WHAT IS COPYRIGHT?
Copyright is the legal barrier that defends the rights of creators while ensuring access and use of works. Copyright legislation should attempt to fairly balance the interests of users, creators and owners of copyrighted work.
With the growth of the digital era, traditional industries have been dramatically shifted to accommodate for the increased access to intellectual work that ranges from written scholarly journals to the entertainment industry. With increased access to information, the opportunity to conduct copyright infringement has increased. As a result, industries previously economically benefiting from copyright legislation have lobbied for stricter legislation. This has created an environment that has made open access to copyrighted materials difficult and ultimately placed increasingly high financial barriers in accessing copyrighted works, and skewed the distribution of copyright royalties.
Reform: Copyright legislation is a tricky topic as it is meant to balance the rights of the owners with the growth and access of the academic community. As such, it is imperative that students are given the tools to protect their work from unjust appropriation, but also to be given the tools to create new knowledge with access to copyrighted materials. The Graduate Students Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students holds: "This tri-part perspective-of use, creation and ownership of copyright-gives students special credibility in the struggle for fair and balanced copyright law."