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Presentation - June 22, 2012
Topics: Copyright

Notes for a presentation to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce on Bill C-11

By Greg Fergus
Director of Public Affairs
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

Mr. Chairman, thank you for inviting the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada to participate in this committee’s study of Bill C-11.

I am Greg Fergus, Director of Public Affairs of the Association, and I am accompanied today by Steve Wills, Manager of Government Relations and Legal Affairs.

The Association represents 95 public and private not-for-profit universities and university-degree level colleges across Canada.

Let me get straight to the point. AUCC supports Bill C-11 as a fair and reasonable balance between the rights of copyright owners and users of copyright works. Universities really appreciate the need for balance. Universities create intellectual property, universities use intellectual property, and universities sell intellectual property. Within universities you have faculty as researchers and teachers; students as learners; librarians; book sellers; and publishers. Our organization understands, keenly, the need for balance in the legislation.

This bill will update Canada’s copyright legislation and help to balance the needs of researchers, students and professors with those of creators. Universities, as both users and creators of copyrighted works, have worked hard for more than a decade to push for a new copyright act and see Bill C-11 as a very fair approach to competing interests.

Bill C-11 contains many of the changes the university community suggested during the federal government’s public consultation during the summer of 2009, including exceptions permitting the educational use of Internet materials and the recording and Internet transmission of lessons. These changes will facilitate online learning, including distance education, making university education more accessible for Aboriginal Canadians and mature students.

Bill C-11 will also permit university researchers to obtain and keep research materials in digital format. These and other changes to the copyright law will enable educational institutions to take advantage of new information and communications technologies for education and research in a highly competitive knowledge economy.

I want to stress that the Canadian university community – small and large, research oriented and undergraduate focused – in all regions of the country would like to see Bill C-11 passed as soon as possible.

I’d like to thank the committee for the opportunity to present these views before you, and I welcome any questions you might have.

Media release - June 19, 2012
Topics: Copyright

Ottawa – Canada’s universities applaud the passage of Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, in the House of Commons last night and urge speedy passage of this long-awaited legislation in the Senate.

“This bill will update Canada’s copyright legislation and help to balance the needs of researchers, students and professors with those of creators,” says Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “Universities, as both users and creators of copyrighted works, have worked hard for more than a decade to push for a new copyright act and see Bill C-11 as a very fair approach to competing interests.”

Bill C-11 contains many of the changes the university community suggested during the federal government’s public consultation during the summer of 2009, including exceptions permitting the educational use of Internet materials and the recording and Internet transmission of lessons. These changes will facilitate online learning, including distance education, making university education more accessible for Aboriginal Canadians and mature students.

“The university community also welcomes the certainty over copyright matters that this legislation provides,” said Mr. Davidson. “We will continue to monitor issues related to the use of copyright materials as this legislation is implemented and the government turns its attention to copyright needs in the future.”

Bill C-11 will also permit university researchers to obtain and keep research materials in digital format. These and other changes to the copyright law will enable educational institutions to take advantage of new information and communications technologies for education and research in a highly competitive knowledge economy.

Canada’s copyright laws were last updated in 1997 when the Internet was still in its infancy and paper copying was the primary method of sharing information.

AUCC is the national voice of Canada’s universities, representing 95 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities.

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Media Contact:

Helen Murphy
Communications Manager
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613-563-1236 ext. 238
Cell. 613-608-8749

Media release - April 16, 2012
Topics: Copyright

OTTAWA – The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and Access Copyright announced today that they have negotiated a model licence that will allow universities to reproduce copyright-protected materials in both print and digital formats.

“We believe that this negotiated agreement provides a successful outcome for universities, their students and faculty,” said Paul Davidson, president of the AUCC. “It provides long-term certainty on price, and access to a new range of digital materials. Most importantly, the agreement respects the principles of academic freedom and privacy that are important to universities, and ensures that the administrative burden on institutions is minimized.”

