The value of Access Copyright's Repertoire

Monday, June 2, 2014

What’s the value of Access Copyright’s Repertoire? Well, for starters, “Repertoire” is a term we use to describe all publications covered for copying under a licence from Access Copyright. So what does that include?  

In practical terms the Repertoire covers most works published in Canada, and 28 other countries, over the past 2 or 3 generations. In less practical terms it’s a literal, and literary, mountain of published content.  

The breadth of the Repertoire measures well against any sort of independent yardstick:

  • Globe and Mail top 50 non-fiction bestsellers (2012)
    47 of 50 titles covered
  • top 100 ranked textbooks (Spring 2012)
    98 of 100 titles covered
  • Top 30 periodicals in Canada by circulation (2012 data)
    all 30 titles covered
  • The 36 books awarded Canada Prizes in the Humanities & Social Sciences (between 2003 and 2012)
    34 of 36 titles covered

No matter what it is, what matters to you is likely covered.  

Access Copyright represents tens of thousands of creators and publishers in Canada and many more through our reciprocal agreements with sister collectives in other countries. Together it all adds up to a framework with the ability to identify and distribute royalties on over 100-million titles. 

Even so, the exact size of the Repertoire is nearly impossible to capture. That’s because it’s built on relationships with the people who create and publish—relationships defined by blanket agreements covering past years’ publications in the same way as those published today, tomorrow or years from now.    

As new titles are published and old ones slide into public domain the full extent of the Repertoire will always be a moving target. A moving target, nevertheless, that’s almost immeasurably large on a personal scale, covering countless lifetimes of published content. So how does Access Copyright pin a value on all of that?  

The real value of the Repertoire is defined by those who share and receive the content. It lies in the content that’s actually used—the content that matters to Canadian educators, students and professionals. The value lies in the gathering, repurposing and sharing of those materials; and in the built-in rewards for original content providers.

This content, the material that really matters to Canadians, is what Access Copyright knows best. Between 2005 and 2010 we handled usage data related to an average of over 45,000 titles per year. Among the millions of Repertoire titles in our database we have unique records for each of the more than 280,000 works on which usage has triggered payment since 2002.

Most of these uses were logged or surveyed in education or the private sector and the related payments have supported the ongoing supply of new content from the sources Canadians value most. 

Institutions seeking to assess the value of the Repertoire for themselves need only survey their internal content usage and match it against existing content licensing and permissions. With only limited exceptions, the gap between those two things represents the value of the Repertoire to your institution.   

Access Copyright is pleased to support the development of new usage surveys and copyright solutions based on survey findings. We believe that copyright should work for everyone, and that a factual understanding of usage is a prerequisite of balanced copyright policy. 

Learn more about the value of our Repertoire