UofT, Western deal with AccessCopyright threatens #CdnPSE: costs students; surveils teachers; harms academic freedom

This tweet captures the core of the crisis now facing #CdnPSE in the aftermath of this treacherous turn in the ongoing drama between Canadian universities and the agency that collects blanket fees for photocopying (and hopes to monetize Internet linking, arguing that linking is “publication” – counter to the Supreme Court’s decision that linking is reference). Even if linking isn’t (yet) subjected to fees, these universities’ agreement to let AC monitor instructor email and require instructors to document all Internet linking (in email and in teaching generally) will mean a hugely inordinate amount of work for already overburdened sessionals and faculty.

As Howard Knopf puts it, “tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars per year are now at stake if these agreements become the new normal in Canada.”

I wonder if it’s a subject of discussion for today’s CFS National Day of Action? An extra $27 per year per student isn’t much relative to tuition, but it’s an 800% inflation over the existing fee – a gratuitous insult added to student debt injury.
Canada’s other universities must do everything they can not to let these “voluntary licenses” become any kind of “new normal.”

For more detailed expert analysis of the U of T and Western agreements, see:
Knopf, Howard. “U of T and Western capitulate to Access Copyright.” Excess Copyright 31 Jan. 2012.
Trosow, Sam. “Toronto and Western sign licensing agreement with Access Copyright.” SamTrosow.com 31 Jan. 2012

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