The model licence sees the AUCC and institutions working with publishers and creators to ensure fair compensation for the works they are using.

The agreement strikes a balance between the needs of creators, publishers and the university community. The expanded usage of content included in the agreement is in the interests of all stakeholders, said Access Copyright and AUCC.

“We are pleased to have negotiated this licence with the AUCC,” said Maureen Cavan, executive director of Access Copyright. “The licence provides easy, legal access to copyright-protected works for students, professors and staff, in a simple, fast and cost-efficient manner.”

The model licence will see institutions pay Access Copyright a royalty of $26.00 per full-time equivalent student annually. This royalty includes what used to be a separate 10 cents per page royalty for coursepack copying, so there will no longer be a separate royalty for such copying.

This agreement will be in place until December 31, 2015 and will renew automatically for one-year terms during which any party can cancel or request to renegotiate the agreement.

Over the course of the next six months, a survey methodology will be designed jointly to gather reliable bibliographic data and volume of usage trending data to allow Access Copyright to make fair distribution of royalties to its affiliates and to assist in establishing appropriate future licence rates. The survey will be designed to minimize the administrative burden on both parties, in particular academic staff and students, and will respect academic freedom, privacy and the obligations of universities under collective agreements with faculty and staff.

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Contacts for Access Copyright:

Maureen Cavan
Executive Director
Access Copyright
(416) 868-1620 ext. 226

Roanie Levy
General Counsel, Director Policy and External Affairs
Access Copyright
(416) 868-1620 ext. 233

Contacts for AUCC:

Paul Davidson
President and CEO
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
(613) 563-1236 ext. 232

Christine Tausig Ford
Vice-president and COO
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
(613) 563-1236 ext. 341

Media release - February 16, 2012
Topics: Copyright

OTTAWA – Canada’s universities are urging swift passage of Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, which was sent to committee this week for review.

“This bill is an important step forward in providing a balance between the interests of creators and users of copyright works,” says Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “It’s a good approach for Canada’s universities, which are both creators and users of copyright works. The bill clarifies important questions and will help ensure students and learners have access to the content they need, including digital material.”

Bill C-11 will allow universities to harness new technologies, including the Internet, to deliver research and learning materials to faculty members and students. It contains many of the changes the university community suggested during the government’s public consultations in 2009, including exceptions permitting the educational use of Internet materials and the recording and Internet transmission of lessons. These changes will facilitate online learning, including distance education, and make university education more accessible for Aboriginals and mature students.

“Canadian universities recognize the importance of balance between the desire of creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works and the public interest in being able to use information for purposes such as research and education,” says Davidson. “This copyright law will result in a fairer treatment for both parties.”

Universities and university students pay large sums to purchase and license educational materials and this will continue under this new legislation. Canada’s university libraries spend more than $300 million annually to buy and license new content for research and learning. In addition, more than $400 million is spent every year in university bookstores to buy new textbooks, course packs and works in digital format.

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For more information or interview opportunities:

Helen Murphy
AUCC Communications Manager
hmurphy@aucc.ca
Tel.: 613-563-1236, ext. 238

Commentary - October 19, 2011

By Paul Davidson, president, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

In recent weeks Canada’s universities have been criticized for their opposition to a new copyright tariff being proposed by Access Copyright, a creators’ collective that licenses photocopying of works. This is an important issue impacting students, faculty and the broader university community across Canada and I welcome this opportunity to explain the position of Canada’s universities, as both creators and users of copyrighted works.

The information revolution we are living through provides unprecedented opportunities for students to learn in new and collaborative ways. Students have access to a broader range of material and are accessing it in more formats than ever before. Today’s university students and faculty increasingly prefer to use digital material and this can pose challenges to ensure that creators are properly compensated. For the past two decades Canada’s universities have worked with creators through Access Copyright. Payments to creators have been large and growing. But now the collective wants to dramatically increase its price, for something students and universities are using less.

