New report critical of proposed tariff for post-secondary institutions

August 16, 2012

A new research report by Western Law professor Samuel Trosow is critical of the Proposed Tariff for post-secondary institutions now pending before the Copyright Board. It also critiques the related licenses including the AUCC Model License and individual agreements reached earlier this year between Access Copyright and Western University and the University of Toronto.

The report entitled Objections to the Proposed Access Copyright Post-Secondary Tariff and its Progeny Licenses: A Working Paper was co-authored with Western Law grads Scott Armstrong '09 and Brent Harasym '12. it is available for download on the Scholarship@Western website at

“The main problem with the tariff proposal,” according to Trosow, "is that it fails to respect the limitations of the Copyright Act in terms of what the Board can certify in tariff.

“In many respects, it asks for rights that go beyond those recognized in the Act (such as hyperlinking) and in other areas it seeks enforcement and audit powers that are well beyond what an administrative agency can include in a tariff."

Prof. Trosow holds a joint appointment in the Faculty of Law and in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies and is a Principal Network Investigator in the Graphics, Animation and New Media (GRAND) NCE, which supported this research. Armstrong earned his J.D. and LL.M. from Western Law and is practicing in Toronto. Harasym is currently completing his articles in the Niagara region.

Trosow adds, "The findings of this report are especially relevant here at Western. This academic year the University must decide whether or not to renew the license that includes many of the problematic terms in the proposed tariff."