The dispute is over CLL's proposal to increase the annual licence fees that universities pay for producing course books. Universities make these books using copies of chapters from textbooks and other similar materials. CLL is proposing that the licence fee increase from $20 to $26 per pupil. Universities NZ is objecting to the increase.

The action is interesting because it is before the Copyright Tribunal under the sections of the Copyright Act that govern licensing schemes. Cases before the tribunal - excluding recent file sharing cases - are rare. Also, CLL has extended the copyright licence for Universities NZ - which expired at the end of 2012 - until the parties resolve the dispute.

CLL takes the position that the licence fee has not changed since 2007. This is despite the universities increasing their fees every year. CLL also says that the fee increase is modest and that it reflects the increase in the volume of material that the universities are copying.

The Copyright Tribunal has not said when the case will be heard and may not hear the case for some time.