IFRRO had reported about recent changes in Canada that have led a number of universities to cancel or not renew the licence that they had signed with Access Copyright, the Canadian RRO. While many institutions have stated that this move will reduce costs for students, there are indications that coursepack costs are in fact increasing for students at some institutions.
The rising price of course packs has already been witnessed across the country, and news coming from Ryerson University, that has around 40,000 students enrolled and is located in Toronto, is yet another proof of the detrimental and immediate effect of the decision not to renew the licence. In an article from 2 February 2016 in the Eyeopener, the independent student newspaper of Ryerson University, it is reported that the price of course readers has dramatically risen since the licence signed with Access Copyright expired at the end of 2015 without being renewed. Under the previous scheme, a fee of $13 per semester and per student was charged as part of the tuitions fees to enable students to copy and use content up to a certain limit, the money collected being then distributed by Access Copyright to authors and publishers whose works are being copied. Since the licence expired, prices of course packs have gone up:
“Interim president Mohamed Lachemi said there are obvious consequences that accompany students not having to pay the fee to Access Copyright.
During the first lecture of the semester, Ryerson political science professor Abbas Gnamo told his students that the reader would cost them $25 — the same price as last semester. When he found out the reader was being sold for $104.95 (a 320 per cent price increase) he sent a memo to his class, writing that he didn’t imagine the price could rise so drastically.
Gnamo said he checked with the bookstore’s manager and was told because Ryerson’s agreement with Access Copyright ended, the price of all readers had risen to cover the cost of production. The bookstore has since reduced the price on Gnamo’s reader by 10 per cent.”
Find the article in the Eyeopener here.