OTTAWA, Feb. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Students are dismayed that two universities
have secretly made an agreement with the copyright licensing company
Access Copyright to spy on students, restrict access to learning
materials, and impose new copyright fees.
On January 30 the University of Toronto and University of Western
Ontario signed a back room deal with Access Copyright that governs
copying activities on the campuses. The deal defines emailing
hyperlinks as copying; places a new fee of $27.50 on all full-time
students and mandates the monitoring of student emails to assess which
articles and books are being read - a serious violation of privacy
"The agreement is terrible," said Roxanne Dubois, National Chairperson
of the Canadian Federation of Students. "It is preposterous for these
universities to sign away the rights of students behind our backs. It
is even more outrageous that students are being imposed with unfair and
undemocratic fees in the process."
Students are at the forefront of a move away from traditional copyright
licensing regimes towards a system based on fair dealing (the limited
right to copy works without permission or payment when it is fair),
open access (free on-line academic journals), and direct pay
arrangements with content providers. The Toronto/Western deal is a
move in the wrong direction, occurring when many other universities are
opting out of or challenging their arrangements with Access Copyright.
"The administrations of these two universities entered into discussions
and concluded agreements that will directly affect students, but did
not have the courtesy to inform us that the negotiations were
occurring, let alone consult with us about decisions that would have a
profound impact on our rights" said Roxanne Dubois, National
Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "We call on these
two universities to cancel the agreements. All other post-secondary
institutions must defend the right to fair and reasonable access to
copyrighted works for educational purposes".
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student
organisation, uniting more than one-half million students in all ten
provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor
organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information:
or to arrange an interview:
Roxanne Dubois, National Chairperson, 613-232-7394, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clara Ho, Vice-President University Affairs at the University of Toronto Students' Union
Desirée Lamoureux, Vice-President Student Service, Society of Graduate Students at the University of Western Ontario, 226-678-8703, email@example.com