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Colleges sign up with Access Copyright while some universities opt out

New agreement will see colleges pay $10 per student.


As several Canadian universities declare that they will not be signing a new licence agreement with Access Copyright, the copyright collective has announced that it has agreed to a similar model licence with the organization representing Canada’s community colleges.

Access Copyright, which collects copyright fees on behalf of writers and publishers, announced on May 29 that it has agreed on a model licence with the Association of Community Colleges of Canada. Under the model licence, ACCC institutions will pay Access Copyright a royalty of $10.00 per full-time equivalent student annually to copy any material covered by Access Copyright.

A similar agreement between Access Copyright and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada – representing Canada’s degree-granting institutions – was announced on April 16. That agreement will see universities pay an annual royalty fee of $26 per FTE. Explaining the difference in fees, Maureen Cavan, executive director of Access Copyright, said historical course-pack usage data indicates that universities copy 2.6 times more than colleges.

Several universities have recently announced that they will not sign the model licence, the latest being York University. According to a statement posted on the university’s website, York has been operating outside of the Access Copyright tariff since Sept. 1, 2011 and will continue to do so. Copies “will continue to be made under licences obtained directly from publishers, third-party vendors, content from our library subscriptions, open-access content, fair dealing or educational exceptions in the Copyright Act,” said the statement. There are financial incentives for universities to sign the model licence by June 30, 2012.

The University of British Columbia and the University of Winnipeg also declared within the last two weeks that they will not sign the agreement. UBC said that it believes its decision “best serves the fundamental and long-term interests of our academic community” but added that it “recognizes that the circumstances of each university are unique and that different decisions will be made across Canada.”


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