Local School Boards Owe Thousands In Retroactive Access Copyright Fees reports that local school boards face six-figure retroactive bills to Access Copyright following a recent Copyright Board of Canada decision. For the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, the retroactive bill amounts to $392,563. The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board was hit with a bill for $157,499.


  1. really ?!
    Am I in the minority here when I look at this and see a huge problem?? Why can’t educational content be used in our schools without bankrupting school districts as well as our childrens futures with it?? Have we really bought into the extreme capitalist mentality that a buck should be made even at the expense of our own childrens education?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a socialist and I am all for capitalism and people making an honest buck. To seek restitution from local school districts though, most of which are struggling to keep up with perpetually increasing demands from society as a whole just seems wrong.

    I wonder if any of the artists / content owners involved in the suits have any kids … or a conscience ??

  2. Hey Derek, stop advocating stealing from the artist… I mean content owners!

    Content is precious and must be over paid for, even if it is to the detrement of society!

    No, content owners don’t have to have a conscience as they have large corporations on their side, who are willing to push for rules and laws that ensure them greater profits. They are also, too busy counting all that money they are losing from these school children and other crimanal types. And remember just cause there are artists involved, no one should question the new laws. So get back in the line with the rest of the sheeple, umm, I mean content consumers and get out your cheque book.

  3. Not really a copyright issue
    Copyright deals are negotiated on the inter-provincial level (Council of Ministers of Education) – the article clearly states “Only in Ontario are schools boards responsible for the costs, which are paid by education ministries in the rest of Canada.”
    Local funding issue, nothing to do – specifically – with the copyright deals

  4. Geee Bill K,
    The follwoing sounds like it something to do with copyright.

    “… local school boards face six-figure retroactive bills to Access Copyright following a recent Copyright Board of Canada decision …”

    but it’s a localized screwing so that’s ok?

  5. No, it’s all about paying for what you use. Don’t like it, don’t make so many photocopies. Or maybe fund school boards properly.

  6. Marcus Carab says:

    I can’t stand these blanket levy solutions that we use so much in Canada. Why put a dollar figure on every student’s head, based on some projections (probably highly questionable ones) about how much they *might* be costing you?

  7. Sure. Throw in free hydro and supplies, and maybe cut teacher salaries while at it. And it isn’t a blanket levy, it’s based on a survey that the schools took part in and organized.

  8. Nicolas Saucier says:

    Education is a responsability of society
    Why should the artists, writers, scholars, authors, etc., subsidize education instead of all the taxpayers ? It’s the same when there are budget problems, why should only the civils servants get salaries freezes (they are also taxpayers) and not everybody ? Do you work for free ? Then why should others do !

  9. Ideas are a Gift…
    …and if they’re not instantiated in something material, they can’t be ‘owned’. This issue is conflated with counterfeit and material fraud to our detriment. If I read an article to a class (a ‘public performance’) while giving full intellectual credit to the author, should I also be forced to send in some monetary consideration? What if I sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to them. While I understand the pragmatic concerns, the two issues are philosophically distinct. While it’s your moral duty to cite and support the artists and intellectuals you favour, it’s not the province of the law to enforce morality. The law is there to support rights. If things keep on in their current direction, we’ll end up intellectual serfs with a locked-down Internet. This decision by Access Copyright is a perfect example.

  10. @Bob Morris
    It can be considered a blanket levy. $5.16 per student per school board. Whether they actually photocopy anything for them or not is irrelevant, they pay it. If they don’t photocopy, it is free money for the publishers.

    Of course, since it is the local school board that pays, if a student transfers school boards, does Access Copyright get paid for them again?

  11. if everyone had a problem…
    … then it would be a copyright problem. Not everyone does. if other boards are able to properly budget and then pay for what THEY USE (if they were behind in their taxes, would you have the same argument???) then why can’t these… its simply an issue of mis-management, they simply couldn’t keep their own house in order. period.

    i’m not an artist or writer. it just seems obvious though.

  12. Here is the big clue with regards to Ontario ( The have not give away province)
    In the article it states that ‘Only in Ontario are schools boards responsible for the costs, which are paid by education ministries in the rest of Canada.’

    Thanks to the wonderful downloading started by Mike(The Knife) Harris with is Common Nonsense revolution.

    Considering that a Provincial Ministry could lean hard on these more the greedy publishers is no wonder the publishers are in turn trying to squeeze blood from the stones of small district school boards.

  13. Take note that only in Ontario
    Take note that it is only in Ontario that each School Board has to negotiate the levy price. All the other provinces negotiate at the ministry level and this adds far more lean on weight for price discounts to the greedy publishers.

    Thank you Mike ( THE KNIFE) Harris for the mess you made of Ontario.

  14. What are the other countries in which collectives get paid for educational use of printed works?

    One more reason for schools to use public domain or open-access curriculum material as much as possible… enough the change to show up on the next dubious survey of school photocopying.

  15. most publishers would be thrilled if schools used more pd/open access material because they reckon that would free up money for more textbooks.