Canadian Universities Agree To Ridiculous Copyright Agreement That Says Emailing Hyperlinks Is Equal To Photocopying

from the poor-decision-making dept

In the past, we've written a few times about how Access Copyright, the Canadian collection society that gets revenue from universities for professors photocopying copyrighted works, and how it's been trying to increase rates by 1,300% by claiming that simply "posting a link" counted the same as making a copy. As we noted back in 2010, that's a crazy claim. Lots of universities decided to drop out of Access Copyright's system to avoid such crazy fees. However, not everyone decided to support this move. As a ton of you sent over, the universities of Western Ontario and Toronto have both signed agreements along those lines:
The agreement reached last month with the licensing agency includes provisions defining e-mailing hyperlinks as equivalent to photocopying a document, an annual $27.50 fee for every full-time equivalent student and surveillance of academic staff email.
As the article notes, it seems incredibly premature for anyone to sign such an agreement, since the Supreme Court is expected to weigh in shortly about Access Copyright's mandate and limits, so there's simply no reason to rush into such a ridiculous deal. But, even worse is the message this kind of agreement sends to students. Accepting the idea that emailing hyperlinks is like making a photocopy is a ridiculous message that only serves to make more young people mock copyright as being a law that makes no sense at all.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Emailing Hyperlinks Is Equal To Photocopying

    And Photocopying is equal to magic. Whooooosh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:06am

    and i assume that because more money will be spent on this ridiculous agreement, less students will have funding from the universities concerned? if so, that really makes sense! (sarc)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:08am

    In other news, former Canadian university presidents hired by Access Copyright...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Cowardly Anon, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:19am

    Friends don't let friends go to Western. This is just another reason why.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    if it wasn't for pirating books, I wouldn't have had the money to go to college. The links to those pirate books and other material came from my professors.

    3rd world countries FTW.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:22am

    The agreement isn't a signed deal, yet. At least not at the University of Toronto. Some of the faculty are raising the point that the way in which the agreement was reached may have violated the university's governance procedures.

    UofT Faculty Blog

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:24am

    Gee, I wonder why the University of Canada is going to have to raise their tuition rates next year... It's a mystery really.

    It couldn't possibly be having to pay out $27.50 per hyperlink sent out in emails.

    We must be paying those damn unionized builders too much to build closet sized dorm rooms for students! And our college students must also be eating too much at the cafeteria, put them on a diet! Oh and we're probably overpaying our teachers to, lets cut their salaries in half and pretend none of them will look for better paying jobs in response to the salary cuts!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    explicit coward (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:35am

    What if?

    What if you post a link in a forum and then send a link to the forum in an e-mail?

    What if you post a link in a forum and link to that forum in another forum and then tell someone about that forum?

    What if I paint a link on the backside of my car?

    And what about sms?

    What if I write down a link and then post the paper on a board?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Planespotter (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:38am

    Re: What if?

    You forgot about skywriting it in smoke from a small plane... or getting the ISS astronauts to burn the link into the Northern Lights with a laser!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:41am

    A links real world equivalent is directions.

    If I wrote a book that contained directions to libraries, I could be done for copyright infringement for every copyrighted book/cd/dvd in that library. Does that sound correct?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Titania Bonham-Smythe (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:45am

    Two questions:

    Surveillance of academic staff email?

    And where does all the money go?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Wes, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:47am

    Re:

    No, but the yearly "Technology Fee" that students pay just went up by $27.50.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Re:

    No..tuition will just need to go up 2600% now to cover the cost...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:58am

    Profit Bomb

    Hey, if the status quo is upset the textbook manufacturers won't be able to keep selling books at a 10,000% markup!!

    (They may have to settle for a silver plated toiler, rather than a gold plated toilet...)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Logan2057 (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:00am

    Emailing Hyperlinks

    It looks as if we're gonna have the same thing all over again as Jon Newton did with Wayne Crooks and his "hyperlinking is the same as publishing" crap. That one worked out well for him didn't it, he lost three times in court, the first two in the Supreme Court of BC, then the appeals court and finally the Supreme Court of Canada and he still don't get it. Sounds like these clowns in Access Copyright need to be hauled up before a very angry crowd of students, bent over and have their hind ends pounded with cricket bats and the officials in the schools as well. When are people gonna stand up to these crooks and give them the old one finger salute to their demands and when they whine and cry that they've been insulted, have someone turn around and let them know that they and their ilk are the biggest insults to ALL Canadian students. They've got their heads buried in the sand, I mean, C'mon charging to email a hyperlink?! What's next charging for email to home or to another friend. It seems to me that these two universities don't give a rats ass about the students and their rights only the rights of some half assed group of moronic copy right lovers. Here's hoping the court declares their demands and actions to be illegal and makes them shut down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Spaceboy (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:01am

    Re: What if?

    "What if you post a link in a forum and then send a link to the forum in an e-mail?"

    LINKCEPTION!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    surfer (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:02am

    Where does the money go?

    into the MAFIAA 'think-tank' to devise new and improved ways of screwing the customer, er, I mean support the artists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:02am

    The only thing that can be said to them is "Take off, you hosers!".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:09am

    threesome!

    A new definition inclusive of a new twist on physics!

    A fee - for existing!

    Surveillance - of everything!

    All for the cheap low price of an education - or, more apt - a refresher on where not to go to learn.

