The book industry speaks out on artificial intelligence and copyright

Montreal, January 15, 2024 – As part of the ongoing public consultation on generative artificial intelligence and copyright, book industry associations are reminding the Canadian government of the crucial importance of regulating the responsible development of artificial intelligence and ensuring effective copyright protection.

The book industry and the entire cultural community emphasize that transparency is essential to the development of a fair and safe AI ecosystem. Otherwise, generative AI models will continue to develop in an opaque, unfair, and undemocratic manner, without respecting the rights of creators. They also stress that copyright is an exclusive right of human creators. Existing copyright legislation protects human creativity and originality, by virtue of requiring the exercise of skill and judgment to obtain copyright in a work. This should not be changed to grant copyright protection to AI generated products or to allow copyrighted works to train models without permission.

Beyond AI: a law that needs reform

For the book industry, Canada needs to move quickly to close existing loopholes in its legislation so that it stops unfairly depriving rights holders of legitimate revenues from the use of works in certain educational institutions. This priority is supported by the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and by the international book federations, all of which are outraged that Canada is not meeting its international obligations to authors.

Following another report from the House of Commons also supporting this priority, the book industry is still waiting for the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, to honour their commitment to amend the Copyright Act so that authors and publishers can receive their fair share of the use of their published works.

Some briefs submitted to the Canadian consultation on AI and copyright are available upon request.

 

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Sources: Access Copyright, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), Association of English Language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ), Canadian Authors Association (CAA), Canadian Publishers’ Council (CPC), Copibec , Literary Press Group of Canada (LPG), Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens , Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ), The Writers’ Union of Canada

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L’industrie du livre se prononce sur l’intelligence artificielle et le droit d’auteur

Montréal, le 15 janvier 2024 – Dans le cadre de la consultation publique en cours sur l’intelligence artificielle générative et le droit d’auteur, les associations du milieu du livre rappellent au gouvernement canadien l’importance cruciale de favoriser le développement responsable de l’intelligence artificielle et de promouvoir le droit d’auteur.

Le secteur du livre et l’ensemble du milieu culturel soulignent que la transparence est essentielle au développement d’un écosystème d’IA équitable et sûr. Autrement, des modèles d’IA générative vont continuer de se développer de manière opaque, injuste et au mépris de la démocratie. Ils soulignent aussi que le droit d’auteur est un droit exclusif accordé aux créateurs humains. La protection de la créativité et de l’originalité humaines est assurée par la loi sur le droit d’auteur, qui exige des compétences et un jugement pour obtenir le droit d’auteur sur une œuvre. Cela ne devrait pas être modifié pour accorder la protection du droit d’auteur aux produits générés par l’IA ou pour permettre aux œuvres protégées de former des modèles sans autorisation.

Au-delà de l’IA : une loi à parfaire

Pour le secteur du livre, le Canada doit s’empresser de colmater les brèches de sa législation pour qu’elle cesse de priver injustement les ayants-droits de revenus légitimes à l’occasion de l’utilisation d’œuvres dans certains établissements d’enseignement. Sa priorité est soutenue par la Coalition pour la diversité des expressions culturelles et par les fédérations internationales du livre, toutes outrés que le Canada ne respecte pas ses obligations internationales envers les auteurs.

À la suite d’un autre rapport de la Chambre des communes appuyant aussi cette priorité, le milieu du livre attend toujours que la ministre du Patrimoine canadien, Pascale St-Onge, et du ministre de l’Innovation, des Sciences et le l’Industrie, François-Philippe Champagne, honorent leur engagement de modifier la Loi sur le droit d’auteur pour qu’auteurs et éditeurs puissent de nouveau percevoir la juste part de l’utilisation de leurs œuvres publiées.

Quelques mémoires soumis à l’occasion de la consultation canadienne sur l’IA et le droit d’auteur sont disponibles sur demandes.

 

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Sources: Access Copyright, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), Association des éditeurs de langue anglaise du Québec (AELAQ), Canadian Authors Association (CAA), Canadian Publishers’ Council (CPC), Copibec , Literary Press Group of Canada (LPG), Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens , Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ), The Writers’ Union of Canada

 

Communiqué de presse

Révision de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur

 

Le milieu du livre sollicite une rencontre d’urgence avec les honorables ministres St-Onge et Champagne

 

Montréal, le 30 novembre 2023 – Le milieu canadien du livre se réjouit qu’un nouveau rapport de la Chambre des communes dévoilé la semaine dernière soutienne sa revendication que le gouvernement du Canada révise la Loi sur le droit d’auteur. Les organisations représentant les auteurs et les éditeurs de livres canadiens sollicitent une rencontre d’urgence avec la ministre du Patrimoine canadien, Pascale St-Onge, et le ministre de l’Innovation, des Sciences et de l’Industrie, François-Philippe Champagne à ce sujet.

