Access Copyright Admits That It's Holding Education Hostage Unless Universities Pay Up
from the they-should-be-ashamed-of-themselves dept
In response to this, a bunch of universities decided opt-out of using Access Copyright, meaning that they all need to deal with making sure copies and coursepacks are properly licensed. Not surprisingly -- especially since this was all recently decided, just prior to the semester starting -- some universities are struggling mightily to deal with this and to make sure certain uses are cleared.
But what's really sickening is how Access Copyright appears to be watching this last minute scramble and laughing about it.
Erin Finlay, legal counsel for Access Copyright, said many of the issues that caused the breakdown in the relationship with the universities could have been resolved at the negotiating table. She said the institutions are putting students at a disadvantage.This seems to be a flat out admission that Access Copyright is a monopoly that knows it's a monopoly and that it can charge outrageous monopoly rents, because there's no other game in town. And, really, it's ridiculously cynical to claim that its the universities' actions that are harming the educational experience. The universities wouldn't be doing this if Access Copyright hadn't jacked up the rates 1,300% in the first place... So, if Access Copyright claims that not providing works through it is "harming the educational experience," it has only itself to blame for offering such a bad deal.
"When an institution suggests that if you cannot clear this, if you can't get permission before you post it (online) you're not entitled to use it, or you have to find a substitute, or you have to find an open access substitute, I think that harms the educational experience, and I think it harms what we teach our children," Finlay said.
"There's a much easier way that allows access to all of the works and has allowed access to all of the works for the past 17 years, and that's through the Access Copyright licence."