On May 29, 2014 the Quill & Quire published an article with the sensational title “Why the loss of Access Copyright royalties could be devastating for educational publishers”, which advances the thesis and leads the reader to the supposedly inescapable conclusion that the decision of many educational institutions to sever their ties with Access Copyright has already wreaked havoc with publishers and will continue to be. This is a second of a series of posts in which why these thesis and conclusions do not hold up to scrutiny.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away there was a country named Broadviewlandia. The name Broadviewlandia had been adopted to symbolize that country’s hopes for a new bright future, as Broadviewlandia was slowly emerging from several centuries of feudal social order. Like in many ex-feudal societies, very few books were written in Broadviewlandia and even fewer were published, and the ones that existed were limited, expansive, and beyond the reach of almost all Broadviewlanders.

The Varsity last Monday published a story with the headline “Post-Access Copyright era off to a rocky start“, and the sub-headline “Professors confused, frustrated by new copyright rules”. Great headlines, for sure, but in reality, that’s probably an exaggeration. My impression, which I have confirmed with colleagues in the UofT library system and the Faculty Association, is that so far the transition to the post-Access Copyright era has actually been even smoother than expected.

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 »