Canadian colleges exerting independence in monitoring their own copyright compliance

Access Copyright is a collective which manages a pool of protected intellectual works, charging fees to Canadian colleges and universities and paying royalties to copyright holders. Access Copyright and the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada reached an agreement in April 2012 that requires institutions to pay a per-student fee $26 a year, a substantial increase from the $3.38 former rate (there used to be an additional per-page rate added for student copying of copyrighted works).

Some colleges balked at the increase and opted to go it alone. York University, which opted out of the Access Copyright agreement, is now being accused (by the collective) of copyright infringement, claiming the university has been reproducing and authorizing the copying of protected works without permission or compensation. “To combat unauthorized copying, Access Copyright has also filed two applications to the Copyright Board of Canada requesting certain tariffs that would require schools and universities that don’t have an agreement with Access Copyright to pay established rates to use works the agency handles the rights for.”

One of the issues to be sorted out is duplicate payments; many colleges have separate agreements with publishers.