“Ideally, this is the first step for a potentially larger project around the topic of copyright for post-secondary education,” shared Josh. “For many of us, the primary reason to think about copyright was when something terrible happened, or we were concerned about challenges for our institutions. With other resources, the information about copyright is almost overly detailed as far as legalities, with few practical takeaways. Our goal with this toolkit was to use our backgrounds and experiences with copyright to make the topic more accessible — and a little less scary — for everyone.”
The OER provides actionable steps to clarify the significance of copyright literacy in a post-secondary context, help readers discern between protected and non-protected works based on the Canada Copyright Act, allow for compliant activities within Canadian copyright law, and suggest proactive ways to engage with copyright at their institutions.
“For most of the people involved in this project, we had learned about copyright in our positions to explain it to the stakeholders at our respective institutions so they could make decisions regarding copyright on their own,” shared Josh. “What was missing, for us, was the ability to bounce ideas off other people with similar experiences and understanding of the topic. Large institutions, like the University of Manitoba, have a designated Copyright Office with highly trained people. Places like Simon Fraser University, University Alberta, and other U15 universities throughout Canada have this kind of resource, but for most of us in Manitoba, there’s often only one person trained for it. Our goal was to make this toolkit accessible, empowering people by sharing much-needed knowledge without drowning them in the potentially terrifying parts of copyright.”
Passing the Torch
This OER toolkit covers the initial module of the CARL Copyright resource, but other modules could benefit from a similar approach. “This is the first module of a series adapted from CARL,” said Sasha. “I hope the resource we’ve created paves the way for other institutions to collaborate on future modules, building on what we’ve started and furthering the awareness and understanding of copyright for everyone within the post-secondary sector of Manitoba and the rest of the country.”