Access Copyright Trying To Stifle Objections To 1,300% Increase In Copying Fees for Students

from the can't-have-objections,-can-we? dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about how Access Copyright, the Canadian collection society that collects copyright fees from universities (who pass it on to their students) for people using photocopiers, wanted to increase its fees more than 1,300% from a few dollars to $45 per university student. It also would cover copying in areas that Access Copyright has absolutely no mandate over -- including things like web links to copyrighted material. That original post was based on Howard Knopf calling attention to the issue, with a short deadline for people to submit objections.

Eventually 101 objections were registered, but the lawyer for Access Copyright is saying that 99 of the 101 should be relegated to lesser status since they don't really count as they're not "prospective users," but just "affected parties." That, of course, is a distinction without a difference. As Knopf notes in response to this, most of the "affected parties" AC wishes to minimize are students & teachers who will be even more directly affected by this policy change than the university organizations that AC deems worthy of objecting fully.

Even more troubling is the implied threat in the letter to objectors. Knopf explains:
On a rather ominous note, AC also sets forth what amounts to a direct threat to objectors and interveners, namely that "Finally, it is important, in our view, that all potential objectors and interveners understand that their participation means that Access Copyright will have the right to pursue any useful information that they may possess in pursuing this tariff through the interrogatory process of otherwise". (emphasis by AC, not HK).

Certain major collectives have successfully used the interrogatory process to drive away well intentioned and legitimate objectors ranging from individuals to major corporations (i.e. Archamault and Canoe, which are part of Québecor) by demanding answers to intrusive and arguably irrelevant questions. See here and here.
It's really a shame that AC would make that sort of implied threat to try to scare off objectors.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Is it just me, or are we seeing more and more proposals with very short comment periods?

    Either there are more of them, or we are getting better at finding them before they pass.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:44am

    again i say

    just say no to ip

     

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      David Johnson (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:03pm

      Re: again i say

      if it has to be black or white, then just say no. otherwise, significant, revolutionary cuts are needed. working in the tech industry shows me how things like offering SaaS or DBaaS is great for competition...but should someone lock it up behind patents, well, who wins then?

       

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    Greg G, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Screw the university copy machines

    Printer/Copier/Scanners are fairly cheap now. Just buy one of those and make your own copies. Might not be as fast as the big machines, but you're not going to get mushroom stamped by some idiot collection society with an entitlement agenda.

     

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    coldbrew, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    So this Canadian organization wants "some of that internet moneh?"

    What is AC going to do if their demands aren't met? Go on strike?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Wait...isn't copyright infringement void if it is done solely for educational or referential reasons?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:59pm

      Re:

      AND THAT'S HOW ONE STARTS GOOSE-STEPPING TO SOCIALISM!!!

       

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      Free Capitalist (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:00pm

      Re:

      Wait...isn't copyright infringement void if it is done solely for educational or referential reasons?

      Oh it's that kind of copyright they are somehow entitled to beg money for in general. It sure the hell looks like they are selling rights to use a copier someone else bought.

       

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    Bob, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Yes, but isn't this what everyone around here wants?

    I would be annoyed at the price boost but I thought everyone around these parts loved the idea of some collective tool like this. All of my P2P loving friends keep talking about how cool it would be to have some collective bill that would be so much cooler and nowish. They forget that we've got rights collectives already and eventually someone has to crack down on the people who don't pay.

     

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    Josh Taylor, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    Looks like countries are going to be required to install surveillance cameras in homes around the world to monitor everyone's personal and family activities even if it's not internet related to determine whether it infringes copyright.

    For example, if a child draws a cartoon character that is owned and trademarked by a media company, that child will go to prison. If a family member were to sing a copyrighted lyric in the shower, that family member will be put in prison. If families, friends, and relatives were to share discussions about their favorite show, cartoon, movie, or song, they will all be put in prison, too. If anyone make a sandwich or say the generic term "sandwich" if it were to be owned and trademarked by a fast food company, like McDonalds or Subway, will be put in prison for a lifetime.

    Any such heavy and harsher anti-freedom copyright infringement law will silence our freedom of speech and will stifle a child's freedom of creativity.

    Any such copyright infringement law would also consider harsher punishments, such as putting a family name on a blacklist, so that a family member or the entire family will be denied to buy, rent, or live in a home. Family names that are blacklisted if under any such law would lose their bank account and/or be denied to open a bank account, not to mentioned be banned from the bank, lose a job and/or denied from getting a job, and banned from shopping centers, malls, supermarkets, etc.

    Local homeless shelters, Operation Blessing, Orphan's Promise, and other local orphanages will be forced to deny families and/or children to be taken in since they are on the blacklist.

    The only place for families or family members to live would be a state or federal prison. Otherwise, they would be put down (in other words killed) because since family members with a family name that are on the blacklist would be denied to the right to live.

    But Jesus will never deny a family or family member, because He's always there with them even until the end. If you accept Jesus your personal Lord and savior, he will never deny you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:28pm

    Why Not Raise The Fee Again

    So AC multiplied the fee by a factor of 14 and that worked brilliantly. Nobody in the university administrations raised a peep of protest. Sounds like a huge win to me. AC has found a bunch of suckers who will just pay anything they are asked, for nothing in return. It is a dream come true.

    What is to stop them multiplying the fee by another factor of 14 next year? That would bring it up to $630 per student. Sounds very tasty.

     

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    BentFranklin, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:39pm

    For $45 per student tax, does each student then get the right to unlimited copyright infringement? Because isn't that the assumption behind the tax, that students are copying wholesale? So if this tax is set to make the copyright agency (and therefore the rights holders) whole, then unlimited copying is the consideration.

     

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