Appelé à témoigner au printemps dernier dans le cadre de l’étude du Comité permanent de la science et de la recherche, Gilles Herman (Éditions du Septentrion), alors vice-président de Copibec, rappelait à juste titre qu’en 2012, le législateur avait ajouté plusieurs exceptions à la Loi sur le droit d’auteur permettant de contourner la propriété intellectuelle, notamment en introduisant la notion d’usage équitable à des fins d’éducation, sans toutefois en préciser les limites d’application. Depuis, des établissements d’enseignement canadiens se sont massivement désengagés du régime de licences collectives, occasionnant des pertes financières d’environ 200 millions de dollars, en 10 ans, directement imputables à ce trou béant de notre législation.

« Si le gouvernement canadien ne corrige pas la loi sur le droit d’auteur, le risque, c’est que le secteur de l’éducation de demain n’enseigne plus de contenu canadien, parce que les éditeurs canadiens auront tout simplement disparu », avait-il affirmé.

Ce constat fait écho au rapport du Comité permanent du patrimoine canadien intitulé Paradigmes changeants qui, déjà en 2019, énonçait que le gouvernement devait modifier la Loi « pour préciser que les dispositions relatives à l’utilisation équitable ne s’appliqu[ai]ent pas aux établissements d’enseignement si l’œuvre est accessible sur le marché. »

Il est grand temps de colmater les brèches de la Loi et de protéger l’avenir du livre canadien.

Access Copyright, l’Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), l’Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), la Canadian Authors Association (CAA), Canadian Publishers Council (CPC), Copibec, le Literary Press Group of Canada (LPG), le Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens (REFC), The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) et l’Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois exhortent la ministre du Patrimoine canadien, Pascale Saint-Onge, le ministre de l’Innovation, des Sciences et de l’Industrie, François-Philippe Champagne, et l’ensemble des élus d’agir pour que ces recommandations fondamentales en faveur de l’éducation et du livre canadien se concrétisent bientôt dans la Loi sur le droit d’auteur.

 

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À propos

Access Copyright – Access Copyright regroupe des créateurs et des éditeurs au Canada. Organisme national à but non lucratif, il représente des dizaines de milliers d’écrivains, d’artistes visuels et d’éditeurs canadiens et leurs œuvres. Grâce à des accords avec des organisations sœurs du monde entier, il représente également les œuvres de centaines de milliers de créateurs et d’éditeurs étrangers. Son riche répertoire de contenu est très apprécié des professeurs, étudiants, chercheurs, employés d’entreprise et tous ceux qui ont besoin de copier et de partager du contenu. Access Copyright accorde des licences de son répertoire aux établissements d’enseignement, aux entreprises, aux gouvernements, etc. Les bénéfices ainsi récoltés sont reversés aux détenteurs des droits d’auteur, contribuant à garantir la création continue d’œuvres nouvelles et innovantes.

Contact : Robert Gilbert|Spécialiste des communications et des relations avec les affiliés |rgilbert@accesscopyright.

Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) – L’Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) regroupe la grande majorité des maisons d’édition de langue française au Québec et au Canada. Sa mission est de soutenir la croissance de l’industrie de l’édition et d’assurer le rayonnement du livre québécois et franco-canadien à l’échelle nationale et internationale en prônant le respect du droit d’auteur. Les maisons d’édition membres de l’Association publient divers types d’ouvrages, du roman au manuel scolaire en passant par l’essai et le livre jeunesse.

Contact : Audrey Perreault | Directrice des communications et des services aux membres | aperreault@anel.qc.ca | C: 514-808-5441

Association of Canadian publishers (ACP) – L’Association of Canadian Publishers contribue au développement et au maintien de maisons d’édition de livres dynamiques et concurrentielles, gérées, détenues et contrôlées par des Canadiens, afin de soutenir et de renforcer la contribution des livres canadiens au paysage culturel, économique et éducatif du Canada. L’ACP représente environ 115 maisons d’édition de livres détenues et contrôlées par des Canadiens à travers le pays. Le membership de l’association est diversifié et comprend des éditeurs de divers genres. Plus de 80 % des titres écrits par des auteurs Canadiens sont publiés par maisons d’édition appartenant à des Canadiens. Un secteur détenu par des Canadiens fort est donc essentiel au développement de nouveaux auteurs et écrivains canadiens.

