Meera Nair writes about some Canadian universities' decisions to drop Access Copyright's blanket copyright agreements; said universitites will now negotiate copyright agreements independently, making use of fair dealing where it applies, and paying for uses beyond that directly to publishers. She outlines the fascinating history of fair use in the United States, its evolution, and the recent developments on fair dealing in Canada.
Nair points out that we are now, in Canada, standing at a crossroads. Universities are deciding how they will interpret fair dealing in Canada, and she fears that univerities will interpret it too narrowly. Universities, Nair points out, have a tremendous influence on students. She fears that, in taking a conservative interpretation of fair dealing, universities will influence students, shaping their ideas of fair dealing and causing them to forget the full scope of their rights as copyright users. This could diminish the shape and scope of Canadian fair dealing for generations to come.