Members of Parliament are heading back to Ottawa and the Legislative Committee on Bill C-32 will resume discussion on February 1, 2011. The transcripts from their first eight meetings are posted here.
Reading through the transcripts is sobering; the depth of misunderstanding about fair dealing impedes meaningful cooperation. The distrust of education as fair dealing is rooted in a misconception of what fair dealing is and how to handle it. Fair dealing is not free dealing. A decision of fair dealing requires a contextual exploration and must be evaluated from multiple points of consideration. As noted in CCH Canadian (2004) by the Supreme Court of Canada and repeated ad nauseum ever since.
Although the High Court seemed to break new ground in 2004, the reality is that Canadians were given similar instructions a long time ago. 1943 to be exact, in Zamacois v. Douville. See here for details.
While rights holders may decry the inclusion of education as a category in fair dealing, it remains that educational institutions offer the best atmosphere for educating Canadians in the practice of fair dealing. Encouraging teachers, students, researchers and staff to better understand the flexibility of the exception invites a better framework for cooperation and better observance of copyright law.