Contact : Jack Illingworth| Directeur général |jack_illingworth@canbook.org.

Canadian Authors Association (CAA) – La Canadian Authors Association (CAA) offre aux écrivains une grande variété de programmes, de services et de ressources pour les aider à développer leurs compétences tant dans l’art que dans les aspects commerciaux de l’écriture, à améliorer leur capacité à gagner leur vie en tant qu’écrivain et à avoir accès à un réseau pancanadien d’écrivains et de professionnels de l’industrie de l’édition. Nous sommes une organisation basée sur l’adhésion pour les écrivains de tous les domaines de la profession – aspirants, émergents et professionnels – dans tous les genres et à travers toutes les professions liées à l’écriture. En tant qu’organisme de services artistiques national à but non lucratif avec un statut d’organisme de bienfaisance, une grande partie de ce que nous faisons profite à tous les écrivains, qu’ils soient membres ou affiliés à nous en tant que partenaires ou par le biais d’autres groupes d’écriture.

Contact : Brandi Tanner | Directrice administrative | office@canadianauthors.org

Canadian Publishers Council (CPC) – Principale association du commerce de l’édition de livres en anglais au Canada, le Canadian Publishers’ Council, a été fondé en 1910 et représente les intérêts des maisons d’édition qui publient des livres et d’autres supports pour les écoles élémentaires et secondaires, les collèges et universités, les marchés professionnels et de référence, ainsi que les secteurs de la vente au détail et des bibliothèques. Nos membres emploient plus de 2800 Canadiens et représentent collectivement près des trois quarts de toutes les ventes nationales de livres en anglais. Les membres dépensent plus de 50 millions de dollars auprès de fabricants de livres basés au Canada et versent plus de 25 millions de dollars en redevances aux écrivains du Canada.

Contact : David Swail| Président | dswail@pubcouncil.ca

Litterary press group of Canada (LPG) Fondée en 1975, le Literary Press group of Canada est une association à but non lucratif qui représente des maisons d’édition de livres littéraires détenues et exploitées par des Canadiens, d’un océan à l’autre. Nos membres publient des ouvrages d’auteurs parmi les plus novateurs et créatifs du Canada, offrant aux lecteurs l’accès à des voix diverses qui n’ont pas été suffisamment représentées dans l’édition grand public. En plus de leurs contributions culturelles, les membres de LPG sont des petites entreprises qui soutiennent les économies locales à travers l’ensemble de leurs activités commerciales, de l’édition, de la conception et de la production au marketing, aux ventes et à la distribution.

Contact : Laura Rock Gaughan | Directrice générale | laurag@lpg.ca

Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ) – Fondée en 1977, l’Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois est un syndicat professionnel qui œuvre à la défense des droits socioéconomiques des artistes de la littérature, ainsi qu’à la valorisation de la littérature québécoise. Reconnue en 1990 comme l’association la plus représentative des artistes du domaine de la littérature en vertu de la Loi sur le statut professionnel des artistes en arts visuels, des métiers d’art et de la littérature et sur leurs contrats avec les diffuseurs (ainsi que par la réforme de 2022) et accréditée en 1996 par le Tribunal canadien des relations professionnelles artistes-producteurs pour négocier, de façon exclusive, avec les producteurs relevant de la compétence fédérale, l’UNEQ regroupe aujourd’hui près de 1800 membres de toutes les pratiques littéraires.

Contact : Lucas Prudhomme-Rheault | Responsable des communications et adjoint à la direction générale | lucas.prudhomme@uneq.qc.ca

Copibec  – Copibec est la société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction, une entreprise d’économie sociale à but non-lucratif spécialisée en gestion des droits d’auteur. Elle représente plus de 30 000 autrices et auteurs, et 1 300 maisons d’édition. Elle offre aux utilisatrices et aux utilisateurs de matériel protégé par le droit d’auteur des solutions simples et adaptées à leurs besoins. À l’échelle internationale, la société de gestion collective a conclu des ententes avec plus de 33 sociétés étrangères afin d’inclure les livres, journaux et revues de ces pays à son répertoire. Elle compte parmi ses membres l’UNEQ, l’ANEL, le RAAV, l’AJIQ, la FPQJ, la SODEP, les Quotidiens du Québec et les Hebdos du Québec.

