Confirmed victory

Reject renewal to Access Copyright: provide notice by 06/30/13

This petition made change with 81 supporters!

On January 30, 2012 the University of Western Ontario and Access Copyright, Canada’s Copyright Licensing Agency, reached a licensing agreement on the reproduction of copyrighted works on campus that increases the annual fee per full time equivalent (FTE) student to $26.00.

Fundamentally flawed, the licensing agreement features broad definitions of key terms and gives Access Copyright rights that do not exist under Canada’s Copyright Act. The agreement expands the definition of “copy” to include posting a link to a digital copy, a definition not set out or supported by the Copyright Act or court decisions interpreting the act.

An intrusive invasion of privacy, the agreement violates academic freedom and may have serious negative consequences for the students, faculty, and librarians of Western. The licensing agreement mandates the creation of survey instruments to monitor the volume of copyrighted works in use. With the expanded definition of “copy” and the reference to e-mail in the definition of “course collection”, the agreement could require the university to monitor students, faculty, and librarians and their e-mail accounts and course content for use of copyrighted materials.

As the rising number of colleges and universities opting out of continued arrangements with Access Copyright understand, Access Copyright licensing agreements have become increasingly unnecessary. The rights granted are limited and do not go beyond established user rights like fair dealing. As fair dealing has been strengthened, the academic community has begun to move away from traditional licensing agreements like Access Copyright.

Modern and innovative alternatives include making better use of the fair dealing rights under existing copyright law, expanding access to direct site-licensed material through Western Libraries, and increasing use of open access materials.

We, the undersigned, do not support the renewal of the Access Copyright agreement with the University of Western Ontario. We ask that Western provides six months notice (by June 30, 2013) of non-renewal to Access Copyright to ensure that this agreement does not automatically renew for an additional year.

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