Skip to the content of the web site.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

  • Status quo on copyright continues
  • Seasonal advice: avoid or treat the flu
  • Top-10 biology paper; other notes today
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Status quo on copyright continues

A last-minute ruling by a federal government agency has made it possible for Waterloo to continue with the existing rules and prices for using copyrighted materials in teaching and administration. Just before Christmas, the agency made a ruling that extends the rates that Waterloo, and most other Canadian universities, have been paying to Access Copyright, a “collective” representing authors and publishers.

Bruce Mitchell, the university’s associate provost (resources), issued this statement on Friday explaining what’s happened: “For some years, and on behalf of all Canadian universities, except for those in Quebec, the Association of Universities anad Colleges of Canada has negotiated a licence with Access Copyright whenever the licence is scheduled for renewal. The last license ended on December 31, 2010.

“In the spring of 2010, Access Copyright proposed to the Copyright Board of Canada a tariff for 2011-13 which included some contentious changes, most notably a significant increase in royalty payments. In response to this proposal, AUCC and others filed objections with the Copyright Board, and the Copyright Board will be considering these objections this year.

“On December 23, 2010, the Copyright Board issued an interim statement indicating that, pending consideration of the above objections and the eventual certification of a final tariff for the 2011-13 period, royalties to be paid to Access Copyright will remain at previous levels of $3.38/ FTE/ year and 10¢ per page for course pack material.

“In light of the Copyright Board’s decision, and to minimize disruption, Waterloo has decided to continue with the Access Copyright licence for at least the immediate future.”

The alternative would have been to rely on "fair dealing" rules where possible — provisions in the copyright law that allow the free use of some material for "private study", for example — and negotiate with copyright owners item-by-item whenever someone in the university wanted to copy more than the fair-dealing clauses permit.

The $3.38 per “full-time equivalent” student per year adds up to about $84,000 annually for Waterloo, and comes from a $1.65-per-term fee that’s assessed to students. The university has also been sending Access Copyright about $400,000 a year for the use of copyrighted material in course packs, based on the 10-cents-a-page rate for that kind of use, which is built into the price of course packs. The fee arrangement will not be changing at present, Mitchell says.

He added: “The Waterloo copyright web pages maintained by the Library are now being revised to reflect these changes. The Waterloo Copyright FAQ has been temporarily removed so that it can be revised. The FAQ and other pertinent documents will be added back to the web-site as soon as possible.”

Back to top

Seasonal advice: avoid or treat the flu

“The 2010-2011 influenza season is beginning,” says Ruth Kropf of Waterloo’s health services, who sends some advice on how to prevent, recognize and treat the winter scourge.

[Health Services building]Protection starts with flu shots, she says: “Influenza immunization offers the best protection for persons over the age of six months. Even though the first cases of influenza have been detected, it is not too late to be immunized. Influenza vaccine continues to be available to the UW community through Health Services (right), Monday to Friday, 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. on a walk-in basis.”

The first symptoms of Influenza, says Kropf, include the sudden onset of fever (accompanied by chills) and muscle or joint aches. “A few hours later a dry cough, head ache, stuffy/runny nose and extreme fatigue or tiredness follow.

“Influenza produces much more significant symptoms than a routine cold does. A person is most likely to spread Influenza to others during the first 2-3 days of their illness but can be infectious for up to 5 days (7 days in young children). If you develop the signs and symptoms of the flu, in order to prevent sharing this illness with colleagues, please remain at home until your temperature is normal, and you are feeling improved.

“Most people who get influenza are ill for only a few days. However, the cough and fatigue can persist for several weeks, slowing the return to full everyday activities.”

If a person experiences the symptoms of any respiratory illness, she says, here’s what to do:

  • “Stay home until the symptoms begin to lessen: your temperature is normal and you are feeling improved.”
  • “Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing — and then immediately dispose of the used tissue into the garbage and wash hands with soap and warm running water.”
  • “If tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into the upper sleeve or elbow of clothing (the ‘Sleeve Sneeze’). The fabric helps to trap the droplets instead of having them sneezed or coughed into hands where they can be easily passed on to others or to surfaces.”
  • “Do not visit persons in hospitals or retirement/ long term care homes.”

Influenza spreads by respiratory droplets from infected persons, through coughing or sneezing. It is also spread through direct contact with surfaces contaminated by the influenza virus, such as toys, eating utensils and unwashed hands.

“Everyone is reminded,” the health service advice continues, “that the following simple steps can help to prevent common respiratory and gastro-intestinal (stomach) illnesses that are circulating at this time of year: Wash hands frequently with soap and warm running water — especially before eating, preparing food and after blowing noses or using the washroom.

“Keep an alcohol-based hand rub/sanitizer (either gel or wipes) handy at work, home and in your vehicle to clean hands on a regular basis.”

Back to top

Top-10 biology paper; other notes today

[Lolle]Biology professor Susan Lolle (left) was riding at the head of the “All-Time Top 10” list the other day on the biomedical science web site Faculty of 1000. The ranking reflects continuing interest in research by Lolle that was published in 2005 in the prominent journal Nature. She reported finding that a mutant Arabidopsis plant could “fix itself” back to the wild-type and take on the genetics of its grandparents, contradicting the accepted laws of Mendelian inheritance. The article was met with controversy, as some researchers blamed outcrossing (contamination by pollen from nearby plants) for influencing the results. Faculty of 1000 is a site for researchers and clinicians that identifies the most significant articles from biomedical research publications and provides ratings and commentary. A peer-nominated 'Faculty' of scientists and clinicians rate the articles they read and explain their importance. The All-Time Top 10 rankings are generated every day using articles added to F1000 since its launch.

