B&M wins college copyright victory

Baker & McKenzie has secured an important Copyright Tribunal victory for Universities UK, the representative body for university and college heads.

The Copyright Tribunal&#39s decision frees universities from a burdensome photocopying licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), which attempted to levy an extra fee of £1m for the right to reproduce artistic works. The CLA also sought to include course packs under a separate scheme, costing a further £1m.

The tribunal ruled that both artistic works and course pack copying should be included in the blanket licence, as the previous arrangements were “complex, costly to administer, inefficient and burdensome”. Universities will now pay the CLA a single charge of £4 for each full-time student for the right to make photocopies.

The Baker & McKenzie team was led by Michael Hart, an intellectual property and information technology partner. He said: “The tribunal&#39s judgment is fair to universities, authors and publishers alike. It will save UK universities vast sums of money, not only in relation to the licence fee, but in liberating them from unnecessary bureaucracy.”

The CLA welcomed the increase in royalty fees, but said that the tribunal&#39s decision to include course packs in the blanket licence could have a negative impact on academic publishing.