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Students protest proposed tariff by Access Copyright

By KJ Mullins     Aug 12, 2010 in World
A proposed tariff could cost university students millions in new fees. Access Copyright, an organization that licenses literary works to businesses and public institutions is behind the proposal.
This spring Access Copyright proposed that a single FTE rate per student that will cover uses in the post-secondary educational sector instead of the current license that has post-secondary educational institutions paying a flat fee of $3.38 per FTE student to cover day-to-day photocopying and students paid a copyright royalty rate of $0.10 per-page when purchasing a coursepack. This flat fee of $35 for college students and $45 for university students would be an increase of between 350 and 450 percent for secondary education students.
"The excessive fees sought by Access Copyright would unfairly burden students and the public post-secondary system," said Dave Molenhuis, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students said in a press release. "The proposal treats students as cash cows and ignores the fair dealing rights granted through the Copyright Act and affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada."
Not only is Access Copyright proposing the fee increase, they are also asking that institutions provide them with direct and unfettered access to all property, digital or physical, including institutional e-mail accounts, in order to surveil the use of literary works.
"Here we have a licensing agency asking for sweeping new powers that would require institutions grant unfettered entrance to universities and colleges, including direct access to faculty, librarian and student e-mail accounts, to monitor what's being used," said Paul Jones, a CAUT copyright expert in a press release.
"The tariff overreaches to the extent that it attempts to redefine copying to include simply posting a hyperlink to an already publicly available online article, and to double dip by charging for the use of works already paid for by the institution," he added.
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