Students Get Creative in Opposing Access Copyright at Western

LONDON, ON, March 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Graduate students at the University of Western Ontario are organising a meme and video contest to draw attention to student concerns with the university's Access Copyright license agreement.

"Renowned universities such as Harvard are moving towards focussing on using more Open Access research instead of restrictive copyright licensing," said Désirée Lamoureux, Vice-President Finance of the Sociey of Graduate Students (SOGS). "Students want Western to follow this lead, and we are encouraging students to use their creativity to raise awareness about fair dealing, open access and the pitfalls of Access Copyright."

In January 2012, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto signed a secret license agreement with Access Copyright which increased the per-student fee from $3.38 to $27.50. Since then, many Canadian universities including Carleton University, York University, and the University of British-Columbia, have chosen not to sign agreements with Access Copyright. Western's Access Copyright agreement is set to expire in December 2013, but the university must decide if it will end the agreement by June 2013.

The Society of Graduate Students is asking graduate and undergraduate students at Western to create either a meme or a mash-up video explaining why the Access Copyright license is a bad deal for students for a chance to win an iPad. To enter, students must create a meme or 30 second mash-up video and tweet to @WesternSogs or post it to Youtube including the hashtag: #AccessCopyrightWestern. The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2013.

Copyright experts Sam Trosow, Ariel Katz and Howard Knopf will judge the short-list of memes and mash-up videos and choose a winner at an event on March 22nd from 5-7pm in room 117, North Campus Building, Western University.

"Western has the chance to get out of this restrictive and expensive agreement," continued Lamoureux. "Students hope the university will listen and prioritize fair dealing and Open Access by saying no to Access Copyright. It is unfortunate that Western signed a pre-emptive copyright agreement that primarily covers the use of materials already included in fair dealing,"

The Society of Graduate Students, Local 47 of the Canadian Federation of Students, represents approximately 4900 full- and part-time graduate students at Western University.

SOURCE: Society of Graduate Students at the University of Western Ontario

For further information:

Désirée Lamoureux,
(226) 678-8703

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Society of Graduate Students at the University of Western Ontario

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