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: