“The Supreme Court of Canada has decided the much-anticipated York University v. Access Copyright case, reaffirming—in an unanimous opinion—that “public access to and dissemination of artistic and intellectual works” are “a primary goal of copyright.” We join our friends at the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, CIPPIC, and all throughout Canada in applauding this important decision.
The Access Copyright case was centered around the question whether educational institutions in Canada were required to pay certain tariffs to Access Copyright. Access Copyright had argued that its tariffs were mandatory for educational institutions, and recently attempted to raise them from $3.38 to $45 per student, per year, along with a variety of other changes. In response, York University argued that its use was fair dealing and, as a result, that it was not required to pay a tariff or any other fee for such use. After a lengthy court battle, the Supreme Court of Canada has now ruled in favor of York, holding that the tariffs are not mandatory and emphasizing the importance of “protect[ing] users from the potentially unfair exertion of . . . market power” by big copyright interests like Access Copyright….”