Thursday, June 28, 2012

Attention Canadian Universities - Access Copyright's Limited Time Offer

As of June 29, 2012, only 7 universities have signed on to the AUCC/AC deal with its special limited time discount on retroactive payments that supposedly expires on June 30, 2012. That's barely more than 7% of the 95 public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges that are AUCC members. That's hardly a trend. And that date has no official status whatsoever. Nor is there any convincing reason that any agreement that may be signed should be retroactive, since virtually every university has either been operating under the interim tariff or paying license fees directly.

Indeed, there seems to be no convincing reason why the model license should be signed at all. To date, it is known that 14 universities have explicitly rejected the model license - led by UBC, whose President, Stephen Toope, is the Chair of AUCC and former Dean of Law at McGill. He is obviously not very enthusiastic about the "model license" and "negotiated settlement" that AUCC announced without notice on April 16, 2012. A few days later, it withdrew from the Copyright Board hearing, leaving its members without representation in that process, after reportedly having spent about $1.7 million of its members' money raised in a special levy on legal fees.

Here are the 14 universities to date that have publicly refused to sign the model license:
University of British Columbia    May 15, 2012    Announcement
Athabasca University    May 17, 2012    Announcement
University of Windsor    May 18, 2012    Announcement
University of Winnipeg     May 19, 2012    From Winnipeg Free Press
York University    May 29, 2012    Announcement
University of New Brunswick    May 30, 2012    N/A
University of Waterloo    June 7, 2012    Announcement
Mount Royal University    June 8, 2012    Unofficial report
Trent University    June 26, 2012    Announcement
Memorial University    June 28, 2012    Announcement
Carleton University    June 28, 2010   
Royal Roads University    June 28, 2012   
University of Saskatchewan    Not confirmed   
Queen's University    June 28, 2012    Announcement
The announcement and press links are available on Ariel Katz's blog.
Here's my FAQ with 36 questions about whether an institution may or may not want to sign the model license.

UofT and Western, of course, were the early adopters back on January 30, 2012 - and set the template for the AUCC model license.

Here's Ariel Katz's running tally with links to reasons given by some institutions for their decisions. Three universities are listed as thinking about things.


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