Canadian copyright lobby groups have repeatedly tried to convince the government that the 2012 copyright reforms and Supreme Court fair dealing jurisprudence created a free-for-all in which education refuses to pay licence fees due to their reliance on fair dealing. The data from yesterday’s post on massive shift to site licences tells a different story, namely that Canadian educational institutions spend hundreds of millions annually on licences that provide both access works and the flexibility to use them in a myriad of ways. My Fair Dealing Week series on Canadian copyright, fair dealing and education (Setting the Record Straight) continues with another type of licence that has grown in importance in recent years: the pay-per-use or transactional licence. These licences, which grant access to, and use of, individual works, demonstrate that lobby group claims bear little relationship to reality. Indeed, if the lobby groups were right about unlimited uncompensated copying, why would education still spend millions a pay-per-use licences? They obviously wouldn’t, but since fair dealing represents a fair approach to both creators and users, education recognizes that fair dealing does not lead to the complete elimination of licensed copying.
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Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Three: Millions Spent on Transactional Licences Demonstrate Fair Dealing is No Free For All
The series on misleading on fair dealing continues with a post on transactional licensing and Access Copyright’s inexplicable opposition to a licensing system that currently generates millions of dollars in revenue for publishers and authors. Transactional licensing, which involves pay-per-use licences for specific uses not otherwise covered by institutional site licences, collective licences, or fair dealing, is widely used to ensure universities and colleges are compliant with copyright law (prior posts in the series include the legal effect of the 2012 reforms, the wildly exaggerated suggestion of 600 million uncompensated copies each year, the decline of books in coursepacks, the gradual abandonment of print coursepacks, the huge growth of e-book licensing, why site licences offer better value than the Access Copyright licence, my opening remarks to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage).
The Copyright Board of Canada has rejected a request by the AUCC to require Access Copyright to issue transactional or pay-per-use licences. The refusal to issue such licences, which reflect an effort by universities to license the use of works, is likely to lead to universities seeking new alternatives for […]
Access Copyright has filed its response to the AUCC motion on its refusal to provide transactional licenses. As I’ve noted in recent posts, a growing number of Canadian universities are dropping the Access Copyright interim tariff, with or without the transactional licence.
Howard Knopf reports that the Copyright Board of Canada has given Access Copyright until tomorrow to respond to the AUCC filing on transactional licences. Follow-up responses are due by June 23rd, suggesting that the Board may move quickly to address the issue.