Copyright Board of Canada certifies tariffs for post-secondary institutions

IFRRO welcomes the long awaited decision by the Copyright Board of Canada (see here) concerning copying by post-secondary institutions in Canada (excluding Québec). In its decision, the Board certified two tariffs, each for the periods of 2011-2014, and 2015-2017, and based the rates on the licenses that Access Copyright had offered during the periods in question which, as the Board notes, were “reflective of a functioning market and market price”.

The decision effectively outlines the terms and conditions under which post-secondary institutions can make use of works in Access Copyright’s repertoire, and provides for a reasonable framework that enables post-secondary institutions to copy and share works in a manner that ensures fair compensation to writers, visual artists and publishers.

The tariffs (see here) have been set at $24.80/student for universities and $9.54/student for other institutions for the 2011-2014 period, and at $14.31/student for universities and $5.50/student for other institutions for the period of 2015-2017. As clarified in the fact sheet (see here), the tariffs are to apply retroactively and the tariff for the period of 2015-2017 shall remain in effect until a new tariff is certified.

In reacting to the decision, the President & CEO of Access Copyright, Roanie Levy, has declared that “the Copyright Board decision serves as the foundation for renewal of the symbiotic relationship that exists between creators and education after almost a decade of uncertainty. Access Copyright looks forward to working with our partners in education to ensure that students continue to have easy and affordable access to content” (see Access Copyright’s full statement here).

In terms of next steps, the appeal brought by educational institutions against the decision reached by the Federal Court in the York University case is yet to be resolved, with a ruling expected to be delivered in early 2020.