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.

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Companies: access copyright

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Comments on “Canadian Universities Agree To Ridiculous Copyright Agreement That Says Emailing Hyperlinks Is Equal To Photocopying”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Logan2057 (profile) says:

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.

Ian (profile) says:


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.”

Raven Morris says:

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.

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