Access Copyright Wants $45 From Every University Student For Copying & Even Linking To Copyright Works
from the linking? dept
Sometimes these landgrabs reach absolutely ridiculous levels. Take, for example, the Canadian group Access Copyright, which charges students a copyright levy for photocopying documents. Right now, it apparently collects a few dollars per student, plus some per copy fee, that gets distributed to copyright holders. Howard Knopf, who is a member of Access Copyright, is horrified to note that the group is now asking to increase its fees by more than 1,300% to $45 per university student. Even though Knopf would conceivably get more money from this, he notes that this is a really, really bad idea. Not only is it ridiculously high, but Access Copyright wants it to cover some things over which it clearly has no rights whatsoever, including website links to copyrighted material:
Incredibly, the tariff defines a "copy" to include "posting a link or hyperlink to Digital Copy". So, that would presumably include any website with copyrighted material. For example, take this blog -- please! AC apparently expects to be paid whenever a professor posts a link on his or her website to my blog, or Michael Geist's blog or the Globe and Mail or eBay. That is simply absurd.Knopf also notes that many of the other areas Access Copyright is seeking to use to cover with this exorbitant $45 fee includes areas that are clearly covered by fair dealing exceptions in Canadian copyright law, and for which there should be no fee paid whatsoever. The whole thing is clearly a landgrab for cash, and even though he might technically get bigger payouts from it himself, Knopf recognizes how ridiculous the whole thing is, and is suggesting people file comments expressing their displeasure with the plan. Comments are apparently due by this Wednesday, so if you're a Canadian, hurry up and make your voices heard. Knopf has the details of how to file your comments on his site.
Merely linking does not create liability.... Linking requires neither permission nor payment. The Copyright Board should not even consider the issue of "linking", because it is not covered by copyright law. This issue is a non-starter and should be eliminated as soon as possible by the Copyright Board before a lot of time and money is wasted on it.
The same for "displaying" a copy on a computer. How, precisely, is one supposed to read anything otherwise? The concept of "display" does not occur in the Copyright Act, other than in connection with dry erase boards.