    For what again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Norbert Klein, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:09am

    from the poor-decision-making dept

    "...claiming that simply 'posting a link' counted the same as making a copy..." - what do they thnk if I write the URL/link onto a postcard and send the postcard to a friend? Is this also the same as making a copy???

    Norbert

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    WDS (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:11am

    Re:

    It wasn't $27.50 per hyperlink, it was 27.50 per student. Don't know if that is per year or per semester.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:21am

    Re:

    'the way in which the agreement was reached may have violated the university's governance procedures'

    you're not saying that a deal was done behind closed doors, are you? who would do such a thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: tick tick tick

    or per month, week, day, hour, minute, or even per second?

    Perhaps it's $27.50 per student per day...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:25am

    Serving the populace...

    Also writing down a book's Dewey Decimal number counts as copying the entire book so any Luddite universities out there that don't allow the use of computers are still culpable if they grant their students access to pen and paper.

    Copyright: Increasing ease of access to educational information since 1662.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:37am

    Re: from the poor-decision-making dept

    Of course it's exactly the same as making a copy, for reasons that will seem perfectly clear if you bash your head into a brick wall several times.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Dick, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:47am

    Moronic copyright deals.

    It's pretty simple. Don't be Canadian, and if you are, stay the fuck in Canada, and don't come to the US. Ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Yea ME, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:55am

    Did I just break the law?

    Got to read this article, it shows how stupid people are now days. Good job Mike.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120220/03190917805/canadian-universities-agree-to-ridicu lous-copyright-agreement-that-says-emailing-hyperlinks-is-equal-to-photocopying.shtml

    Copyright
    by Mike Masnick
    Tue, Feb 21st 2012 6:00am

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    WysiWyg (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:01am

    Re: Did I just break the law?

    It's called a category. Didn't cross your mind to actually click the link?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    WysiWyg (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Re:

    The surveillance part was my first thought as well. I mean, WTF?

    Only goes to show; make sure you are the only one with access to your e-mail I suppose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    kamjam (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:04am

    Re: Moronic copyright deals.

    It's pretty simple. Don't be Canadian, and if you are, stay the fuck in Canada, and don't come to the US. Ever.

    Yeah, and every other country in the world is (and has been) saying the same about the US - Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan, Libya, Iran... to name a few.

    Dumbass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:11am

    Re: Moronic copyright deals.

    You have to admit, it's a rare novelty for it to be worse to be a Canadian than a Statesian...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Did I just break the law?

    I think you missed the part where he parodied the assertion 'link == content'. Check your sarcmeter...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:17am

    The quote that comes to mind is...

    'Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber...you do something like this...and totally redeem yourself'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Miko, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:23am

    Copyright is a law that makes no sense at all. How is helping more people to realize this a bad thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    Shaun Wilson (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:42am

    Sense to laws

    If someone has read much of this site and hasn't already come to the conclusion that copyright is "a law that makes no sense at all" then I seriously question their reading comprehension.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re:

    Or don't use your university account.. ever

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Why should the schools care, they're just adding this "$27.50" to the student's tuition bill. What concerns me more is the "surveillance of academic staff email" clause. When you start monitoring emails of professors, it seems like you are setting up a pretty serious prior constraint on speech.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 9:50am

    Re: Emailing Hyperlinks Is Equal To Photocopying

    As far as I can see this is just another reason why we should all be Boycotting Big Content !!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 10:34am

    Plain text emails, FTW!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    william (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re: What if?

    Oh Noes!

    I have one of those sticker with my university name and the website address on it!

    Am I going to be dinged for $27.50?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Geoff Dixon, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    A Lost Link

    I've forgotten the link to my favourite site, facebook. Would someone mind photocopying me a link? Thanks. I'll spot you the 10 cents next time I see you in person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Geoff Dixon, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    A Lost Link

    I've forgotten the link to my favourite site, facebook. Would someone mind photocopying me a link? Thanks. I'll spot you the 10 cents next time I see you in person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Ian (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    MBA

    One has to wonder about the effect this move will have on the business programs at the university.

    "Come learn shrewd bargaining techniques, like 'the roll-over', 'the complete surrender', 'the French gambit', 'capitulation', and 'the ankle-grab'.

    Use these skills to trade the interests of your current employer in for future employment with the RIAA!

    Act now, enrollment in our on-line course is extremely limited due to the cost of linking to the course materials."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 2:42pm

    Fire The Vice Chancellor

    Any vice chancellor of any university who fails to defend academic freedom is not a fit person to be a vice chancellor. So why are the vice chancellors who are in charge of these universities still in their jobs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    AW, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    What no trolls?

    Is there actually a line that they won't defend? Maybe I just read the post too quickly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Raven Morris, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:39am

    Re: Moronic copyright deals.

    Canada currently has drastically better Copyright laws than the USA. However, the current Prime Minster Stephen Harper is in the process of passing endless laws which the vast majority of Canadians are against... it is interesting times, I see Canada rising up and casting Harper and his cronies the F out of government.

    In the USA you have the DMCA, software patents up the wazoo, The USA PATRIOT Act, and a ton of other insane laws and Presidential Executive Orders that give ultimate power to corporations while stripping Constitutional rights and freedoms from the masses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Someone needs to trademark the phrase "Copyright Law" and sue every time it's used...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 25th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    Re:

    Much as they'd like to be the University of Canada the University of Toronto isn't. The other school mentioned is the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. A school specializing in business of all things given this silly thing.

    FYI there IS no University of Canada. ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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