More than a dozen Canadian universities — including heavyweights such as the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary and York University — have said they will not renew their agreements with Access Copyright, a government-created nonprofit that sells licenses to its library of copyright-cleared content.
The idea of the licenses is to allow professors to include copyrighted works among their course materials without having to ask permission from copyright holders at every turn. But with Access Copyright vying to more than double the fee for its “comprehensive licenses” from $18 to $45 per student, and asking that the organization be allowed to survey their clients’ private networks so as to ensure compliance, many universities say they would be happier to drop the clearinghouse licenses and go it alone.
The Access Copyright donnybrook and Georgia State lawsuit are unfolding in vastly different legal environments. Canadian copyright law does not include “fair use” exemptions for teaching; its “fair dealing” exemptions provide no special dispensation for educators and only protect scholars who want to make copies for “private study.”
See Also: July 2011 Issues of Access Copyright Newsletters