Government Advocacy

The Digital Content Working Group has been active in pushing for legislative and policy changes to improve Canadian libraries’ access to digital content since its inception. Most recently this work has centred on seeking a legislative solution. In 2021 the Digital Content Working Group worked with legal counsel to identify the key criteria for a fair eBook model for libraries. They are:
  • Universal Availability: All published works must be made available for public libraries to purchase in all available formats to make available to their customers.
  • Right to Acquire: Library rights to purchase should be free from embargo periods.
  • Flexibility: Libraries require flexible licensing models to support the needs of all types of libraries, and to allow options for libraries to maintain content in their digital collections into perpetuity.
  • Parity with Print: Library pricing models should be aligned to print models.
Inspired by the work of Library Futures, who identified consumer protection legislation as a promising avenue for libraries to seek protection from inequitable eBook selling practices, CULC, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) and Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) struck a Joint Committee on Trade eBook & eAudioBook Sustainability for Libraries. In 2023 the task force submitted a proposal for changes to the Ontario Consumer Protection Legislation as part of the government’s legislative review. The task force is working with legislative and government relations experts to identify the best jurisdiction to apply their efforts. They are reviewing federal and provincial/territorial opportunities and will present recommendations back to the partnering organizations.