Toope Responds to Access Copyright

UBC President Stephen Toope responds to the widely circulated letter/op-ed by Access Copyright, arguing that the collective’s approach “has been the opposite of good faith negotiations.”


  1. The 1300% figure is not quite accurate unless said student did zero photocopying, then the statement would be true. The average cost per student under the old system was around $10-12, so even then we still have a 300% increase.

    Proponents would say the $45 was their proposal and the copyright board was free to set the actual tariff as it see fit. That system might work OK in a flea market haggle, but something as important as copyright and education should be dealt with in a more honest manor.

    The he said she said who walked away in bad faith tit for tat thing is getting old. If both sides will man up and admit to playing the system then a deal might actually be reached.

    How much is that poncho?

  2. This is just shameful. Dr. Geist knows the “facts” presented by the UBC President in his letter are completely inaccurate, and yet he presents the letter here as some sort of informed response to Access Copyright. This is not research or scholarship. It’s organized bias.

    President Toope is publicly embarrassing himself, displaying a shocking ignorance about a process he’s supposed to be part of (not to mention terrible math skills). Another victim of free culture’s populist campaign to confuse everyone about artists’ rights.

  3. @Degen Irrespective of right or wrong, Degen wastes no time in his usual SOP: 1) trying to put down Geist in any way, shape, and form even when he’s simply pointing to someone else’s stuff 2) insulting someone who postulates something opposite to his own beliefs, and 3) showing people once again on an emotional level that Degen’s side is the one where they cannot explain their beliefs without being rude and abusive.

    Reminds me of the latest smear campaigns of all the politicians lately where so much gets flung that you can’t tell where the truth is. Good job, Degen!

  4. Darn, my sarcasm tags didn’t show in above post. _sarcasm_ Good job, Degen! _end sarcasm_

  5. @Watching
    There is a lot of people on both sides of many issues that exhibit the same behaviour as Degen. Having said that, I do partially agree with him on this one. The letter, as posted, I found to be at best poorly worded and at worst inflammatory; for instance while Mr Toope did correctly identify the costs of the old tariff and the new proposed one, in the fourth para he simply states “would result in a 1300 per cent increase” rather than “would result in up to a 1300 per cent increase” or even better what the average would be for a UBC student.

    Even Dr Geist has been guilty of focusing on the same numbers all the while ignoring the overall increase is substantially lower than 1300%.

  6. 1300%
    While poorly worded, spouting off about 1300% is just an attention getter that demands answering…no more. I’m sure AC probably has a form letter for answering such accusations by now. The average increase might be closer to 200-300%, which is still an obscene increase, but not THAT much on a per student basis and can be compensated for with a small increase in tuition. It’s the reporting requirements and security issues which has caused more concern, at least in my mind, and the in the opinion of the institution I work for. It basically allows AC to spy on staff and students. Now, some time ago, there was some debate on whether AC would exercise such rights, but the wording is easily broad enough that they could and I’m not in to going on “good faith” about such things.

    Geist has posted no opinion about this letter…let’s not ass-u-me anything. Really…should it be ignored because it’s poorly written? I don’t think so. At least being posted somewhere like here, or over on John’s board, the “community” can debate it’s merits/faults, broadening overall understanding. While I respect “expert” opinions, such as Geist and Degen, I consider such sites not much more than a tool for information aggregation and personally have an opinion somewhere in the middle. I could search Google or Yahoo News and find pretty much every article linked to here, and I do that occasionally, but topic-wise, even without Geist’s editorial on the articles, it’s mostly here.

  7. “Irrespective of right or wrong…”

    Now, that’s funny. Folks here don’t think a university president and a university professor claiming expertise in a certain topic should strive at all times to be correct in their facts?