by Barbara Black
Stephen J. Callary has been appointed Special Advisor to the Provost and
Vice-Rector, Research, on Copyright, Intellectual Property and the International
Delivery of Education via Electronic Media. He brings vast international
experience to this pro bono appointment.
Callary is the vice-chairman and CEO of the Copyright Board of Canada,
and a consultant in the field. He says he would like to give something
back to an institution he values dearly. A Loyola College graduate (BA
68), his father attended Loyola, and now his daughter is doing an MA here.
He went on to take a law degree at McGill, and completed a PhD in law
in Germany, doing postdoctoral studies in international environmental
law. He then plunged into environmental management through the International
Union for Conservancy of Nature, based in Bonn, and became involved in
another subject of growing importance through the World International
Property Organization, based in Geneva.
He came back to Canada in the late 1970s, and was invited to join the
first task force of the Canadian Radio-Television Commission, which was
charged with examining possible political bias in the media, particularly
Callary remembers this as a particularly rewarding experience. The great
literary critic Northrop Frye was the keystone of the task force, and
wrote its report.
As a result, Callary remembers, changes were made at CBC and Radio-Canada,
and guidelines quietly put in place, but internally and without fanfare.
Callary went on to new challenges: a post in the Privy Council Office
during the last years of Pierre Trudeau and the brief tenure of Joe Clark;
a role in setting up the Canada Business Council.
He spent five years in Egypt, where he organized technology transfer for
the Technology Institute for Medical Devices for Canada. As managing director
of Improved Petroleum Recovery International, he negotiated oil recovery
contracts with the principal development funding agencies for projects
in Asia and the Middle East.
Currently, he provides strategic planning and business development advice
to the president of TerraChoice Environmental Services. He is also working
on the development of EcoBuyer.com, an e-commerce Web site for green products
In his advisory role at Concordia, Callary will be an invaluable resource
on copyright law, which is rapidly being outstripped by the development
of digital technology. Canadas Copyright Act has just been overhauled,
but its already out of date.
However, his interests go beyond the law itself, because he has such a
broad perspective on where universities are going. Callary is acutely
aware of the demand for digital delivery of knowledge.
Distance education has been around since your grandmother took correspondence
courses by mail. All over the developing world, there are ingenious models,
Callary said, from radio and television delivery to remote (literally
There are huge distance-education universities, including the Open University
in the U.K., with more than 200,000 students, and Indias open university
system, which has an enrolment of about 600,000.
Now we have the Internet, and as highly publicized court cases in the
music industry have shown us, delivering information and entertainment
in a digital medium has big stakes.
Copyright issues are fundamental, he said. People will
use educational material [from the Internet] without any acknowledgement
if we not have the right tools in place.
Through his career, as he tried to help developing nations bridge the
yawning technology gap, Callary has developed a sensitivity to how these
issues affect teaching institutions.
We have a tremendous tradition of academic freedom and access to
knowledge its the basis of intellectual curiosity,
he said. You dont want to build walls holding it back, but
there must be equity and fairness.
I would prefer to see professors make their own [legal] arrangements
with the university, but if there are problems, Im here to help.