Brock has become the latest Canadian university to announce it will terminate its licence agreement with Access Copyright, a copyright collective that provides licences to make copies from print and digital works such as books, magazines, newspapers and journals.
Brock will not renew its current licence when it expires on Dec. 31, 2015.
The decision results from an emerging consensus among universities and colleges, copyright academics and elementary and secondary schools, that the Access Copyright licence is not necessary to meet the copying needs of teachers and researchers in Canada. This consensus began after major developments in Canadian copyright law in 2012 greatly expanded the “users’ rights” of students and educators to make copies for educational purposes, without needing permission or the payment of royalties.
Numerous other institutions — including University of Toronto, UBC, Queen’s and York — have already opted out of their agreements with Access Copyright.
For Brock, the final decision was made by Neil McCartney, Provost and Vice-President Academic, in consultation with Brock’s legal counsel, the University Library and other Brock stakeholders.
Brock students currently pay for the licence agreement in the form of an ancillary fee, at an annual rate of $26 per full-time equivalent student, or $5.20 fee per credit.
Brock staff, faculty and students are copyright owners and users of copyright-protected materials. The University will continue its commitment to copyright compliance, which is an ongoing legal duty and an integral component of academic integrity. Over the coming months, Brock will take additional steps to ensure staff and faculty are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Copyright Act, and will offer support from legal counsel and library staff wherever needed.