Thursday, December 12, 2019

Objections Filed re Access Copyright Proposed Post-Secondary Tariff for 2021-2023 and Update re 2011-2017

Some objections have been filed to the Access Copyright (“AC”) proposed Post-Secondary tariff for 2021-2023. These were due December 9, 2019.

Interestingly, by remarkable coincidence, the Board finally issued its decision in the more than nine-year-old AC Post-Secondary proposed tariff file for 2011-2017 only on Friday December 6, 2019 at the end of the day – the eve of the due date for objecting to the 2021-2023 proposed tariff. For the moment, suffice it so say that the decision is extremely expensive, extremely retroactive and, among many other things, it sidesteps any determination about fair dealing or whether tariffs are mandatory.
Access Copyright – Post-Secondary Educational Institution Tariffs (2011-2014 and 2015-2017)
Reasons (December 6, 2019)
Tariffs (December 7, 2019)
Fact Sheet (December 6, 2019)
The AUCC (now Universities Canada) withdrew from the proceedings and indeed withdrew its objections in 2012. I wrote about the AUCC model licence and its withdrawal at the time. The ACCC (now Colleges and Institutes Canada)  withdrew from the proceedings and withdrew its objections in 2013.  

After all of this time, and more than six years after this became an effectively default proceeding, the Board basically relies on the 2012 AUCC model licence and the 2015 Three- Year Premium licence. In the Board’s own words from its Fact Sheet:
The royalty rates in the tariffs are primarily based on two model licences negotiated with the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada (AUCC, now Universities Canada), which formed the basis for agreements that Access Copyright signed with universities – the 2012 AUCC Model Licence, and the 2015 Three-Year AUCC Premium Licence. The Board is satisfied that both agreements are reflective of a functioning market and market price.

I will have more to say about this recent decision in due course.

Meanwhile, back to the future proposed tariff. It would, of course, be useful if the Copyright Board were to post the new round of objections. As I have noted, the Copyright Board has spent $757,548.50 on website stuff since April 1, 2018 with no noticeable improvement to it. Publishing objections would be a very simple, useful and cost-free way to start the improvement process.

However, since this is unlikely to happen any time soon, I will do so here. These are, by their nature, public documents. I have thus far been provided with the following objections:

Athabasca University
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Mount Royal University 
Ryerson University
Simon Fraser University
University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge
Universities Canada Objection
Universities Canada Letter
There may be others, which I’ll be happy to post if and when provided.


PS - I've just added Ryerson University on December 12, 2019 and Mount Royal University on December 13, 2019

PS - I've added Athabasca and COPPUL on December 18, 2019 and SFU in December 24, 2019

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