Amendment to the Access Copyright Licensing Agreement at Western

An amendment to the recent Access Copyright licensing agreement sheds some light on the fee recalculation and rebate issued to Western students. Please find it here: Addendum to License Agreement letter (Jan 30)

We have been having a hard time understanding why the university was issuing rebate cheques in the face of such a large royalty increase. Initially, we explored the idea that the university may have raised the fee in anticipation of the forthcoming licensing agreement, then issued rebate cheques when the fee turned out to be lower than expected. However, it was never clear if this was actually the case.

This amendment explains that the royalties section, which increases the FTE fee to $27.50, shall be deleted from the licensing agreement and replaced with the text of this amendment in consideration of the universities willingness to settle with Access Copyright.

The amendment states that the royalty for the period from January 2011 to April 2011, and thru to April 30 2012, shall be calculated at the much lower rate of the previous agreement rather than $27.50. The previous licensing agreement rate was $3.38 per FTE and 10 cents per page for course packs. This seems to indicate why rebates were issued by the university.

While the licensing agreement and this amendment are publicly available from the Copyright Board, the university choose not to release them at any point. Western’s failure to make this information available to the larger university community is troubling and seems to suggest some deceptiveness on the part of the university.

PLG London


4 thoughts on “Amendment to the Access Copyright Licensing Agreement at Western

  1. Hi Alan, you state that this UWO/AC amendment is publicly available from the Copyright Board – is this by request or are these documents on the Board’s website somewhere? Thanks, Alex.

    • Hi Alex,

      A professor from UWO helped me obtain this amendment. As I understand, these documents are publicly available from the Copyright Board by request only. I searched for the amendment on the Board’s website when I first wrote this post, but was not able to find it.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.


  2. Thanks for the information Alan. I’ve emailed a request to the Copyright Board in the hopes that they will provide me the same documents, barring that I believe I may place an Access to Information request. I find it perplexing that the AUCC recently sent out a letter to their members stating that a ‘better deal’ had been struck than those negotiated by the U of T and UWO as surely they must have been aware at the time that the UWO ‘confidential’ addendum to the agreement guarantees the most favourable rate (i.e. whatever rate AUCC arrives at becomes the UWO rate). Did the U of T agree to a similar addendum with AC? Perhaps the AUCC has colluded with these ‘rogue’ institutions to make it appear that their deal is better while concealing the more favourable terms of the U of T (?) and UWO agreements.

    • Hi Alex,
      I contacted a UWO professor to help me respond to your question. We are not sure whether this addendum was included with the U of T agreement as well. It’s challenging to determine exactly who was colluding with whom. It is clear that this process lacked transparency and any openness. UWO’s failure to make this document widely available is troubling and seems opposed to educational integrity. However, the addendum was appropriately filed with the Copyright Board and we did eventually get a hold of a copy of the addendum.

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