Access Copyright does licensing primarily for photocopying and scanned material. Moreover, in the digital environment, many publishers have decided they no longer need their collective as the “middle man” to act on their behalf. Publishers have bypassed their collective to negotiate directly with universities, or consortia of universities, for licences to cover the use of their works in digital format. In short, the digital alternatives to Access Copyright’s licenses have grown tremendously while its largely print repertoire is becoming less relevant to the university community.

In response to the changing dynamics of the marketplace, Access Copyright recently proposed a tariff of $45 per student, a very large increase in the amount of money that Access Copyright would receive from universities. Access Copyright wants universities to pay more and more for something they use less and less: photocopied material. Access Copyright has also refused to provide transactional permissions (payment per each use) to universities for the copying of any works not already covered by other licenses, thereby preventing institutions from paying based on their actual usage. It is this heavy-handed approach by Access Copyright that has led some universities to decide that they will not agree to pay a large fee-per-student to Access Copyright for the use of a small repertoire of digital works. Instead, these institutions are choosing to rely on their digital licences to satisfy most of their requirements.

Given the potentially high cost of the Access Copyright tariff, and the huge administrative burden it imposes on institutions by requiring that they answer extensive and detailed questions about all of their photocopying on campus, participate in copying surveys, and submit detailed monthly reports, it is not surprising that 35 universities have chosen to opt out of using the tariff and rely instead on their digital licences, transactional permissions obtained from publishers and the U.S. Copyright Clearance Center, and statutory exceptions for their copying needs. The “pay and play” digital licences that universities have signed impose none of the administrative burden that is intrinsic to using the Access Copyright tariff.

Universities are very willing to pay rights holders for the use of their works in education and research. However, each institution should have the right to choose, based on its particular circumstances, whether using the Access Copyright tariff is an appropriate solution to licensing its copying.

What Access Copyright is proposing is an antiquated and burdensome model that doesn’t reflect the needs of our digital age. For students and creators alike, we need to find a better solution.

Commentary - October 17, 2011
Topics: Copyright

This op-ed was published in the Hill Times on October 17, 2011

By Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

In recent weeks, Access Copyright and its supporters have published opinion articles making wild allegations about the decision of some universities to opt out of its proposed tariff. It’s time to set the record straight and to explain why some institutions have chosen this path.

In last week’s Hill Times, the Executive Director of Access Copyright claimed that universities are “walking away from the reprography licences that worked so well for decades.” This is simply not true. Universities, through the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, were prepared to renegotiate the model licence that formed the template for institutional licences with Access Copyright since 1994. Access Copyright never attempted to renegotiate the AUCC model licence.

It was Access Copyright’s decision to file a tariff with the Copyright Board on March 31, 2010, imposing a new copying regime on postsecondary institutions that would include far higher fees and a costly administrative burden on institutions choosing to use the tariff. Access Copyright chose the same approach in its dealings with other sectors when it terminated existing licensing arrangements and filed tariffs to cover copying in K-12 schools and copying by provincial and territorial governments. The fact is that it was Access Copyright that chose to upset the licensing apple cart in all of these sectors, not educational institutions and governments.

So why have some institutions decided to opt out of the Access Copyright tariff? Today’s students and faculty increasingly use materials in digital format. What Access Copyright is offering is primarily licensing for the use of photocopied and scanned materials. Secondly, the proposed fee of $45 per student is far higher than universities paid under the reprography licences that expired last year. The huge administrative burden associated with the tariff regime is equally disturbing.

For example, this spring, Access Copyright sent 122 interrogatories – very burdensome and onerous questions – to universities outside of Quebec. These questions, which the institutions using the Access Copyright tariff were obliged to answer, put those institutions to great effort and expense. The answers provided to Access Copyright, if printed out, would have weighed more than six Honda Civic automobiles.

