A Licence With Limited Value: Copyright Board Delivers Devastating Defeat to Access Copyright - Michael Geist


The Copyright Board painstakingly reviewed copy after copy to ensure that they were all fairly compensated. As had been readily apparent for years, the problem facing Access Copyright is not that copies are not valued, but rather that its licence is not valuable. The Board's analysis makes it clear that the licence only applies in a tiny number of circumstances given a reasonable reading of fair dealing, insubstantial copying, alternative licensing, and a repertoire that has limits. It is a big loss for Access Copyright that foreshadows an even bigger loss when the education issues are resolved.

- Michael Geist

Source: A Licence With Limited Value: Copyright Board Delivers Devastating Defeat to Access Copyright - Michael Geist

So, it looks like Access Copyright was given a pretty thorough review by the Copyright Board of Canada, who basically decided:

  1. Access Copyright doesn't have actual contracts with the vast majority of content producers, so their license isn't that powerful.
  2. Most copying is only a page or 2 from a book, at most 10% of a work, which is considered "inconsequential" and doesn't require licensing.
  3. Fair Dealing is valid. And, the Research clause is valid for non-personal research (when the research benefits others, rather than just the person doing the copying).

I'm not a lawyer, but to my layperson's eyes, it looks like the post-secondary institutions "opting-out" of the Access Copyright protection racket seems to have been a rather important event in this story. I'm also guessing that Access Copyright isn't about to roll over and play dead.


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