Announcements: Copibec Lawsuit against Laval University: Request to QUFA Members to Opt Out

Dear QUFA Members,

Copibec is suing Université Laval in our names.  We have the right to say no.

Much like Access Copyright, Copibec licenses and collects copyright fees for reproduction of works.  And in much the same way that Access Copyright has taken York University to court over fair dealing policies, Copibec is now suing Laval.  However, Copibec is doing it as a class action in the name of authors from all of Canada and other countries as well.  That means that if you have authored an article, book, or other work, Copibec is suing on your behalf.  And you have the right to decide if you’re behind this suit.

Laval does not pay a per-student copyright tariff to reproduce works. Instead, like many Canadian universities including Queen’s, Laval pays millions of dollars for licenses to electronic journals and databases, licenses individual works, and relies on the right of fair dealing.  In fact, in 2014-15 alone, Laval paid $12.6 million dollars to buy and subscribe to resources through its library.

Now Copibec is suing Laval in our name, as authors, claiming that “Université Laval and its employees, as part of their teaching and research activities, infringed the patrimonial and moral rights recognized under the Copyright Act” and seeks financial compensation from Laval in excess of $2.9 million dollars (https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.copibec.ca%2Fmedias%2Ffiles%2FAction_collective%2FNOTICE-complete.pdf&data=02%7C01%7Cep43%40QUEENSU.CA%7Cdf95b671f5fe4e5535bf08d511a7c335%7Cd61ecb3b38b142d582c4efb2838b925c%7C1%7C1%7C636434334582740503&sdata=jsjnhKv12ZrRbnbhyQZYwtl9d%2BaH5k4%2BSjH%2Bc5yPhzg%3D&reserved=0).

Unless you opt out, you are part of this class action against Laval.

We invite you to join members of the Canadian academic community saying they do not want to be part of a suit against Laval that, as Olivier Charbonneau of Concordia puts it, “constitutes a severe breach of academic freedom and intellectual freedom” (https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.culturelibre.ca%2F2017%2F09%2F22%2Fwhy-im-withdrawing-from-copibecs-class-action-suit-against-universite-laval-traduction%2F&data=02%7C01%7Cep43%40QUEENSU.CA%7Cdf95b671f5fe4e5535bf08d511a7c335%7Cd61ecb3b38b142d582c4efb2838b925c%7C1%7C0%7C636434334582740503&sdata=u%2FA%2FERKBd4tld9JA%2FJixx%2BU0XiuGdTAsFJkVgxOAFUo%3D&reserved=0).

To opt out, please fill out the attached form and scan and send to QUFA by return email (qufa@queensu.ca) by 12pm on Monday, October 16. QUFA will arrange to have it delivered as required by the Class Action (see below).

Thank you,

Leslie Jermyn     
Executive Director on behalf of the QUFA Executive Committee

PS: If you wish to send in your own forms, they must be postmarked by Oct 16 and sent to:

  1. a) the Clerk of the Superior Court for the district of Québec:

Superior Court Registry, Class action File 200-06-000179-146 Palais de justice de Québec, 300, boulevard Jean-Lesage, Québec, Quebec, Canada, G1K 8K6

  1. b) with copy, by e-mail to actioncollective@copibec.ca, or by mail to:

Copibec
Class Action
606, Cathcart Street, office 810
Montreal, Quebec H3B 1K9