We writers know the power of words to influence others. I can attest to that working on a political level for fifteen years in the communications field in provincial government. I saw how various letter writing campaigns influenced government ministers to consider, reconsider or revise policy decisions.
We also know that the issue of copyright is so important for all writers and artists, and a simple letter could make all the difference.
Below, we share with you the latest update from Access Copyright, sent out to all Access Copyright members on August 14, about the parliamentary review of the Copyright Act, and how you can help. Please read, share and submit your story to the members of the review committee. It matters for all writers and visual artists…including you!
From the Access Copyright email:
Access Copyright Makes its Submission for the Copyright Act Review
Last month, Access Copyright made its official submission to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology for the Copyright Act review.
The submission details how creators and publishers have been severely impacted by the actions of the education sector following the passage of the Copyright Modernization Act in 2012 which included the addition of “education” as an allowable purpose under fair dealing.
Our submission makes two key recommendations to parliament.
1. Amend the fair dealing exception to distinguish between individual and institutional copying. We recommend amending the Copyright Act so that fair dealing for the purposes of research, private study and education would not apply to educational institutions in situations where works are “commercially available” by either a rightsholder or collective within a reasonable time and for a reasonable price and may be located with reasonable effort. This would help facilitate teachable moments without adverse consequences to rightsholders, while also bringing Canada in line with models in other countries such as the U.K. and Australia.
2. Take immediate action to harmonize the statutory damages available to collectives as part of the current efforts to reform the Copyright Board of Canada. Doing so will deter infringement, encourage settlement and, in line with one of the key goals of the reform to the Board, “will ensure creators to get paid properly and on line.”
How to get involved in the Copyright Act review
Here are two actions you can quickly take to ensure the momentum that creators and publishers have built in having their concerns heard by policy makers will continue.
Make a submission to the Industry Committee: The Committee welcomes submissions from individuals and businesses. A one-page letter outlining how your income, career or business has been impacted will help reinforce how Canadian creators and publishers have been affected by the 2012 changes to the Act.
Take Action via I Value Canadian Stories: If you haven’t already, please visit IValueCanadianStories.ca to send your letter to the Committee members conducting the Copyright Act review. You can also engage your friends and social-media followers to take part as well.
Every action you take makes a difference.
- August 31 – The deadline for publisher affiliate to submit a claim for this year’s publisher repertoire payment.
- November 1 – The deadline for event-grant applications for the Access Copyright Foundation. The application package will be available soon on the Foundation website.
- November – Payback payments will be distributed to creator affiliates.
- December – Publisher Repertoire payments will be distributed to publisher affiliates who submitted a claim by August 31.