Contact : Christian Laforce | Directeur général| c.laforce@copibec.ca

Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens – Le Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens (REFC) a été créé dans le but de permettre aux maisons d’édition francophones de mener des actions concertées dans le domaine de la commercialisation, de la promotion, de la représentation et de la formation. Il favorise également une approche axée sur le partenariat en encourageant la coopération entre les membres et les principaux intervenants de l’écosystème du livre, assurant ainsi la consultation, le dialogue et la collaboration des organismes engagés dans le développement culturel des communautés francophones du Canada.

Contact : Stéphane Cormier| Président | scormier@prisedeparole.ca

The Writers’ Union of Canada – La Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) est l’organisation nationale des écrivains professionnellement publiés. La TWUC a été fondée en 1973 pour collaborer avec les gouvernements, les éditeurs, les libraires et les lecteurs afin d’améliorer les conditions des écrivains canadiens. Forte de plus de 2 600 membres, la TWUC plaide en faveur des intérêts collectifs des écrivains et offre une valeur ajoutée à ses membres grâce à la défense de leurs droits, à la création d’une communauté et le partage d’informations. La TWUC croit en une culture canadienne prospère et diversifiée qui valorise et soutient les écrivains.

Contact : John Degen | Directeur général |jdegen@writersunion.ca

 

 

Press release

Review of the Copyright Act

 

The Book Industry Requests an Urgent Meeting with Honourable Ministers St-Onge and Champagne

 

Montreal, November 30th, 2023 – The Canadian book industry is pleased that a new report from the House of Commons, released last week, supports its claim that the Government of Canada should review the Copyright Act. The industry is requesting an urgent meeting with the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, on this matter.

Called to testify last spring as part of the study by the Standing Committee on Science and Research, Gilles Herman (Éditions du Septentrion), then Vice-President of Copibec, rightly pointed out that in 2012, the legislator added several exceptions to the Copyright Act allowing circumvention of intellectual property, including introducing the concept of fair dealing for educational purposes, without specifying its scope of application. Since then, most Canadian educational institutions have disengaged from the collective licensing regime they had previously adhered to, resulting in financial losses of approximately $200 million in 10 years, directly attributable to this legislative gap.

“If the Canadian government does not correct the copyright law, the risk is that the education sector of the future will no longer teach Canadian content because Canadian publishers will have simply disappeared,” he affirmed.

This observation echoes the report from the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage entitled Shifting Paradigms which, as early as 2019, stated that the government should amend the law “to specify that fair dealing provisions do not apply to educational institutions if the work is accessible on the market.”

It is high time to close the gaps in the law and protect the future of Canadian literature.

Access Copyright, the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), the Canadian Authors Association (CAA), Canadian Publishers Council (CPC),  Copibec, the Literary Press Group of Canada (LPG), the Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens (REFC), The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) and the Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ) urge the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale Saint-Onge, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, and all elected officials to take action so that these fundamental recommendations in favor of Canadian education and literature soon materialize in the law.

 

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About the Signatory Associations

Access Copyright – Access Copyright is a collective voice of creators and publishers in Canada. A non-profit, national organization, we represent tens of thousands of Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers, and their works. Through agreements with sister organizations around the world we also represent the works of hundreds of thousands of foreign creators and publishers. This rich repertoire of content is highly valued, by educators, students, researchers, corporate employees, and others who need to copy and share content. We license the copying of this repertoire to educational institutions, businesses, governments, and others. The proceeds gathered when content is copied, remixed, and shared are passed along to the copyright-holders. These investments help to ensure the continued creation of new and innovative works.

Contact : Robert Gilbert| Communications Specialist and Affiliate Relations |rgilbert@accesscopyright.

Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) – The Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) brings together the vast majority of French-language publishing houses in Quebec and Canada. Its mission is to support the growth of the publishing industry and ensure the visibility of Quebec and Franco-Canadian books nationally and internationally, particularly by advocating for the respect of copyright. Member publishing houses of the Association publish various types of works, from novels to textbooks, including essays and children’s books.

