University of Windsor says NO to the Access Copyright Agreement

Statement just released, see url: http://web4.uwindsor.ca/units/leddy/leddy.nsf/CopyrightUpdateMay2012!OpenForm

May 18, 2012

To: All University of Windsor Faculty, Staff and Students

The following message is sent on behalf of Gwendolyn Ebbett, University of Windsor Copyright Officer.

After careful consideration, the University of Windsor has decided to join a number of other Canadian post-secondary institutions in making the decision not to sign a license agreement with the copyright collective Access Copyright at this time.

This decision is in keeping with the position taken by the University in January 2011 to opt out of the Interim Tariff approved by the Copyright Board of Canada in response to an Access Copyright application. In the intervening months, diligent efforts have been undertaken across our campus in order to ensure campus activities have been in compliance with copyright law.

We believe our decision best serves the intellectual and financial interests of our students and faculty, and supports our commitment to academic freedom while positioning the university to participate more fully in the burgeoning shift toward a digital system of building and sharing scholarly content in support of research and teaching.

In coming to the determination not to enter into a license agreement, we considered

  • Our existing license agreements for 75,000 e-journals and 1.1 million e-books containing negotiated terms for uses in support of teaching & learning activities.
  • That any value a license agreement with Access Copyright may have is likely to be reduced with the imminent passing of the Bill C-11 and its introduction of new language into the Act in support of educational uses of copyrighted material.
  • That pending decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the scope of Fair Dealing in educational settings may serve to shift legal interpretations in a direction which could prove favourable to universities.

Efforts across campus since January 2011 have ensured that faculty, students and staff are educated and supported to fulfill their daily activities in a copyright-compliant fashion without the need for reliance on either the interim tariff or a license agreement.

We thank you for your support since we embarked on this course last year. We believe it reflects UofW’s core values: academic integrity, the respect of intellectual property rights and a sustainable future.

UofW remains committed to providing our academic community with the resources it needs to easily and legally access learning and research material, including:

  • The dedicated website (http://www.uwindsor.ca/copyright) with extensive information on how to efficiently and legally access teaching and research materials;
  • The Copyright Clearance Service, available through Leddy Library for obtaining permissions to copy protected materials;
  • The services of the campus Copyright Officer, Gwendolyn Ebbett, and her team in speaking to faculty and student groups about copyright issues and obligations;
  • The services of your UofW librarian colleagues in offering one-on-one support for locating and identifying available resources in support of teaching and research;
  • Ongoing support through copyright@uwindsor.ca in responding to questions regarding appropriate use of copyrighted materials.

For more information and new developments, please consult the University of Windsor copyright website at www.uwindsor.ca/copyright or contact Gwendolyn Ebbett, via copyright@uwindsor.ca.

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