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Memorial changing the use of copyrighted materials

Recent changes made by the Canadian Copyright Board (CCB) may alter the way teachers, researchers, students or staff at Memorial University use copyrighted materials.

During the past several months, Memorial has begun purchasing copying licences directly from publishers when existing licences (ie. library e-resources) do not cover intended use. For many years, Memorial has had a licence for Access Copyright (AC) that covered paper-to-paper copying of certain materials. With the decline in copying covered under the traditional licence due to the evolution toward digital materials, the licence gradually lost value.

However, AC requested the CCB substitute a tariff for the traditional licence. The proposed tariff would translate to a fee increase from $3.38 per student per year to $45 per student per year. The tariff would also allow AC access to all records regarding copyrighted materials in order to conduct surveillance of copying activities at all Canadian universities.

Memorial -- along with more than 30 other Canadian universities, including Dalhousie University, Queen's University, University of British Columbia and York University – has deemed these actions objectionable.

Meantime, the Copyright Board granted an interim tariff which has been in place since early 2011. Canadian universities were given the option to operate outside of this tariff and risk potential litigation if copyright infringement was found to be occurring. After a year of observation, working with legal counsel and working with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), Memorial decided to operate outside of the tariff effective Aug. 31, 2011.

Memorial's copyright webpage at has been updated to reflect these developments. You can see the changes at www.mun.ca/copyright/copyright_clearance.php. The webpage presents the guidelines needed to use copyrighted materials in a way that is consistent with Memorial's new copyright regime. It is advised that all faculty, staff and students read this webpage carefully in order to avoid infringing activities. It is crucial that everyone is compliant with the changes as failure to do so may result in serious consequences for the university and those involved.

This transition period is being overseen by a copyright committee established by the Office of the Vice-President (Academic) and comprised of representatives from the Offices of the Vice-Presidents Academic and Administration and Finance, the Queen Elizabeth II Library, the Copyright Office, DELTS, Faculty Relations, General Counsel and members of both the Grenfell and Marine Institute campuses.

For further questions, please contact Memorial's Copyright Office in the Education building, room ED-3006 or email nsimmons@mun.ca.

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