Due to the unsettled copyright lawsuit between the provinces and publishers, teachers at 300 schools across Canada have been ordered to prepare teaching materials from the last seven years.
The copyright dispute is between the Ministries of Education for all provinces and territories (except British Columbia and Quebec) and a national organization that represents thousands of Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers, and their works.
The educational organisations claimed the fees Access Copyright was charging way too high and so filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Now, however, Access Copyright has filed a much larger counter-lawsuit against those same departments, pointing that the schools make more than 150 million photocopies of copyrighted material each year that require payment.
As required by the court, the teachers of 300 randomly selected schools are now asked to put their handouts and lesson plans they have used for the past seven years together.
The tremendous amount of work is putting pressures on teachers, particularly during busy time such as report card season.
"For a lot of teachers, it could be a logistical nightmare," said Wendell Head, the Hanover Teachers' Association's president.
On the other hand, Kirsten Phillips, president of the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, supports the court order. "It is necessary to give a clearer picture of how the teachers use copyrighted material," she states, "and they do need to pay the proper creator for the work they're using in their classroom."