P&CC ‘misunderstood’ copyright laws

Licensing misinterpretation means increase in cost of reserve readings

Students have been paying 10 cents more per page when photocopying reserved readings at the P&CC since Sept. 26.
Students have been paying 10 cents more per page when photocopying reserved readings at the P&CC since Sept. 26.
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Due to a copyright liscensing issue, reserve readings at the P&CC will cost 17 cents per page. Before the price increase, students using a self-serve photocopier paid seven cents per page for reserve readings.
Due to a copyright liscensing issue, reserve readings at the P&CC will cost 17 cents per page. Before the price increase, students using a self-serve photocopier paid seven cents per page for reserve readings.
Photo: 

As of Sept. 26, students have to pay more than double what they used to for reserve readings at the Publishing and Copy Centre (P&CC).

P&CC head manager Rob Macnamara said reserve readings will cost 10 cents more per page under copyright due to a licensing issue. Before the price increase, students using a self-serve photocopier paid seven cents per page for reserve readings.

For example, before the copyright fees came into effect, photocopying reserve readings for ENGL 380 cost $15. Now the same material will cost $31, using a self-serve photocopier.

Reserve readings are not to be confused with course packages, Macnamara said.

“Courseware is an umbrella term,” he said. “It includes reserve readings and course packages. Nothing is going on with course packages.” Approximately 65 per cent of courses use reserve readings while the other 35 per cent use course packages, he said.

Course packages are pre-made at the P&CC while reserve readings are photocopied by students. Course packages will remain unaffected because copyright fees are already included in their cost.

“For course packages, profs give us all the copyright information. We pay the appropriate fees.”

Access Copyright recently expressed concern over the P&CC’s license, Macnamara said.

Access Copyright is the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency and provides the P&CC with a license to legally access copyrighted materials.

“Access Copyright oversees licenses for all companies in Canada,” he said. “They’re concerned that reserve readings are not in compliance with the license. Because we are a commercial store, [Access Copyright] views it as an issue.”

Macnamara said the interpretation of the license is what has caused the confusion.

“It’s about the interpretation of a license,” he said. “They interpreted it one way and we interpreted a different way. We are working together for a solution.”

Macnamara said the license does not refer specifically to reserve readings.

The P&CC are working with Access Copyright in the hopes that the issue will be resolved by next semester, he said.

“We’re still working on a solution for January. We’ve passed the September courseware rush.”

In the meantime, copyright fees will be included in prices for reserve readings, he said.

P&CC learned about the licensing issue three weeks ago when Access Copyright did a tour of their facilities.

“We got [Access Copyright] to come and look at our resources. While we’re working hard with Access Copyright to find a solution, we are in compliance with the license.”

Only certain courses which use reserve reading will be affected, Macnamara said.

“All the courses are different. Some courses use all copyright [in reserve readings], some only have some and others have none.”

Macnamara said reserve readings for all engineering courses and some biology courses will remain at their previous prices because they use little to no copyrighted readings.

Macnamara said compensation for the past use of copyrighted reserve readings hasn’t been discussed.

Marc Epprecht, associate professor in the department of history and the department of development studies, said last week he was informed via e-mail that courseware prices would increase, effective immediately.

“Basically, [P&CC] misunderstood copyright laws,” he said.

Epprecht said he thinks it is unfortunate students will have to pay more for course readers, estimating prices could be similar to those offered by the campus bookstore.

“It did shock me how much course readers cost students through the bookstore. I think it was something like $80.”

Epprecht used the P&CC for all of his courseware last year.

“The whole reason I went to P&CC was to help students get around really high costs.

With the price increases, Epprecht said he is not sure if he will continue to use the P&CC services.

“I’m not sure what my incentive would be to use P&CC.”

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