Monday, April 23, 2012

Is Access Copyright in the Insurance Business?


Michael Geist has an article in the Toronto Star about the Access Copyright/AUCC deal being “The most expensive copyright insurance policy in Canadian history”.

The article is very good as far as it goes   - and the issue gets even more interesting. That is because the Insurance Act of Ontario and similar legislation in other provinces requires that anyone who sells insurance or operates an insurance undertaking should be licensed. 

The definition of insurance in the Ontario legislation is:

“insurance” means the undertaking by one person to indemnify another person against loss or liability for loss in respect of a certain risk or peril to which the object of the insurance may be exposed, or to pay a sum of money or other thing of value upon the happening of a certain event, and includes life insurance

It is an intriguing question as to whether the indemnity scheme offered by Access Copyright in the AC/AUCC model agreement, the interim tariff imposed by the Copyright Board and as offered for many years in the past is actually “insurance”.  If so, what follows? The last I checked, AC was still not licensed under the Insurance Act of Ontario.

I wrote about this issue at some length 13 years ago in an article proposing an alternative competitive collective run by universities for universities.


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