University signs on to copyright agreement
On June 30, the University of Alberta signed on to the Access Copyright licence based on a model negotiated between the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and Access Copyright, and made available for consideration April 16. This follows on the heels of a letter of intent sent to Access Copyright in May indicating that the university was entering into the process to formalize the agreement.
The new agreement, which outlines how universities legally reproduce copyright-protected works in print and some digital formats, will see the university pay $26 per full-load equivalent student. This fee is up from that in the previous agreement, which required universities to pay a flat fee of $3.38 per student plus 10 cents per page for photocopied materials included in course packs; the two fees combined generated revenues for the copyright collective of $17 to $18 per full-time equivalent U of A student. The new agreement covers material in both print and digital formats within the Access Copyright repertoire, whereas the previous arrangement covered only printed material.
Among the notable points negotiated in the deal is a multi-year certainty on price and access to a new range of digital materials that wasn’t covered in the previous tariff. Discussions about who will bear the cost of the new agreement are ongoing.
The retroactive settlement puts a halt to an extended copyright dispute that began Jan. 1, 2011, with the expiry of a previous arrangement with Access Copyright, a non-profit organization that compensates copyright owners in exchange for use of their content.