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Copyright update

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The debate about whether the University of Calgary will sign on to Access Copyright's new model plan is ongoing. On May 15, the U of C signed a letter of intent for the agreement set up by Access Copyright and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

The letter of intent signed by the U of C does not mean it has agreed to be a part of the model license, but it ensures that if the university agrees by the deadline on June 30, the U of C will receive the best deal, according to a May 15 U of C press release.

The model agreement allows academic institutions to reproduce print and digital works protected by copyright, and digital formats are being introduced for the first time. The U of C opted out of Access Copyright's previous agreement after the collective proposed a $45 interim tariff in September, 2011.

However, concerns have risen about the price of the agreement and whether users will have full access.

There is a forecasted yearly cost of $780,000-- up from about $300,000 in previous agreements-- for joining Access Copyright, in which a cost of $26 per full-time or equivalent student will be put into effect.

"The letter of intent does not bind the [U of C] to sign the formal license agreement by the deadline of June 30. However, it allows the university to take advantage of the best discount Access Copyright is prepared to offer," it said in the press release.

If the U of C signs the agreement, it will be effective until December 31, 2015.

The university will use the time prior to June 30 to decide whether joining Access Copyright will be beneficial for the U of C. The university will also observe the ruling from the Supreme Court and the House of Commons on Bill C-11, which involves changes to the copyright act, before a decision is made.

According to the press release, "the [U of C] will use the period between May 15 and June 30 to continue its due diligence in determining the best course of action regarding its institutional copyright arrangements. This process will include exploring the suggestions and opinions brought forward by the campus community."

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