Here is a memo dated January 4, 2011 - i.e. 12 days after the decision - being circulated at a major Canadian university. I have redacted the identity information. Note the extreme restrictions on academic freedom that will harm both teachers and students:
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 4:11 PM
Subject: IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING COPYRIGHT POLICIES AT XXXX
XXXX University’s license agreement with Access Copyright has expired as of Dec. 31, 2010. Due to developments and negotiations occurring late in December, we were unable to inform the university community until today. Subsequently, we ask all faculty members, contract instructors, and anyone preparing course materials or other documents for teaching or research to observe the following due diligence in the teaching of their courses and otherwise dealing with copyright protected materials in any way:
1. As always, faculty should only provide links to source files in WebCT or other course web pages. Posting original digital copies (such as PDF files) within WebCT, without proper permissions, is a copyright infringement.
2. Any photocopying should observe the following provisions:
a. Made with the consent of the owner of copyright. Faculty are encouraged to find material for which the Library has a transactional licence for student use, or use open source material. Otherwise, faculty will need to contact the rights holder and negotiate use directly.
b. Made pursuant to an exception under the Copyright Act (e.g. fair dealing). This would apply to students making single copies of works considered optional readings for a course. This does not apply to required readings, copies of which would not fall under fair dealing. More information about fair dealing interpretations can be found at:
c. Made from public domain works (e.g. a work for which the author has been dead for more than 50 years).
3. There will be changes to the Library’s course reserves policy. Further information will be sent out from the Library shortly.
At this point, we ask everyone to exercise extreme caution when dealing with copies of materials. Should you have any questions about your particular copyright situation, please contact
More detailed information regarding copyright will be forthcoming in the very near future. We will be sending out regular notices and updates to the campus community over the next few months, as well as providing additional signs near photocopy stations and organizing information sessions.
Thank you for your kind attention to this most important matter.
Now, its not clear whether the official sending this memo even knows about the Board’s ruling of December 23, 2010 granting Access Copyright an Interim Tariff. The wording suggests that he or she does not - even though the memo is dated January 4, 2011. The memo doesn’t refer to the Board’s decision.
On the other hand, it is also possible that this University is aware of the Board’s decision and intends to operate without dealing with Access Copyright, as suggested by the Board. If this is the case, the University takes that position that all staff must rely on;
1. transactional licenses
2. public domain
3. open source
4. direct negotiation with copyright owner
5. the public domain
6. Fair dealing
Note the extremely severe restrictions with respect to the University’s interpretation of fair dealing, which flow from the Copyright Board’s K-12 decision, as upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal (leave to appeal is pending in the Supreme Court of Canada):
This would apply to students making single copies of works considered optional readings for a course. This does not apply to required readings, copies of which would not fall under fair dealing.(Emphasis added)
It’s difficult to imagine how it can be education as usual at a Canadian university with such restrictions - but this is what we now have as of January 4, 2011 at a major Canadian university. Anyone at American university would be astonished at such restrictions, which simply don’t exist in the USA.
The Board’s decision of December 23, 2010 imposes an interim tariff for universities that wish to or feel that they must deal with Access Copyright that presumably avoids some of these restrictions by offering what is supposed to be as much as possible the “status quo” licensing arrangements. However, the tariff imposed by the Board comes at a significant cost, which almost all of the Universities had rejected.
It appears that there may be some considerable confusion at this point early in the new year about the Board’s decision of December 23, 2010 , which took effect on January 1, 2011. It is likely that few in the University community were aware of it and many may still be unaware. And many who are well aware of it are still pondering certain potentially very important implications of that decision. This is all the more difficult, since the Board has not yet released reasons for the decision. Releasing a major decision without reasons is unusual, though not surprising in this case, considering the haste of the process.
This also suggests that many may be unaware of the possibility of judicial review of the decision granting the application for an interim tariff and the looming deadline under the Federal Courts Act for commencing such a process. An application for judicial review must be commenced within 30 days after the time the decision was first communicated by the Board to the party directly affected by it, unless the deadline is extended by the Court, which is unusual. Anyone with any questions about potential judicial review should immediately consult with counsel as to the applicable deadline and procedure.
Successful judicial review could result in the Interim Tariff being set aside. It is clear from the material filed in opposition to the Interim Tariff by several participants that arguable grounds for judicial review could include:
• Lack of jurisdiction;
• Lack of evidence; and,
• Procedural fairness.