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Techlawed.org

Why Universities Should Not Sign the Access Copyright - AUCC Model Licence

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Copyright has emerged as a hot issue on Canadian university campuses in recent weeks as schools consider whether to sign the Access Copyright model licence negotiated with the AUCC.  Several schools, including UBC, Athabasca, Windsor, and Winnipeg have already indicated that they will not sign the licence, while others (such as Queen's, Victoria and Calgary) have reluctantly signed the letter of intent. Many groups have voiced their strong objection to the licence, including the CAUT, APLA, BCLA, MLA, CFS, and CASA. These groups represent faculty, students, and librarians - the three groups within education most affected by the model licence.

Last week, I was asked by the Association of Professors Ottawa, the University of Ottawa faculty union, for my views. I opened my remarks by emphasizing a key misconception often fueled by Access Copyright and its supporters. The question being faced by the universities is not whether to pay for copyright works. Universities, faculty and students currently spend millions of dollars every year on copyright materials and will continue to do so. The only question is whether - in addition to existing expenditures on books, licences, and in support of open access - they should also pay the $26 per student fee to Access Copyright. 

I believe the answer is no for the following six key reasons:


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