Contact : Audrey Perreault |Director of Communications and Member Services | aperreault@anel.qc.ca  | C: 514-808-5441

Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) – The Association of Canadian Publishers contributes to the development and maintenance of vibrant, competitive book publishing companies, professionally managed, and owned and controlled in Canada, to support and strengthen the contribution that Canadian books make to Canada’s cultural, economic, and educational landscape. ACP represents approximately 115 Canadian-owned and controlled book publishers from across the country. The membership is diverse and includes publishers from a variety of genres. Over 80% of Canadian-authored titles are published by the Canadian-owned sector. This means a strong Canadian-owned sector is vital to the development of new Canadian authors and writers.

Contact : Jack Illingworth| Executive Director |jack_illingworth@canbook.org

Canadian Authors Association (CAA) – The Canadian Authors Association provides writers with a wide variety of programs, services and resources to help them develop their skills in both the craft and the business of writing, enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer, and have access to a Canada-wide network of writers and publishing industry professionals. We are a membership-based organization for writers in all areas of the profession—aspiring, emerging and professional—in every genre and across all writing-related professions. As a not-for-profit national arts service organization with charitable status, much of what we do benefits all writers, whether they are members or are affiliated with us as partners or through other writing groups.

Contact : Brandi Tanner | Administrative Director | office@canadianauthors.org.

Canadian Publishers Council (CPC) – The Canadian Publishers’ Council, as Canada’s main English language book publishing trade association, was founded in 1910 and represents the interests of publishing companies that publish books and other media for elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and reference markets, the retail and library sectors. Our members employ more than 2800 Canadians and collectively account for nearly three-quarters of all domestic sales of English-language books. Members spend over $50 million with Canadian-based book manufacturers and pay more than $25 million in royalties to Canada’s writers.

Contact : David Swail| President | dswail@pubcouncil.ca

Literary Press Group of Canada (LPG) – Founded in 1975, the LPG is a not-for-profit association that represents Canadian-owned and -operated literary book publishers from coast to coast. Our members produce books by some of Canada’s most innovative and creative writers, giving readers access to diverse voices that have not been well represented in mainstream publishing. In addition to their cultural contributions, LPG members are small businesses that support local economies through the full range of their business activities, from editorial, design, and production to marketing, sales, and distribution.

Contact : Laura Rock Gaughan | Executive Director | laurag@lpg.ca

Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ) – Founded in 1977, the Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ) is a professional union dedicated to defending the socio-economic rights of literary artists and promoting Quebec literature. Recognized in 1990 as the most representative association of artists in the field of literature under the Professional Status of Artists in Visual Arts, Crafts, and Literature Act and their contracts with broadcasters (as well as by the 2022 reform) and accredited in 1996 by the Canadian Industrial Relations Board for exclusive negotiation with federally regulated producers, UNEQ currently brings together nearly 1800 members from all literary practices.

Contact : Lucas Prudhomme-Rheault | Communications Manager and Assistant to the General Management | lucas.prudhomme@uneq.qc.ca

Copibec – Copibec is the Quebec collective management society for reproduction rights, a non-profit social economy enterprise specialized in copyright management. It represents over 30,000 authors and 1,300 publishing houses. Copibec provides users of copyright-protected material with simple and tailored solutions to meet their needs. On the international scale, the collective management society has agreements with over 33 foreign societies to include books, newspapers, and magazines from these countries in its repertoire. Among its members are UNEQ, ANEL, RAAV, AJIQ, FPQJ, SODEP, Quotidiens du Québec, and Hebdos du Québec.

Contact : Christian Laforce | Executive Director| c.laforce@copibec.ca

Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens (REFC) – The Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens (REFC) was created to enable French-language publishing houses to undertake concerted actions in the areas of marketing, promotion, representation, and training. It also promotes a partnership-oriented approach by encouraging cooperation among members and key stakeholders in the book ecosystem, thereby ensuring consultation, dialogue, and collaboration with organizations committed to the cultural development of French-speaking communities in Canada.

Contact : Stéphane Cormier| Président | scormier@prisedeparole.ca

The Writers’ Union of Canada – The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. TWUC was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. Now over 2,600 members strong, TWUC advocates on behalf of writers’ collective interests, and delivers value to members through advocacy, community, and information. TWUC believes in a thriving, diverse Canadian culture that values and supports writers.

