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December 6, 2016
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Wilfrid Laurier University signs licence agreement with Access Copyright

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Jul 3/12

Following approval of the University Board of Governors, Laurier has signed the university licence agreement with Access Copyright, the Canadian copyright licensing agency. The licence agreement runs until Dec. 30, 2015 and facilitates the access, use, reproduction and distribution of copyright-protected works, while respecting academic freedom and privacy.  The new licence, which replaces the former interim tariff under which Laurier was operating, increases access to educational material by providing the right to not only copy print format materials, but also a new range of digital materials that were not previously covered under a licence.

Under the new licence, fees will be based solely on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students registered at Laurier. While there is a significant increase in the FTE fee, this fee will not change over the duration of the licence agreement, is the first increase in a number of years, and covers a more expansive range of materials and copying to include both print copying of coursepacks as well as posting of course materials on the MyLearning space.

Administration has consulted widely with faculty and students and has listened to the concerns expressed by students relating to the increase in fees. As such, the university proposed a fee sharing arrangement to the Board of Governors in which the university will pay 20 per cent of the licence fee. This payment will address any copying of copyright protected materials by university employees and is consistent with the Laurier tradition of cost sharing of services with students. Students will also see a significant decrease in the cost of print coursepacks, which are estimated to go down in price by approximately 30 per cent.

In approving the recommendation that the university enter into the licence agreement, the Board of Governors directed university administration to explore options to determine whether it is in the best long-term interest of the university to continue to be covered under the Access Copyright licence after 2015. The university will consider a range of opportunities to partner with other universities, enhance copyright clearance services internally, and develop policies, practices and procedures that will ensure that Laurier continues to meets its legal obligations.

“This agreement strikes a balance between the need to respect copyright materials and the need to provide access to important learning resources for our faculty and students,” said Deborah MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost. “We will use this period of certainty to further explore potential opportunities going forward.” 

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