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Trent University Declines to Sign Access Copyright Agreement - University in Alignment with Internal Stakeholders

Existing copyright rules to be respected

From the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic

After much feedback, debate and discourse with various internal student groups and faculty, Trent University has decided not to sign a licence agreement with Access Copyright (AC) based on the model AC recently negotiated with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

“It is important to stress that the Trent community is aligned on the issue of respecting and upholding copyright interests,” said Dr. Gary Boire, Provost and Vice-President Academic.  “With this decision, it is imperative that all students, faculty and staff recognize that existing copyright legislation and guidelines must be adhered to.”

The Provost noted that he received valuable insights from multiple groups expressing concerns about the proposed agreement, including input from Trent University Faculty Association (TUFA), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Trent Central Student Association (TCSA), Trent Oshawa Student Association (TOSA) and the Graduate Students' Association (GSA) – all of which opposed Trent signing the Access Copyright agreement.

Access Copyright, the copyright collective that collects copyright fees from Canadian universities and colleges on behalf of a number of publishers, offered certain one-time discount incentives to universities to sign a licence based on the model. In order to maximize such discount incentives, universities had to determine by June 30, 2012 whether or not they would sign.

The University believes it is choosing the option which best serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the Trent academic community.

Through additional consultation and collaboration, the University will further refine its policies, practices and services to ensure that members of the Trent community will enjoy full access to the teaching, learning and research resources they need, in full compliance with current law.

For example, the use of My Learning System, with its capability to link to the tens of thousands of journals, ebooks and other digital research sources for which Trent has existing licence agreements, will be actively promoted as the primary means of delivering learning material to students.

Additional communications will follow on how students, faculty and staff will need to operate within the guidelines of existing copyright legislation. 

For additional information about Trent’s plans members of the Trent community can contact Kenneth Field, Library Copyright Officer (ext. 5065), or Robert Clarke, University Librarian (ext. 7957).

Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

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