Contact : John Degen | Executive Director |jdegen@writersunion.c

 

TIME TO NOT JUST CONSULT, BUT ALSO ACT

For Immediate Release

November 6, 2023 – On October 12, 2023, the Canadian government launched yet another consultation addressing the evolving realities of the creative industry, which is dependent upon copyright to reward creators, and yet is beleaguered by forces that steadily erode those rights. Implicitly acknowledging that we live in a period of rapid technological innovation, and that generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are here to stay, the latest consultation focuses on authorship and copyright issues. Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, is a huge threat to creators – not only because it depends on unauthorized data mining which blatantly infringes copyright, and therefore has a tainted foundation, but also because it has the potential to imitate us, impersonate us, and even replace us.

Responses to this consultation paper and its 16 key questions are to be provided via an online survey-style form. The deadline was originally December 4, 2023 and is now January 15, 2024. Creators, AI developers, and organizations are all urged to share their knowledge and opinions with regard to the paper’s four areas of guided discussion: technical evidence, text and data mining, authorship and ownership of works generated by AI, and infringement and liability regarding AI.

Of course, as Canada’s first national literary organization, Canadian Authors Association has responded to the consultation. At the same time, CAA is wary, because recent government consultations on copyright issues have so far yielded negligible legislative results. The government has still not acted on the mandatory review of the Copyright Act that was initiated in 2017 and culminated in two reports issued in 2019. Generative AI may be inevitable, and the need to ensure it is used ethically and responsibly is urgent. Yet another enormous and already well documented threat to creators is the unfettered scope of the educational purposes fair dealing exception enacted in 2012 to calamitous effect, a disaster the federal government has promised repeatedly to fix. We press the Canadian Government, ISED Minister Champagne and Heritage Minister St. Onge to act promptly and decisively on the results of this consultation, as well as its predecessors, keeping in mind that if creators are not rewarded, there will be a diminished pool of new creations, a contracted industry, and a dwindling heritage to protect.

CAA also urges individuals, especially creators, to respond personally. “Writers, add your urgent voices in response to this consultation. Read the consultation paper and complete the survey questions,” says Travis Croken, National Co-chair. “As Canadian authors enduring an existential conflict, we must hope that sharing our voices will make a difference in this process.”

We exhort the Canadian Government to protect the contributions of Canadian creators and the value of our Canadian heritage, and to honour the numerous international trade agreements and treaties that bind Canada to respect copyright and to fairly compensate creators.

Government of Canada News Release:
https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2023/10/government-of-canada-launches-consultation-on-the-implications-of-generative-artificial-intelligence-for-copyright.html

Survey on Copyright in the Age of Generative Artificial Intelligence:
https://ised-isde.survey-sondage.ca/f/s.aspx?s=a9fe1f22-76dd-44b4-97f9-2318115d14be

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Canadian Authors Association was founded in 1921 with a goal of lobbying for the protection of authors’ rights and fostering a sense of cultural and literary solidarity among Canadian writers. Today, CAA and its branches continue to work to provide aspiring, emerging and professional writers across all genres and writing professions the programs, services, and resources they need to develop their skills, promote their work, and enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer.

 

For additional information, contact:
Travis Croken, National Co-Chair
travis.croken@me.com
613-868-2903

 

A sad day for Canada’s literary culture: Government inaction hollows out copyright agency

For Immediate Release

July 14, 2023 – Canadian Authors Association (CAA) reacts with profound dismay to Access Copyright’s recent announcement of its forced restructuring. Access Copyright, the collective for Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers, is downsizing as a direct consequence of the disastrous 2012 amendments to the Copyright Act and the current government’s failure to fix them, despite repeated promises to deliver copyright reforms.

“It’s a wretched day in Canada when our sole literary collective shrinks as a result of a broken copyright system,” said Travis Croken, Co-chair of CAA. “We’ve decried the situation for over ten years, and nothing has happened. As one Quebec commentator observed, Canada is the dunce in the international classroom when it comes to protecting and uplifting our creators.”

CAA stands beside Access and its reduced team who have ardently pressed the government to fix fair dealing for at least 12 of its 35 years. We are deeply disillusioned by the failure in federal leadership that has resulted in such lasting damage to Canadian cultural industries, including the hollowing out of Access Copyright as an organization meant to protect and support them.

Those damages are clearly understood: $20 million in lost royalties under Board-approved tariffs over the last ten years, plus inestimable costs to creators personally, and heavy losses to the Canadian publishing industry.

