USFA e-Letter: A Bad Deal: AUCC/Access Copyright Model Licence Agreement

On April 16th the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) announced that it had reached an agreement with Access Copyright about a model licence agreement to cover reproduction and digital content on university campuses. On April 17th CAUT released a statement in response urging institutions to refuse to enter into the agreement and, instead, to continue working on a fair and modern system of educational communication. (Read the CAUT Statement on AUCC-Access Copyright Agreement at http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=1079).

 CAUT points out a number of problems with the new AUCC agreement including an exorbitant increase in per-student fees at a time when course packs are being used less and fair dealing, open access and site licensing are being used more. In fact, the new agreement curtails rights that are already allowed under copyright law, such as posting links or hyperlinks to digital copies. It has provisions that prohibit a number of scholarly uses of materials and, particularly troubling, it mandates the use of surveillance to monitor works used on campus which, because of definitions used in the agreement, would include transmission of works by email.

 The USFA agrees with CAUT. This is a bad deal. With new copyright legislation on its way and efforts over the last year at Canadian universities, including the U of S, the AUCC agreement with Access Copyright undermines the emerging new culture around scholarly use of copyrighted materials.