TWUC's Response to UBC on Fair Dealing

Here is the text of Writers' Union Chair, Dorris Heffron's letter in response to the University of British Columbia's continued claims that fair dealing has been expanded to allow for copying of up to 10% of a published work.

In September, TWUC sent a letter of protest to UBC, disagreeing with its interpretation of fair dealing. In his response to TWUC, UBC President Stephen Toope reiterated that copying under a claim of fair dealing continues to be part of the materials mix at UBC.


Dr. Stephen J. Toope, President

Office of the President

University of British Columbia

6328 Memorial Road

Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2


October 9, 2013


Dear Dr. Toope,

Thank you for your response to my earlier letter, and thank you for your assurances that UBC respects established copyright law.

Neither Parliament nor the Supreme Court has defined a set percentage amount that can be considered fair under fair dealing, certainly not one tenth of an entire work, nor entire chapters and stories. If you consider that the market for writing has evolved to the point where chapters and stories are now being sold as separate and distinct works themselves, copying them actually represents a use of 100% of a work. I hope we can agree on the unfairness of such a scenario.

I appreciate seeing the figures you cite for UBC’s annual spend on printed learning materials and subscriptions. Of course, they have nothing to do with the issue of large amounts of other printed materials being copied and not being paid for under a claim of fair dealing.

With respectful regards,

Dorris Heffron, Chair


cc:           Louise Cowin, Vice President, Students
               David Farrar, Provost and Vice President, Academic (UBC Vancouver)
               Deborah Buszard, Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (UBC Okanagan)