Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Universities and copyright

Copyright Licensing NZ has announced it is taking the universities to the Copyright Tribunal because it has been unable to agree terms for a new set of licences which would allow them to include print-based copyright material in their course packs for 2013 and succeeding years. This means, in essence, that if the licences are in place writers and publishers will be paid for the use of their work. If the licences are not in place, we won’t.

Apart from the legal and ethical side, there is a lot of money at stake. Copyright Licensing receives some $5 million a year from licensing revenue, which comes from schools and other institutions besides the universities (some also comes from overseas as CLNZ has reciprocal deals with other licensing organisations around the world). That money is distributed to writers and publishers here so that we can  keep on writing and publishing. It can be a battle trying to explain the point of this to students and teachers, many of whom regard the library as like Pirate Bay for books.  

There is a press release from Copyright Licensing about the case here. Quote unquote:
Many universities have been increasing their fees by the maximum allowable annually. They then also charge students to receive each individual course pack. Students will generally require several course packs in one year and fees charged per pack are significant – up to $85 in some cases. At the same time the universities are paying just $20 per student per year to use the published works that those courses are based on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen!

Great blog, I've been enjoying reading through it. This post was particularly interesting- copyright licensing is a fascinating subject to me, and for some reason it doesn't surprise me that educational institutes are squeezing more money out of their students.
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Thanks for you time Stephen, and keep up the great blog,