The (unofficial) blog of the BCLA Information Policy Committee
Be it resolved: resolution on Access Copyright and academic libraries in Canada
May 12, 2012Posted by on
This resolution, proposed by the Information Policy Committee (moved by Heather Morrison, seconded by Nina Mittner) was passed by the British Columbia Library Association on May 12, 2012 at the Annual General Meeting, with no modifications, broad-based support and no opposition.
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.
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.
WHEREAS in April 2012, AUCC , one of the two recognized interveners in the Copyright Board of Canada hearings on
the Post-Secondary Tariff, entered into an agreement with Access Copyright on a ‘model’ license that it (AUCC) is recommending to its member institutions even though that model license still retains many of the factors that were objected to in the Tariff application.
WHEREAS in April 2012, AUCC withdrew its objection to the Post-Secondary Tariff
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.
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”.
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. In particular, BCLA supports and applauds BC postsecondary institutions that have elected to opt out of Access Copyright and chosen alternative methods of supporting fair and balanced copyright at their institutions, and encourages all BC post-secondary institutions to opt out of Access Copyright. Any BC post-secondary institutions that choose not to opt out of Access Copyright are strongly encouraged, before signing, to strike out audit requirements that compromise the privacy of faculty, staff or students, and the clause which defines linking as copying, and to proactively negotiate a more reasonable rate. BCLA might pursue this Resolution through such means as sending letters to the Presidents of BC’s post-secondary institutions and educating BCLA members.
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.