U of T signs new copyright agreement


The University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario signed an agreement on January 30 with the copyright licensing company Access Copyright to allow copyright materials in both print and digital format to be reproduced in exchange for a fee.


“We believe that this agreement is fair for all the parties—those who create the material as well as students who gain access to copyright materials through the university,” said U of T provost Cheryl Misak. She stated there is no concern of students’ use of copyright material infringing on copyright restrictions.

Janice Deakin, the provost of Western, stated that this deal will give the university a convenient way to share content digitally and in written form from a large collection of publications.


Deakin also said that the insurance provision increases the university’s legal protection against copyright violation.


“The backdating of the agreement gives us peace of mind,” Deaken said.

Roxanne Dubois, the national chair of the Canadian Federation of Students, denounced the agreement and stated that both U of T and Western have violated the privacy rights of students.


“It is even more outrageous that students are being imposed with unfair and undemocratic fees in the process,” Dubois said. The deal includes that Western and U of T will each pay Access Copyright an annual royalty of $27.50 per full-time student.


Dubois claimed that the negotiations the two universities made did not consult the CFS, even though the deal will directly affect students.


“All other postsecondary institutions must defend the right to fair and reasonable access to copyrighted works for educational purposes,” Dubois said.


The agreement will be in effect until December 2013 and will be renewed for a one-year term during which any party may cancel or renegotiate the deal.