Brock Students’ Union frustrated with Access Copyright Agreement.


Brock Students’ Union frustrated with new Access Copyright Agreement.

Several months ago, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) developed a new model licence with Access Copyright, a not-for-profit conglomerate of publishers and authors. The model licence outlines the use of copyrighted works maintained and owned by the organization, which includes a significant portion of materials in Brock’s Library. Brock University is a member of the AUCC, along with 95 other Universities and Colleges across Canada.

The new agreement was created to replace the expired member agreement from 2010. In the interim, a temporary tariff had continued for all member institutions protecting them from copyright infringement of Access Copyright’s materials. Of the 95 institutions in AUCC, 16 institutions have decided not to sign the new agreement and venture alone in the area of copyright protections. Brock University is however, not one of the 16, and has recently signed the new Access Copyright licensing agreement.

Steve Nicholls, Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) Vice-President, University Affairs explains the workings and cost of the new agreement. “The new fee increases from $3.38 per student, plus an additional 10 cents per photocopied page, to $26 per student enrolled in five (5) credits. This new agreement absorbs the 10 cent per page micro-fee and offers a couple different features in terms of digital materials.”

The new agreement will increase the cost of education at campuses such as Brock and student representatives are frustrated. “When boiled down, we have found nothing in the new agreement that justifies a 700% increase in cost, especially when the educational protections offered under Bill C-11 are considered. This troubling change in price is confusing, as the differences between the old and new agreement are negligible.”

BUSU’s frustrations with the new agreement are shared by numerous organizations, institutions and students unions across the country, as many feel that the significant increase in the fee delivers no additional benefits to students.

While frustrated with the new agreement and its impact on students, Nicholls recognizes that Brock University could have faced serious future legal issues if they had not signed. “BUSU is disappointed with the recent signing and inclusion of Brock University in the new agreement; however, we understand the challenges that face post-secondary institutions of similar size, and their reasoning on this issue. Nevertheless, BUSU urges the administration to focus on investing in its infrastructure and partnerships over the next three years so that Brock need not sign again when the agreement expires in 2015.”


For more information on the Access Copyright agreement please contact Steve Nicholls, BUSU Vice-President, University Affairs, [email protected]

For media related inquiries please contact Chris Green, BUSU Manager, Marketing & Communications, [email protected]

For BUSU related inquiries please visit, or follow @BrockBUSU on Twitter.

Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) is a not-for-profit organization representing over 18,000 students at Brock University since 1970.