and Policy is responsible for the development of strategic policy instruments and supporting the development of operational copyright policy tools and for ensuring they are aligned with the Policy on Copyright. Such tools may include effective processes and practices, or directions and guidelines in support of the policy.

Additional roles and responsibilities are established in Section 7 of the Access Policy Framework.

9. Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

The Director responsible for internal audit and evaluation may evaluate this policy to measure its progress, effectiveness and the attainment of its objectives.

This policy will be reviewed following the review of the Copyright Act slated for 2017 to assess the need for alignment with that legislation and with the LAC accessibility policy (forthcoming in 2015), or as required. The review and monitoring of this policy is the responsibility of the Director of Policy.

Review and monitoring will be conducted with support from the operational areas responsible for copyright management activities at LAC.

10. Consequences

Consequences for non-compliance with the Policy on Copyright Management may include corrective measures from the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Management Board, or the Assistant Deputy Minister-level manager responsible for copyright. Corrective measures may include any actions deemed appropriate in the circumstances.

11. Inquiries

Please address any questions about this policy to:
Director Responsible for Strategic Policy
Library and Archives Canada
550 de la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0N4

Appendix A: Definitions

The bundle of rights granted under the Copyright Act to authors, performers and producers of sound recordings, and to broadcast organizations over their works, performances, sound recordings and broadcast signals, including the sole right to produce or reproduce, publish, and perform a work or a substantial part of it in any material form.

Orphan works
Copyright protected works for which rights holders are unknown or unlocatable.

Public domain
Works, performances, sound recordings and broadcast signals for which copyright has expired or no longer applies.

Fair dealing
A statutory exception to copyright infringement. To qualify as a fair dealing, the dealing must be for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism or review and news reporting, and the dealing must be fair. Whether a particular dealing is fair is always a matter of fact, degree and impression in each case. Factors that have been identified by the courts as relevant include:

  • Character of the dealing (e.g., number of copies made, copies destroyed after use, streamed vs. downloaded, etc.)
  • Amount of the dealing (e.g., proportion of a single work copied, weighed against the purpose)
  • Alternatives to the dealing (e.g., whether there is a non-copyrighted equivalent of the work that could have been used instead)
  • Nature of the Work (e.g., published vs. unpublished, confidential or not)
  • Effect of the Dealing on the Work (e.g., does the dealing compete with the sale of the original work) 
Risk-managed approach (Risk-informed decision making)
An approach to decision making in which insights from risk assessment are considered with other factors. In taking into account potential risks connected with a decision, LAC will consider, among other things, (1) what are the associated risks, (2) how likely are they, (3) what consequences might arise, and (4) possible mitigation strategies.

Appendix B: Related Documents

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