AUCC/Access Copyright Model License Agreement — paying for more restraints

by Laura Syms — Mid-April, Access Copyright and the AUCC announced a negotiated model three-year copyright license for both print and digital formats. Universities that sign on will now pay Access Copyright a royalty of $26.00 per fte student annually. This royalty, up from $3.75 per fte in the previous agreement , now includes what used to be a separate 10 cents per page royalty for course packs, the use of which are in decline . To put this into perspective, as a signatory, CBU’s fees to Access Copyright will increase from less than $10,000, paid in 2010, to approximately $65,000 annually for the duration of the three-year renewable license. In addition to this annual fee, CBU would pay a one-time fee in excess of $20,000 to cover the 18 months no agreement was in place. Universities were asked to sign a “non-binding” letter of intent to accept the new agreement by mid-May. The agreement is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2012.
The incredible increase in fees and ultimate price of this license for Canadian universities has generated great deal of discussion but so too have the conditions of the agreement. For, in the absence of pending federal legislation on digital copyright, Access Copyright has assigned itself the role arbitrator of digital copyrights in the Canadian university environment and given policing tasks to the universities.
CAUT issued its statement on the AUCCC/Access Copyright license when it was released in mid-April. Among other concerns, James Turk identified problems with the fees; payment for existing rights; surveillance; restraint on scholarly communication; usage of scholarly material; and, restraint on use of modern technology. Others who have voiced concern about the agreement include Canadian internet law expert Dr. Micheal Geist and University Affairs commentator Roy McGreal .
For background and context:
Access Copyright web site
Roy McGreal, University Affairs
CAUT, [ links to the AUCC/Access Copyright agreement]
Michael Geist
Ariel Katz/ The GSU Copyright Case: Some Canadian Perspectives

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