University of Saskatchewan To Drop Access Copyright Licence

The University of Saskatchewan has announced  that it plans to withdraw from Access Copyright as of August 31, 2011. The University will rely on a combination of site licences, fair dealing, open access, and transactional licensing. While this will undoubtedly require some adjustments, look for many other Canadian universities to do the same.  


  1. It would be interesting to see the feedback from instructors and professors at USask over the next year. Will they be supportive of the decision, or will they just see this as making their job harder?

  2. Matt, I agree. It will also be interesting to see what the financial outcome is. The cost for the students could go up, or it could go down. The costs going down are fairly easy to understand, however the cost going up may not be…

    In addition to the costs of the site licenses and transactional licensing, there will be some administrative costs to the managing these licenses. While I suspect this won’t be the case, there is a chance that the overall cost would be equal to or higher that what AC’s tariff would be (only time will tell on this one). If so, then it is a case of spending $10 to save $9. Certainly the savings won’t be as high as what some envision.

  3. Warren Long says:

    Instructional Support at USask
    Hasn’t U of Alberta been doing this day1? Anyone heard anything about their experiences?

  4. So are others
    Mount Royal University in Calgary is too

  5. Well, I think it’s now indisputable that the ill-advised decision to work outside the interim tariff (which allows two more years of use with the same conditions) will result in a loss of academic freedom to professors. Rather than pay a reasonable tariff for work that will certainly be used, schools are now imposing restrictions on use.

    From the USask document:

    ҉ۢ It is important to note that anything printed prior to August 31, 2011 cannot be reprinted after that date or for term two.
    • The current practice of copying class sets of materials, i.e. making multiple copies of an article or up to 15 per cent of a work (which is now covered under Access Copyright) will no longer be allowed after August 31, 2011.”


    “The impact of the expiry of the agreement with Access Copyright will be felt most immediately and significantly by instructors who use course packs for classes as it is likely that materials in such course packs have traditionally been cleared by Access Copyright.”

    and, most shockingly:

    “Deans, directors and department heads should keep the Access Copyright situation in mind when hiring new instructors and making appointments, in particular with appointments close to the start of the new school year that will require course materials to be assembled quickly.”

    Irresponsible in the extreme. Is anyone thinking of the quality of the education being offered, or is it all about sticking it to rightsholders?

  6. Matthew Thomas says:

    I like how you say they’re going to be using a “combination of site licences, fair dealing, open access, and transactional licensing” like it’s a new thing. Well maybe the last one is relatively rare institutionally…

    Oh, and University of Guelph is AC-free as well I think.

  7. themusicgod1 says:

    Copyright’s impact on science is not the fault of the victim
    Degen it is not the UofS which is causing the loss of academic freedom but Access Copyright itself. It is not the UofS which is responsible for the existence of copyright barriers to academic freedom. Don’t blame the UofS for something which is clearly not their fault.