On May 15, 2012 the University of British Columbia announced that it would not sign a license agreement with Access Copyright, and immediately was inducted into Canada’s Fair Dealing Hall of Fame. “We believe we are taking the bolder, more principled and sustainable option, which best serves the fundamental and long-term interests of our academic community”, said David H. Farrar, Provost and Vice President Academic (Vancouver) and Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal (Okanagan). Yes, they did.

While many in the library, research, and technology communities have hailed Google’s recent fair use victory, some have expressed skepticism about who is the real beneficiary of the ruling. Some librarians have wondered whether their enthusiasm about the ruling should not “be tempered by the understanding that Google is not the do-no-evil corporation it once represented itself as being?“

Google has won an important victory today. In a ruling issued this morning, US Circuit Judge Denny Chin ruled in favour of Google, finding that its scanning of millions of books in its Google Books project is fair use. “In my view”, Judge Chin wrote “Google Books provides significant public benefits. It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.

Canada’s education system is facing a potentially-serious problem. While many educational institutions believe, correctly in my view, that they have better alternatives to comply with the Copyright Act than licenses from Access Copyright, Access Copyright continues to push for rulings that would allow it to impose itself on educators and, essentially, collect a hefty “education tax”–as it will inevitably be called–from Canada’s educational institutions. Access Copyright believes, incorrectly in my view, that a tariff approved by the Copyright Board can and will become mandatory on any institution that may be held liable for making a single infringing copy of a …

Ottawa, we have a problem Read more »

I love the UofT library system. For me it’s no wonder it has been ranked again as one of the top three research libraries in North America. And if that’s not enough the library is launching a new catalog that will make its already user-friendly catalog easy to use on all devices from smart phones to desktops. If that’s not good enough, let me tell you a less-known fact about the library. Since 2005 the library has been collaborating with the Internet Archive, quietly digitizing thousands of public domain materials and making them freely accessible to all. I don’t know the …

Isn’t that great? Read more »