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Michael Geist provides solid reasons why universities and colleges should avoid this agreement.

Copyright has emerged as a hot issue on Canadian university campuses in recent weeks as schools consider whether to sign the Access Copyright model licence negotiated with the AUCC.  Several schools, including UBC, Athabasca, Windsor, and Winnipeg have already indicated that they will not sign the licence, while others (such as Queen's, Victoria and Calgary) have reluctantly signed the letter of intent. Many groups have voiced their strong objection to the licence, including the CAUT, APLA, BCLA, MLA, CFS, and CASA. These groups represent faculty, students, and librarians - the three groups within education most affected by the model licence.

Last week, I was asked by the Association of Professors Ottawa, the University of Ottawa faculty union, for my views. I opened my remarks by emphasizing a key misconception often fueled by Access Copyright and its supporters. The question being faced by the universities is not whether to pay for copyright works. Universities, faculty and students currently spend millions of dollars every year on copyright materials and will continue to do so. The only question is whether - in addition to existing expenditures on books, licences, and in support of open access - they should also pay the $26 per student fee to Access Copyright. 

I believe the answer is no for the following six key reasons:

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Dear Library Computer Lab User #1

I realize it is distracting/annoying to have a crying baby in the computer lab.  Especially when it is otherwise so quiet here this week during interterm.  However:

1) The computer lab is NOT a silent study area.  As a matter of fact, when it is full of students it is much noisier, and I've seen you using the facility during these much busier times without incident.

2) Based on point 1, I have no basis on which to ask the young single mother to leave, since she is a student as well (a very harried one, at that).  Trust me, if I did, I would not have waited the 15 minutes it took you to come and speak to me, to ask her to successfully shush her child or leave.

3) When I've told you there is nothing I can do, you don't need to ask the person working with me the same thing, because you'll get the same answer.

4) When you've gotten the same answer from my work-mate, and you've left the computer lab in a huff, you aren't going to get anywhere by demanding to speak to the library manager.  Really.

Love Tolerantly yours,

Ms. Atoz

Dear Library Computer Lab User #2

Yes, as a student you do have the right to use the computer lab.  And yes, you may bring your kid with you.  I know your face and I know how hard you work; I have nothing but respect for someone who is pushing themself through a very demanding program AND raising a toddler.  I can only presume that you could not get a babysitter and had to attempt to get some work done today regardless.  However, I would respectfully suggest that the next time you need to use a school computer and bring your very vocal son with you, you may want to use one of the computer labs that are not attached to the library.  While we are not a silent study zone, we are still part of the library (i.e. a dedicated study area).  The other students do expect quiet, if not silence.


Ms. Atoz