s.Moving to real solutions to textbook cash-saving, eradicating the legal hassle

An article by Adam Gonshor for Metro Toronto that discusses Access Copyright received the following letter to the editor.

Access Copyright has been lobbying hard to oppose the best solution to the problem of textbook pricing and potentially illegal copying of textbooks. Access Copyright is an administrative body for a largely outdated business model, namely the collecting of royalties for any copying of literary works. While this model made sense in the past when copying was more expensive, with photocopiers and the Internet there are far better solutions.

There is a movement in many circles, including academia, towards something called "Open Access". With this model you resource the development of the material once, often in collaboration with many institutions, and then allow all the potential audiences to freely copy the material without additional per-copy fees. This model is being adopted by a growing number of journals, and textbooks are a very logical area to move into.

The Open Access movement has connections to the Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) movement, with a majority of the core software that makes the Internet possible being developed this way.


Access Copyright, seeing the threats to their antiquated way of doing business, has been very busy in lobbying the government to make modern alternatives either impossible or impractical. They are attacking the Internet where many authors are intending their materials to be redistributed royalty-free, with Access Copyright trying to claim the right to collect royalties from any use of material on the Internet.

If this story is of interest, please let us know.

Russell McOrmond
Webmaster for digital-copyright.ca

Example articles:

Excess Copyright? Towards a full spectrum of business models for published works by Russell McOrmond

Jack Granatstein – On Political Donations, Access Copyright & Bill C-60 by Howard Knopf

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