Applications open this morning for upper-year students interested in living in campus residences this fall. To explain the possibilities, residence staff will be holding a series of information sessions over the next week, most of them starting at 10 p.m., which I guess is a peak hour in the Villages. Tonight's sessions are in the Village I great hall (aimed at current residents of the V1 east quad and St. Jerome's) and the Beck Hall community centre in UW Place (aimed at residents of Eby Hall). "The first round of offers will be sent by email on Thursday, January 20," says the housing web site, "and will continue to go out weekly until all rooms have been taken. Rooms are offered on a random-lottery allocation system."

[W]Warrior sports

Weekly report, January 10

Registration is under way (until Friday at 4:30) for instructional Campus Recreation programs, from swimming to skiing. Information on available courses is on the athletics website, and registration is at the athletics office in the Physical Activities Complex, 8:30 to 4:30. Jenny Mackay of campus rec says the shoe tag system will be in place again this term for fitness classes. “Tags cost $50 (less than the cost of two classes) and will grant access to all fitness classes, including cycle. For those participants interested in both fitness and wellness classes, Campus Recreation will offer the ultimate shoe tag for only $130.” There’s also a special promotion for dance classes — “register for any dance class with a friend and each receive $10 off, register for any two dance classes and receive the second class for half price.” New programming in campus rec this term includes Muay Thai, Broadway Jazz, Ballet Workout, Techno Dance, Yoga Dance and Advanced Dance.

The university’s recently created Games Institute will hold what it’s calling a “collision event” today at the Communitech Hub in downtown Kitchener, “to explore potential collaborations with businesses and institutions in Waterloo Region and the London/ Toronto corridor, and to develop longer-term collaborative research initiatives”. Participants are expected to include faculty members Neil Randall (English), Chrysanne DiMarco (computer science), Colin Ellard (psychology), Mark Hancock (management sciences) and Kevin Harrigan (drama and speech communication), as well as graduate students demoing research on table-to-board-game conversions from Stacey Scott’s lab in systems design engineering. Says an announcement distributed through Communitech: “There may also be game-related research demos (health communication, gambling addiction research, and virtual reality research respectively). In addition to long-term expressions of interest in the research, community, and educational activities of The Games Institute, we are specifically seeking corporate and institutional support for our upcoming proposal  to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a Partnership Grant. We are requesting funds for a research network of 10-12 research groups across Canada and in the U.S., for the purpose of conducting research in a large study of immersion, presence, and addiction in multiple gaming modes across multiple technologies.”


Back to top


A million dollars: that's how much money has come to Waterloo thanks to phone calls placed by Jasmine Choi. A fourth-year general arts student, she’s among the "student development associates" who reach alumni and friends of the university from the call centre in South Campus Hall. Choi, a four-year veteran of the call centre, becomes the sixth student caller to reach the million-dollar level. She also designed 2010 holiday greeting cards that were used by the development and alumni affairs office as well as co-op and career services. “It's an interesting perspective,” she says, “to have the campus evolve with you and to be able to see the work you do have a tangible impact on the growth of your place of learning."

Link of the day

John A. Macdonald

When and where

Work reports due for most returning co-op students, Tuesday.

Frost Week welcome-back events sponsored by Federation of Students: comedy at Bombshelter pub, today 8:30 p.m.; “Sex with Sue Johanson” Wednesday 12:00, SLC; Frostfest at SLC and Grad House, Wednesday 8 p.m.; free Justin Nozuka concert Thursday at Federation Hall, doors open 8 p.m.

‘BlackBerry 101’ “trainer-to-go” program at Waterloo Stratford Campus, 12:00 noon. Details.

Senate undergraduate council 12:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Arts faculty council 3:30, Theatre of the Arts.

Resumé writing and critiquing workshop sponsored by Muslim Students Association, 6:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room. Details.

Application deadline for Ontario secondary school students to apply for September admission, January 12 (other deadlines pertain to some programs). Details.

Career workshop: “Networking 101” first part Wednesday 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208 (second part January 26). Details.

Centre for International Governance Innovation panel discussion: “WikiLeaks, Security, Diplomacy and Global Gossip” including Waterloo history professor Andrew Hunt, Wednesday 7 p.m., 57 Erb Street West. Webcast.

Water Institute seminar: Alex Campbell, Lifewater Canada, “Water for the Rural Poor: A Grassroots Approach” Thursday 11:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Art gallery reception for the opening of exhibitions by Balint Zsako and Susy Oliveira, Thursday 5 to 8 p.m., East Campus Hall.

Warriors Band practice Thursday 5:30, Physical Activities Complex room 2012, all welcome.

Science alumni and friends Ski Day at Osler Bluff near Collingwood, Friday. Details.

Federation of Students nominations for 2011-12 executive positions and students’ council close Friday; voting February 8-10. Details.

Waterloo International Spouses “walk and talk evening” in uptown Waterloo, Friday: meet at the bell sculpture in the public square 7 p.m., short walk, move to  Symposium Café. Confirmation necessary by Thursday (e-mail intlspouses@

Library books borrowed on term loan before mid-December are due January 15; return or renew online.

Co-op job postings for spring work term begin on JobMine Saturday 7:00 a.m.

Open class enrolment for winter term ends January 17.

Grade 10 family night for parents and university-bound students, information about application process, finances and choices, January 20, 6:30, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Student health and dental plan change-of-coverage period for the winter term ends January 21. Details.

Chinese Students and Scholars Association Spring Festival Gala, January 21, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Fall term grades become official January 24.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin