The U of S Will Not Sign the Access Copyright Model License

July 3, 2012 - Today, a memo (below) was distributed to all staff and faculty of the University of Saskatchewan regarding its decision toward the Access Copyright model license agreement as well as new copyright procedures to follow.

Official memo in PDF format.

After careful consideration, the University of Saskatchewan has decided to remain outside of the license agreement with Access Copyright. This communication explains the development of new copyright processes to support faculty, staff, and students and the reasons for this decision.

In order to assist faculty and staff with this transition, new procedures will be forthcoming shortly to support educational use of copyright materials.  For academic course material use, faculty, teaching staff and instructors will be encouraged to make use of hyperlinks and digital resources under license in library collections, while an expanded copyright office will support copyright clearance where needed, such as for printed course packages.  

In April 2012, Access Copyright and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) agreed to a new model license for the reproduction of materials in Access Copyright’s repertoire.  Under this model license, Access Copyright would receive $26 per full-time student equivalent.  You will recall that the U of S has been operating without an agreement with Access Copyright since August 31, 2011, when we made the decision to opt out of its Interim Tariff.  Since that time an extensive education campaign has been underway to help staff, faculty and students understand how to use and distribute material.  We have been committing time, effort, and resources to put procedures and tools in place to utilize materials for which we already hold licenses and simplify seeking transactional licenses.

Our decision to remain outside of the Access Copyright agreement was based on the following reasons:

  • The environment has changed with respect to how copyright materials are used for teaching purposes on our campus. An agreement with Access Copyright is no longer an essential tool for teaching and learning because of our dwindling use of printed coursepacks, our increased reliance on digital delivery of course material, and the limited repertoire included in the license agreement.
  • The U of S, through our Library, has extensive license agreements for electronic materials that allow access to tens of thousands of journals and periodical.  The library has developed a searchable database that will allow users to quickly and easily identify permitted uses for each journal. It will be up and running by the end of July 2012
  • The agreement with Access Copyright is not cost effective for us given the material that is covered by the license.

The U of S remains committed to providing our community with the resources necessary to easily and legally access and use material. These resources include:

  • A dedicated website (www.usask.ca/copyright) that will be regularly updated with information and resources
  • A dedicated Copyright Officer, who has been tasked with educating and supporting the university community on changes and developments with regards to copyright and related procedures
  • Liaison librarians who are available to help faculty and teaching staff find materials for their courses
  • A searchable database that will allow users to quickly and easily identify permitted uses for our electronic holdings in our library
  • Dedicated staff in the Bookstore, eMAP, and CCDE to handle copyright clearance for course material
  • The Copyright Advisory Committee, which is tasked with developing appropriate policies and procedures
  • Establishment of a Copyright Office to enhance our ability to assist  faculty, staff, and students identify and locate available resources, as well as answer any questions they may have

Over the past year faculty, staff, and students at the U of S have worked diligently to be copyright compliant without an overarching copyright agreement. We appreciate effort thus far, as well as the input and support for this decision.  We are committed to continuing to provide the advice, support, and guidance needed as we all become accustomed to operating in a new copyright environment. 

Sessions have been arranged throughout July where you can learn more about getting course material prepared for fall term. Please see our website (www.usask.ca/copyright) for exact dates and times.

For more information about copyright, please visit our website (www.usask.ca/copyright) or contact the Copyright Coordinator at copyright.coordinator@usask.ca


Brett Fairbairn, Provost and Vice-President Academic

Greg Fowler, Acting Vice-President, Finance and Resources

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