Students applaud University of Toronto's decision to reject Access Copyright agreement

Students set to collectively save over $1.5 million dollars in ancillary fees each year

TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Students at the University of Toronto are applauding a decision by the University of Toronto to reject renewing a license by Access Copyright, saving students over $1.5 million each year. Access Copyright claimed that the license would provide students with the ability to use copyrighted works without penalty - a right already granted to students through the Copyright Act. Affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada, students and researchers are permitted to use copyrighted works for educational purposes. With this decision, the University of Toronto joins a growing number of Canadian post-secondary institutions that have rejected agreements with Access Copyright.

"This is a significant victory that will save students over $1.5 million annually and is the result of a campaign led by students and faculty," said Agnes So, Vice-President University Affairs of the University of Toronto Students' Union. "I am glad that the University of Toronto has listened to our concerns and ended the collection of a fee that many students saw as a cash grab."

The University of Toronto Students' Union was a vocal opponent to Access Copyright, and spent the last year lobbying the university to retract the deal. Under the license, each student at the University of Toronto was charged $26 in fees that provided no service or protections for students.

"Students and faculty have always maintained that this fee is without merit and problematic," said Susan Froom, President of the Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students at the University of Toronto. "The University of Toronto is rightfully joining the University of British Columbia, Queen's University, the University of Western Ontario and York University in rejecting the agreement."

University of Toronto students worked with faculty and allies at other institutions to oppose the fee since its inception. Students filed an objection through the Canadian Federation of Students with the Canadian Association of University Teachers in opposition of the license and fee.

"I am proud that together with students across the country we have been able to raise widespread awareness about the issues with Access Copyright through our membership in the Canadian Federation of Students," said Melissa Theodore, Vice-President External of the University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union. "Going forward, I hope that the University of Toronto will work together with students to create fair copyright policies for our membership."

The University of Toronto Students' Union, the Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students and The University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union represent over 55,000 students at the University of Toronto St. George, Mississauga and Scarborough campuses.

SOURCE University of Toronto Students' Union

For further information:

Agnes So, Vice-President University Affairs, University of Toronto Students' Union, 647-996-0448
Susan Froom, President, Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students, 416-978-0832
Melissa Theodore, Vice-President External, University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union, 905-828-5249