Access Copyright’s response has grown increasingly desperate. First it stopped offering transactional licences to educational institutions in the hope that those institutions would opt for the more expensive comprehensive licences instead. When the practice was publicly exposed, Access Copyright offered a laughable response that transactional licensing creates incentives to infringe. The Canadian educational institutions have filed a complaint with the Copyright Board in a case that will unfold over the summer.
Since the transactional licence gambit is likely to fail, Access Copyright has now released a note designed to scare the institutions away from relying on fair dealing. After months of issuing dire warnings that fair dealing would allow educational institutions to copy virtually everything without limits or compensation during the Bill C-32 debate (including claims that all educational licences were at risk), Access Copyright now ironically argues the opposite – that fair dealing is legally risky and should not be relied upon by educational institutions.