The Information Policy Blog

The (unofficial) blog of the BCLA Information Policy Committee

DRAFT RESOLUTION on Access Copyright and Academic Libraries in Canada

BCLA Information Policy Committee

DRAFT Resolution on Access Copyright and Academic Libraries in Canada

WHEREAS In 2011, over 30 Canadian universities and colleges opted out of licensing agreements with Access Copyright, The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, due to both Access Copyright’s significant increase in per-student fees as well as the introduction of what many considered to be intrusive and impractical monitoring requirements.

and

WHEREAS In January 2012, two universities, the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario entered into a voluntary licensing agreement with Access Copyright.

and

WHEREAS from a library perspective, one of the most troubling aspects of the deal signed with Access Copyright is that it gives Access Copyright additional rights that simply do not exist under Canada’s copyright legislation, specifically, defining copying to include “posting a link or hyperlink to a digital copy”, a definition not upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. Academic libraries have already paid for access to online content. Having to essentially “pay twice” to link to this content in library reserves, on course sites, or even in an email is unacceptable.

and

WHEREAS the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association “strongly urges universities and colleges, particularly those in Newfoundland and in Atlantic Canada, not to capitulate to Access Copyright’s unfair and unreasonable demands”.

and

WHEREAS The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is also condemning the agreement, advising universities and colleges that “It‘s time to stand up for the right to fair and reasonable access to copyrighted works for educational purposes.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the British Columbia Library Association strongly urge universities and colleges, particularly those in British Columbia, not to capitulate to Access Copyright’s unfair and unreasonable demands, but rather to stand up for the right to fair and reasonable access to copyrighted works for educational purposes.

Acknowledgement: this resolution is based on the Open Letter: Access Copyright and Academic Libraries in Canada crafted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association, dated February 12, 2012.

Please submit comments on the draft resolution by April 1, 2012.

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5 responses to “DRAFT RESOLUTION on Access Copyright and Academic Libraries in Canada

  1. ms8marple March 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Good resolution and one question. By ‘strongly urge’, will BCLA be sending letters to the Presidents of BC’s 25+ PS institutions?

  2. Ross Tyner March 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I have a comment about a statement in the preamble, and a question/comment about the body of the motion:

    1.
    The resolution states: “Academic libraries have already paid for access to online content. Having to essentially “pay twice” to link to this content in library reserves, on course sites, or even in an email is unacceptable.”

    This seems to imply that Access Copyright is claiming the right to collect royalties for works that libraries license through other means. This is not the case. By law, Access Copyright is authorized to collect royalties only for the use of works in its repertoire. The point of the sentence of the resolution that immediately precedes the one quoted above, i.e. that Access Copyright is seeking to unilaterally and radically change the definition of a copy, is an important one. In my opinion, the following sentences should address this issue, rather than introduce the red herring of “paying twice.”

    2.
    Practically speaking, what does the resolution urge universities and colleges to do (or not do)? What actions can my college take to “… not to capitulate to Access Copyright’s unfair and unreasonable demands…”? I believe the resolution would be strengthened by more specific language.

    • hgmorrison March 29, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Thanks Ross would you care to recommend any specific actions?

      • Ross Tyner March 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

        Here are some ideas, Heather: I can urge my institution not to sign an agreement with Access Copyright outside the parameters of any joint negotiations that may be taking place; I can urge any organizations that represent my institution in the Copyright Board hearing process (e.g. AUCC and ACCC) “to stand up for the right to fair and reasonable access to copyrighted works for educational purposes.”; I can urge my institution to forcefully assert its fair dealing and other rights under the Copyright Act.

        I’m open to suggestions.

  3. Pingback: Access Copyright Contract – mobilizing faculty and librarians – BCLA | University of Toronto Academic Librarians

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