9 N.L. schools randomly chosen to go over copyright records tied to legal spat

Nine schools in Newfoundland and Labrador have been randomly selected to provide information on the use of copyright-protected material being used by teachers and staff.

The selected schools need "to conduct an extensive search of all records and documents relevant to the federal court order," according to a statement posted on the website of Holy Heart of Mary in St. John's, one of the chosen schools.

It was decided that closing the schools for a day was the best way to gather and copy and format the "thousands of pages of relevant documents in a short period of time," said the statement provided by the Department of Education.

One school was closed last week, two are closed Monday, and the others are expected to close in the upcoming days. 

"The collection of documents related to the case is a requirement of a court order and is mandatory. The work behind the collection of records is substantial and requires considerable human resources," according to a statement provided by the Department of Education on Monday morning. 

CBC requested an interview on the issue last week, but the department would only provide a statement via email. 

Fees for copying published works at centre of dispute

The court battle has pitted the Ministries of Education for all provinces and territories — except Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec — and all school boards in Ontario against Access Copyright, a national organization that represents thousands of Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers, and their works.

The organization licenses the copying of the different material to educational institutions, businesses, governments and others, according to the Access Copyright website.

The educational organizations claim they overpaid fees for the copying of published works, but Access Copyright filed a counter-claim seeking payment of the tariff. 

A N.L. department of education spokesperson said, "As the matter is before the courts, we are unable to provide further information."

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The N.L. schools randomly selected to comply with the court order are:

  • Amalgamated Academy.
  • Baccalieu Collegiate.
  • Cape St. Francis Elementary.
  • Corner Brook Regional High.
  • Holy Heart High School.
  • Holy Trinity Elementary.
  • Mount Pearl Senior High.
  • St. Kevin's High.
  • St Peter's Junior High.

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