More Canadian Universities Opt Out Of Access Copyright's Skyrocketing Tariffs
from the unfair-'deals'-are-paving-the-way-for-an-explosion-of-'fair-dealing& dept
As of July 29th, the list looks like this:
1. Columbia Bible College (BC)
2. Royal Roads University (BC)
3. Quest University (BC)
4. University of Calgary (AB)
5. Lethbridge College (AB)
6. University of Alberta (AB)
7. Mount Royal University (AB)
8. Portage College (AB)
9. Athabasca University (AB)
10. NorQuest College (AB)
11. University of Manitoba (MB)
12. University of Saskatchewan (SK)
13. University of Regina (SK)
14. University of Guelph (ON)
15. Queens University (ON)
16. University of Waterloo (ON)
17. University of Windsor (ON)
18. York University (ON)
19. Carleton University (ON)
20. Holland College (PEI)
21. University of PEI (PEI)
22. University of New Brunswick (NB)
23. Memorial University (NL)
24. Mount Saint Vincent University (NS)
25. Acadia University (NS)
26. Dalhousie University (NS)
As Geist points out, this is going to hit Access Copyright hard:
The current list includes 14 of the 25 biggest Canadian universities (as measured by the number of students).
Looks like Access Copyright is going to have to swiftly familiarize itself with an economic truism, one that most politicians seem unable to comprehend: If you tax something (and that's really what this is -- an arbitrary fee that enables Access Copyright to stay solvent enough to ask for more arbitrary fees), you get less of it.
This sort of misguided thinking rarely troubles businesses that provide products and services. These businesses are (usually) at the mercy of the customers who help determine, via "vote by wallet," what they can charge for their products. However, entities like royalty collection services and governments somehow still feel that they can increase their fees in order to increase their total income, despite repeated evidence to the contrary.
Ask New York City how that huge cigarette tax is working out for them. It's increased the per-pack fee so much that smokers are becoming amateur bootleggers. How about you, Chicago? Slapped a nickel-per-bottle tax on bottled water, did you? Enjoy watching all those extra nickels roll right out to the suburbs. How's that "tax the hell out of Amazon" plan coming along, various states? Null set?
Same thing here. By asking for more (much more), Access Copyright is pricing itself right out of the market. At this point its balance sheets are going to need a complete overhaul. This short-sighted plan most likely led to irrational exuberance at the AC offices, but once everyone sobers up (and that list of universities is pretty sobering), they're going to find that a 1,300% fee increase is going to do some particularly ugly things to the bottom line.
Even worse, this tariff is supposed to benefit the many writers, artists, etc. that Access Copyright represents. So, through no fault of their own, these "represented" artists are going to see diminishing returns on their investment in copyright. Whoever came up with the "skyrocketing tariff" plan needs to be removed from their position posthaste. (Unless Access Copyright is taking suggestions from mailroom clerks or that one guy at the end of the bar, in which case no further action is necessary. Or wise.) Sooner or later, the practice of increasing fees to offset dwindling revenue catches up with businesses like these and they end up fading away, trying desperately to multiply by zero.