Book cover of a Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide


Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide

CAUT Bulletin  

Laura Murray is an Associate Professor in the English Department of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and creator of the website


Samuel Trosow is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He is jointly appointed in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

Recent Decisions

Students and Teachers File Joint Objection to Proposed Access Copyright Tariff PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 August 2010

Yesterday marked the deadline for submission of objections to the proposed Access Copyright Tariff and a number of filings are anticipated.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) filed a joint objection, and they are being represented by the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC). In their statement issued this morning, CAUT and CFS stressed the overreaching nature of the proposed tariff in terms of its costs, its definitional scope and the extraordinary monitoring it proposes. 

The tariff issue has heated up considerably in the past few days as indicated by postings and discussion on Howard Knopf's and Michael Geist's blogs.


The Canadian Library Association (CLA) and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) have also posted their objections and I will continue to post links to objections as they become available. A full analysis of these and other objections will follow.

In their filing, CAUT and CFS raise some preliminary procedural issues:

  • The Board is being asked to bifurcate its consideration of the proposed tariff into two parts, a legal and evidentiary phase. This request seeks to simplify and expedite the hearing process because the proposed tariff raises many novel legal issues that will define its scope and reach. These issues can be dealt with before the evidentiary phase of the hearing begins, a procedure the Board utilized in its Tariff 22 decision on the SOCAN tariff.

  • The Board is also asked to extend the objections period for an additional 60 days because of its initial timing. While the Tariff was filed in March, it was not published in the Canada Gazette until June so the 60 day comment period fell over the summer which may have prejudiced some interested groups and individuals from participating.

The substantive concern with the tariff are based on:

  • overbroad definitions of “copy”, “course collection: and “repertoire work” (section 2);

  • restricted scope of what the license actually permits (section 3);

  • unreasonable restrictions on dealing with materials (sections 4 and 5);

  • burdensome reporting requirements  which undertake surveillance on activities and content outside of the scope of the tariff and which will impinge on privacy and academic freedom (section 6);

  • excessive proposed tariff rate of $45 per FTE at for Universities ($35/FTE for colleges) which is arbitrary and which fails to account for many noncompensable uses that should be outside the tariff such as fair dealing or direct licenses with publishers (section 7); and

  • unreasonable and invasive survey and audit requirements (sections 13 and 14); and

  • unreasonable compliance burdens which require that the institutions take steps to monitor and control the activities of students and  staff (section 15).

Each of these areas of concern will be discussed in further detail along with those of the other objectors...


UGC Report

I am an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario jointly appointed to the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS).


Before coming to Western, I was a law librarian at the Boalt Hall Law Library at the University of California at Berkeley and before that I was in private law practice in California. My doctoral work in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA focused on information policy issues.


I am currently a Network Investigator and Theme Leader with the GRAND NCE and also serve on the Librarians Committee of the  Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Scholarship @ Western

Western's Open Access Portal


Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda




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