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Economic impacts of the Canadian educational sector's fair dealing guidelines

PublishedJune 2015
PeriodicalPages 1-97
PublisherPricewaterhouse Cooper

Executive Summary

PwC has assessed the actual and expected market impacts of the implementation of the Fair Dealing Guidelines (also referred to as “Guidelines”) adopted in 2012 by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), Association of Universities and Colleges Canada (AUCC), and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). These Guidelines apply to K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions in Canada, excluding the province of Quebec.

Our Assessment finds that, since implementation of the Fair Dealing Guidelines, the educational publishing industry in Canada has been subject to a significant negative impact. Licensing income is substantially reduced. Revenues from sales are experiencing an accelerated decline. These declines, we believe, will accelerate further, causing adverse structural change in an industry already weakened by numerous other negative developments in the educational content market.

Application of the Guidelines significantly compromises the ability of educational publishers to publish original materials and meet varied academic needs. Indeed, we expect that over time, the publishing of new content for K-12 schools in Canada will for the most part disappear, and the quality of the content used by school students will thereby decline. As for post-secondary institutions, we expect that the publishing of materials will be rationalized and consolidated to focus only on certain segments of the market. Specialty subjects will be underserved in favour of high-enrolment subjects, with a corresponding decline in the availability of Canadian content. Many small- and medium-size publishers that currently serve this market will be forced out of it in search of more profitable publishing areas. This development will lead to lower competition, less content diversity, and higher prices for what is produced. In short, fewer works will be developed by Canadian content producers, both creators and publishers.

The economic footprint of the educational publishing industry is shrinking. If present patterns persist, many relatively high-paying jobs are expected to disappear. Foreign publisher subsidiaries may be forced to transition from producing Canadian content in Canada to distributing U.S. content in Canada. The incomes of Canadian writers, authors, and illustrators from Canadian sources will decline, and as no immediate or eventual replacement is apparent, this income decline will drive many from the sector.

The Guidelines, and the resulting market impacts, impede the ability of content producers to seize digital opportunities and discourage innovation in the Canadian digital knowledge-based economy.

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Keywords Access Copyright · Canada · Canadian Educational Publishing Industry · copyright · educational publishing · K-12 · licensing · resource development · textbooks

RefereedDoes not apply
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