The Information Policy Blog

The (unofficial) blog of the BCLA Information Policy Committee

Access Copyright Sues York University

If you care about copyright enforcement in Canada you probably noticed a little news piece today. Access Copyright is suing York University for not signing onto its agreement. Or, in their words “York’s purported fair dealing guidelines authorize and encourage copying that is not supported by the law, and that there is no justification for the University to operate outside the interim tariff.” You can check out York’s fair dealing guidelines on their website.

To really get into the meat of this would require someone with more knowledge of the documents than me, but I just want to highlight the language used. As well as saying this is “a last resort” AC’s press release includes the following sentences:

But for those institutions that have walked away from our shared interests of reading, writing and learning, there are ramifications. … On behalf of writers and publishers, as well as those who need the materials they produce, Access Copyright is taking a stand.

Maybe that kind of rhetoric is normal in press releases, but it sounds almost parodic ominous supervillainy to me. Also the funding sources for this lawsuit aren’t lost on information professionals:

If you don’t know why a university would not join up with Access Copyright, check out this profile that talks about UBC’s approach (we linked to it a little while ago).

If you want some more detail Michael Geist has been writing about this issue for quite some time, looking at such things as the Supreme Court’s thoughts on how to assess fair dealing in Canada, why the Access Copyright model provides little value, and how the Supreme Court’s decision eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model.

We’ll try to keep you informed as this issue progresses.

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2 responses to “Access Copyright Sues York University

  1. Pingback: More Access Copyright v. York University Reading Material | The Information Policy Blog

  2. Pingback: Access Copyright versus York – Week in Review | The Information Policy Blog

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