With apologies for being Ontario-centric, let’s take note of yesterday’s Ontario budget on cultural matters. (We tried for balance, but the recent big spending Alberta budget doesn’t seem to have anything on culture.)
The big item in Ontario is $50 mil for the building projects of major cultural institutions. But there is also $15 mil for libraries, and most of it for digital library development.
Well good. We need libraries, and we need digital access. But the governments that are spending so much on building the pipeline should not at the same time be trying to undermine the people who provide the content.
We need access and copyright, in libraries, in digital. Copyright’s federal, but the provinces have education and libraries in their bailiwick, and they need to get clear on this point.