The CBA's Copyright Working Group has done a pretty good job of standing on neutral ground and presenting the spectrum of legal opinion around C-32, something that has been sorely lacking in the ongoing debate.
They even provide handy tables of opinion divided into Owner/Creator Perspective and User Perspective - though this is my one small quibble with the submission. As I've mentioned in the past, I think the creator/user divide is a false dichotomy created by those who would like to co-opt "the public interest" to give their own ideological stance a populist appearance.
Most of the user perspectives expressed in the CBA document are actually industrial-user perspectives, and that's a very important distinction to keep in mind while you read the submission. I am both a creator and an individual user of copyright-protected material, and little of what I see on the so-called user perspective side speaks to my experience or concerns.
For instance, the opinion table for education as fair dealing contains this user perspective:
The educational exception may reduce administrative and financial costs for educational institutions, allowing institutions to invest more in teaching and students, rather than in administrative costs.
As happy as I am to once again see the link between educational fair dealing and cost-savings for universities baldly and forthrightly stated, I'm not sure it's in my individual user's interest to have universities save a bunch of money at creators' expense, since the passing on of those savings to students is by no means guaranteed (or even, really, promised), and the full negative effects on Canadian curriculum creation are not even raised, let alone considered.
My individual-user's perspective includes those concerns, while the post-secondary sector's industrial-user perspective understandably does not, focused as it has shown itself to be on cost savings.
Strangely, I've had some free-culture cheerleaders reference this submission to me over the past couple of days, as if the CBA has somehow come out against the creator side on copyright. To them I say - read the submission (the actual document; not just Michael Geist's weird interpretation of it as somehow exonerating anti-copyright positions).
I'm pleased with what I read, and I think both the owner/creator and industrial-user sides are well represented in the opinion tables. What remains is for legislators to understand what actual individual users need or want.
(logo courtesy the CBA)