Institutions using the tariff will also be required to participate in an Access Copyright survey of institutional copying to take place during 2012. This survey, too, will be administratively burdensome and costly. In addition, the tariff requires that institutions using the tariff submit detailed monthly reports on their copying.

There is no equivalent to these costly administrative burdens in the digital licensing agreements that universities have negotiated over the past decade with academic publishers. These agreements provide faculty members and students with access to digital works in each publisher’s database and broad rights to copy these works. Many academic publishers have bypassed Access Copyright because they do not need a “middleman” to license their works in the digital environment. The digital licences, for which universities pay more than $160 million annually, do not require universities to answer onerous questions, participate in copying surveys, or report on their copying. They are “pay and play” agreements that avoid the excessive administrative burdens associated with Access Copyright’s tariff.

Given the potentially high cost of the Access Copyright tariff, which may be applied retroactively by the Copyright Board when it makes a final ruling, and the huge administrative burden attached to using the tariff, it is not surprising that 35 universities have chosen to opt out of using the tariff and rely instead on their digital licences, transactional permissions, and statutory exceptions for their copying needs.

Universities are very willing to pay rights holders for the use of their works in education and research. However, each institution should have the right to choose, based on its particular circumstances, whether using the Access Copyright tariff is an appropriate solution to licensing its copying.

What Access Copyright is proposing is an antiquated model that doesn’t reflect the needs of our digital age. For students and creators, we need to find a better solution.

Media release - September 29, 2011
Topics: Copyright

OTTAWA – Canada’s universities welcome today’s re-introduction of the federal government’s copyright bill and look forward to it becoming law.

“This bill reflects a fair balance between the interests of creators and users of copyright works and is a positive step forward for university communities across Canada,” says Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “It clarifies important questions and will help ensure students and learners have access to the content they need, including digital material.”

This bill will allow universities to harness new technologies, including the Internet, to deliver research and learning materials to faculty members and students. The new legislation will also help with technology-enhanced learning so that mature students and those in remote communities, including aboriginal students, have the same access to education as those on campus.

“Professors and students at Canadian universities are both creators and users of copyright works,” says Mr. Davidson. “Canadian universities recognize the importance of balance between the desire of creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works and the public interest in being able to use information for purposes such as research and education. This copyright law will result in a fairer treatment for both parties.”

Universities and university students pay large sums to purchase and license educational materials and this will continue under this new legislation. Canada’s university libraries spend more than $300 million annually to buy and license new content for research and learning. In addition, more than $400 million is spent every year in university bookstores to buy new textbooks, course packs and works in digital format.

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For more information or interview opportunities:

Helen Murphy
AUCC Communications Manager
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613-563-1236 ext. 238

Commentary - September 8, 2011
Topics: Copyright

This op-ed was published on the Globe and Mail website on September 8, 2011

By Paul Davidson
President,
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

In recent weeks Canada’s universities have been accused of being pirates and thieves, of acting illegally and of promoting civil disobedience. It makes great reading, but it is summer fiction. It is a tribute to Canada’s creators that they could paint copyright issues in such terms.

The information revolution we are living through provides unprecedented opportunities for students to learn. Students have access to a broader range of material and are accessing it more formats than ever before. These changes pose challenges to ensure that creators are properly compensated. For the past two decades Canada’s universities have worked with creators through Access Copyright, a creators’ collective to license photocopying of their works. Over the decades, the payments to creators have been large and growing. But now the collective wants to dramatically increase its price, for something students and universities are using less.

Today’s university students and faculty increasingly prefer to use digital material, for which Access Copyright does very little licensing. Access Copyright acknowledges that the body of works in digital format that it represents is little more than one per cent of the body of works it represents in print format. Moreover, in the digital environment, many publishers have decided they no longer need their collective as the “middle man” to act on their behalf.  Publishers have bypassed their collective to negotiate directly with universities, or consortia of universities, for licences to cover the use of their works in digital format.  In short, the digital alternatives to Access Copyright’s licenses have grown tremendously while its largely print repertoire has lost much of its value to the university community.

