Access Copyright proposal covers digital use in K-12 schools

Via Access Copyright

Sheet Music, Workbooks and Digital Uses to be Covered in Proposed New K-12 Tariff

Access Copyright, The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, has filed a new tariff proposal for Canadian elementary and secondary schools that has been broadened to facilitate legal access to previously unlicensed uses.

“This proposal is both reasonable and fair,” said Maureen Cavan, Executive Director at Access Copyright.

“It’s reasonable because there is only a small increase in the per student rate from the previously certified tariff of $5.16 (effective 2005) to $5.70 (effective 2013) for works that were covered by the 2005-2009 tariff. This includes published materials like textbooks, newspapers and magazines.”

“And it’s fair because it covers reproduction of works that weren’t supposed to be copied, but were being copied anyway, like sheet music, song books and activity books. The 2006 school survey underscored the fact that significant volumes of these materials were routinely being copied without licences. The proposal ensures compensation for rights holders, and mitigates risks for educators and the school systems they work for by extending coverage to previously unlicensed uses.”

“Rights holders are adapting to the simple market reality that if the technology to reproduce materials is there, it will be used,” Ms. Cavan said. “So we are making it easier for educators to have legal access to these materials.”

Access Copyright recognizes that the tariff process can be long and costly for all concerned. Ms. Cavan said the agency would welcome the opportunity to work more collaboratively with all parties to reach agreement on the terms.

“We say this with full transparency in the knowledge that our position is based on solid data from the 2006 survey of photocopying activity in schools,” she said.

In addition to the $5.70 per student rate for published works covered by the previously certified tariff, the tariff filing to the Copyright Board proposes a rate of $1.35 for the copying of musical works, and $2.45 for the copying of material intended for one-time use such as workbooks, assignment sheets and activity books.

“Educators will appreciate the clarity of knowing that the works they are copying for classroom use is licensed, whether it’s a musical score, a printed text, or material in digital format,” Ms. Cavan said.

Every year, Canadian schools make hundreds of millions of photocopies of materials that are protected by copyright. The existing tariff is a great convenience because it permits educators to legally copy what they need when they need it without having to personally obtain permission. This ensures immediate access to a vast and constantly expanding global repertoire of materials. The current tariff, covering K-12 schools across Canada with the exception of Quebec, expires at the end of 2012.

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