Monday, July 25, 2011

York University to Exit Access Copyright on August 31, 2011

York University - one of Canada's largest and finest (I disclose that I am Osgoode grad) post secondary institutions - has become perhaps the most prominent member of the list of those universities who are exiting Access Copyright as of August 31, 2011. According to a recent filing on behalf of AUCC at the Copyright Board:
Seventeen out of 77 AUCC members located outside Quebec elected to opt out of the Access tariff as of January 1, 2011 and instead to justify their copying practices by relying on their digital licenses, transactional permissions and exemptions under the Act.
A number of additional institutions ranging from very large to very small are taking the next opportunity to opt out, which is August 31, 2011. Other recently announced opt-outs include Waterloo, Queen’s, Calgary, Saskatchewan, and Athabasca University according to Michael Geist.

Here's York's announcement released today, July 25, 2011:

York University’s licence with Access Copyright ends on August 31, 2011.

York University operated under an interim tariff for the Winter and Summer terms to assist members of the university community to transition to copying outside of Access Copyright’s licence.

In order to copy published materials after August 31, 2011 specific permission or a licence from the copyright owner is required. Alternatively, you may copy or post in compliance with York University’s Fair Dealing Guidelines 

Why is York University’s licence with Access Copyright ending? 

The changing landscape in technology has led to an increase of licensed electronic resources in the York University Libraries. There are also materials available through Open Access, Creative Commons, fair dealing and transactional licences. These changes mean that Access Copyright’s proposed licence, accompanied with a substantially higher tariff, became less useful. York University, along with other universities across Canada, supported the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s opposition to this tariff increase. 

How do I get more information? 

Information sessions will continue to be held in July, August and September to assist members of the York University community with this transition. See for answers to frequently asked questions.

You can also contact Patricia Lynch, Copyright Officer, at or (416)736-2100 ext. 40706. 

Who do I contact for assistance with my course materials? 

Textbooks for your classes can be ordered from York University Bookstore, 

To develop customized course kits or to arrange permission for class handouts contact the staff at the Copyright Clearance Centre at

For information on how your Departmental Liaison Librarians can help you select course materials see

York's announcement is significant. Many other prestigious institutions have already opted out. But, in this instance, it could well be said that size also matters.

It will be quite interesting to see which and how many more post secondary institutions join this trend (could it become a bandwagon?) in the next days, and what effect this will have on Access Copyright, AUCC, and the Copyright Board hearings. 

Many eyes may now turn south in Toronto - between Bloor Street and College Street for example - to watch for possible future interesting developments.

A list of all opt-outs is being compiled and I shall post as soon as available.


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