In response to the changing dynamics of the marketplace, Access Copyright recently proposed a tariff of $45 per student, which would more than double the amount of money that Access Copyright would receive from universities. Access Copyright wants universities to pay more and more for something they use less and less: photocopied material. Access Copyright has also refused to provide transactional permissions (payment per each use) to universities for the copying of any works not already covered by other licenses. It is this heavy-handed approach by Access Copyright that has led some universities to decide that they will not agree to pay a large fee-per-student to Access Copyright for the use of a small repertoire of digital works.  Instead, these institutions are choosing to rely on their digital licences to satisfy most of their requirements.

The rejection of the proposed Access Copyright tariff regime by some universities has nothing to do with civil disobedience or lowering costs. Instead, several universities have come to the conclusion that the large “one size fits all fee” proposed by Access Copyright does not represent good value for money anymore.  Authors and publishers will continue to be paid very large sums for the use of their works in universities, but the payments will be made directly to rights holders under digital license agreements rather than through Access Copyright.

So students heading to university this fall do not need to fear thieves, pirates or civil disobedience on campus – and they can look forward to accessing the widest range of learning materials ever available in the format they prefer.

Media release - June 3, 2010
Topics: Copyright

OTTAWA, June 3, 2010 — The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada welcomes the federal government’s efforts to modernize the current copyright law. The proposed legislation strikes a fair balance between creators and users of copyright works and will facilitate online learning.

“We are very pleased that the bill amends the fair dealing provision to include the purpose of education,” said Paul Davidson, president and CEO of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “The bill contains many of the changes the university community suggested during the government’s public consultations last summer such as an exception for educational use of Internet materials that will permit educators and students to use publicly available Internet materials while teaching and learning.”

Canadian universities also welcome educational amendments that will allow the presentation of films in the classroom and the recording of lessons that can be made available for viewing by students at the time of their choosing. They also endorse the approach taken to limiting the liability of Internet Service Providers, including universities.

“Professors and students at Canadian universities are both creators and users of copyright works,” said Mr. Davidson. “Canadian universities recognize the importance of balance between the desire of creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works and the public interest in being able to use information for purposes such as research and education. This copyright law will result in a fairer treatment for both parties.”

However, AUCC is concerned about the overly strict prohibition against circumventing the technical measures used to protect works in digital format. We fear that this prohibition will diminish users’ rights that are an integral part of the proper balance in copyright law.

AUCC will be studying the bill in more detail and looks forward to expressing its views on the proposed legislation during hearings of the House of Commons Industry Committee. In the meantime, we will draw to the government’s attention the areas of the bill which we feel require amendment to ensure appropriate balance in the legislation.

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The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities. It represents 95 Canadian public and private not-for profit universities and university-degree level colleges.

For additional information on this release and AUCC, please contact:

Lyse Huot
Director, Government Relations and Communications
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

Media release - July 30, 2009
Topics: Copyright

Ottawa, July 30, 2009 — Canada’s universities need clearer laws about how copyright applies to digital materials so students and professors can use online resources for research and teaching.

“Copyright law should be amended to clarify that works available publicly on the Internet can be used for educational purposes without infringing copyright – or breaking the law,” says Steve Wills, manager of legal affairs at AUCC. Mr. Wills made the case for Canada’s universities at a federal roundtable on copyright reform last night in Ottawa.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada wants to make sure that any new amendments to copyright law allow students to view lectures live through the internet or record them to view later.

Two previous bills have been drafted to modernize Canadian copyright law to deal with the new digital environment in libraries and classrooms, but neither has been passed. A new copyright reform act could be introduced in this fall’s legislative session.

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For more information, please contact:

Steve Wills
Manager, Legal Affairs
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
Tel.: 613 563 3961, x 234
E-mail: swills@aucc.ca