APLA Continuing Education Newsletter

October 2021



This month we are focusing on copyright, fair use, and copyright librarianship. Know of something we’ve missed out on, let us know!



On July 30th 2021, after a protracted legal struggle, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of York University in “York University v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright).” While this struggle is not over yet, it is seen by many in the library community as a victory for fair dealing and libraries everywhere.


For those not involved in copyright librarianship, the role can often seem like one of grim enforcement, telling people what they cannot access and cannot use to help others grow. While this is a part of the job for some copyright librarians, the ones I have spoken with also explain that their role is about extending and protecting fair use policies and forms of open access sharing and cooperation.


Below are some references of relevance for those interested in understanding more about fair use and copyright



  • CARL, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, is keenly interested in copyright policy and its impact on libraries. You can see their advocacy work and resources on their website:  


  • Canadian Copyright Blogs: Links to blogs about Canada’s copyright law. List developed by Canadian copyright specialists from the University of Saskatchewan


  • Reclaiming Fair Use How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi


  • The Works of Dr. Carys Craig, such as Introduction – Copyright, Communication & Culture: Towards a Relational Theory of Copyright Law. A review of which can be seen here:


  • Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide by Laura J. Murray and Samuel E. Trosow


  • For a breakdown of the Access Copyright Case see: Howard Knox Excess Copyright blog discussion:


  • Access Copyright v York University - School’s Out! No mandatory tariff; no declaratory relief of fair dealing; and “public access to and dissemination” of works is a primary goal of copyright in Canada. (You can see this article exactly once before they put it behind a registration wall)



  • For those interested in a more robust course of study in copyright law with a US focus, consider the online course Copyright X out of Harvard University. (You have to apply to be accepted into this program)






Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared through the listserv are those of the individuals sending the messages and are not necessarily endorsed by the Atlantic Provinces Library Association.

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