The Access announcement does not come as a complete surprise. The Liberal Party, while in opposition in 2012, warned of threats to the literary community when education was added to the list of fair dealing exceptions. Yet seven years into a Liberal mandate, that very government has done nothing but spout unfulfilled budget commitments and languishing Ministry mandates.

CAA calls on the ministers who are jointly responsible for copyright reform – the Ministers of Canadian Heritage and of Innovation, Science and Economic Development – to collaborate expeditiously to fulfill their explicit mandates to fix the copyright system, and upon the prime minister to ensure this happens quickly.

Canada matters. Canadian cultural industries and stories matter to Canadians. Canadian stories matter in schools and bookstores, on newsstands and in broadcasting. The cultural industry matters when Canadian students contemplate a career in writing or publishing, and when authors think about committing additional months and years to craft yet another story for which they will not be paid. It matters when Canadians look, in vain, for representation within the body of Canadian culture, or for kindred voices expressing their own life experiences. The hollowing of Access Copyright is a hollow victory for those opposed to rebalancing the copyright scales with Copyright Act reform – because original and relevant Canadian content that they want for free will become even more scarce.

The Liberal government promised to fix the Copyright Act. Without evidence of progress, or even meaningful effort, dire consequences such as the diminishment of Access Copyright are inevitable.

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Canadian Authors Association was founded in 1921 with a goal of lobbying for the protection of authors’ rights and fostering a sense of cultural and literary solidarity among Canadian writers. Today, CAA and its branches continue to work to provide aspiring, emerging and professional writers across all genres and writing professions the programs, services, and resources they need to develop their skills, promote their work, and enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer.

 

For additional information, contact:
Travis Croken, National Co-Chair
travis.croken@me.com
613-868-2903

 

Copyright win for U.S. literary community: a ray of hope against Canada’s bleak copyright landscape

For Immediate Release

March 31, 2023 – On March 24th, United States federal judge John G. Koeltl ruled that Internet Archive’s (IA’s) practice of controlled digital lending (CDL) infringed the copyright of four plaintiff publishers (Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House). In his opinion granting summary judgment to the four publishers, Judge Koeltl wrote: “At bottom, IA’s fair use defense rests on the notion that lawfully acquiring a copyrighted print book entitles the recipient to make an unauthorized copy and distribute it in place of the print book, so long as it does not simultaneously lend the print book. But no case or legal principle supports that notion. Every authority points in the other direction.”

The four publishers filed the lawsuit on June 1, 2020, after IA’s National Emergency Library began circulating any number of copies of a given work. In his ruling, Judge Koeltl found that IA’s programme of digital lending is not transformative, and that unauthorized reproduction of works is not protected by the first sale doctrine. He also rejected IA’s claims that publishers were not financially harmed by IA’s digital lending practices and stated that such practices would likely further deprive publishers of legitimate revenues if libraries opt out of paying for authorized e-book licences.

“The Canadian Authors Association is grateful that an important court is willing to protect authors, publishers, and the creative community,” said Travis Croken, National Co-Chair of the Canadian Authors Association. “The CDL decision is much-needed good news in the copyright world, when the Canadian federal government has failed to deliver on its promises to reform copyright and its March 28th budget failed to address those promises or devote much-needed funding to the literary creative community. The American case shows that fair dealing has its place in using creative works, and we must be vigilant to ensure the doctrine isn’t stretched to include dangerous interpretations. The American court resisted arguments made by IA in defence of their digital lending program, which if condoned, could undermine the global creative community and the revenues due for the use of creative works.”

For additional information:
Travis Croken, National Co-Chair
travis.croken@me.com
613-868-2903

 

CAA Statement on Bill C-19

For Immediate Release

January 5, 2023 – As of midnight, December 30, 2022, Canada finally harmonized its law with that of most advanced nations of the world and extended the term of copyright from “life of the author plus 50 years” to “life plus 70.” That means Canadian rights-holders, creators and those in creative industries, such as publishers, will now play on what the government consultation paper referred to as “a levelled playing field” with their cohorts, colleagues and competitors in more than 80 countries. Those nations include most of Canada’s major trading partners, including the U.S., 27 members of the European Union, the U.K., Japan, Korea, and Australia.

However, that Canada joined the “copyright club” isn’t really new news. It’s been in the works since July 2020. Canada committed to enacting the term extension as part of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (called CUSMA in Canada) by the end of 2022. Thus, the government waited 2.5 years – and until the very last moment – to effect this mandatory amendment to the Copyright Act.

The Canadian government’s approach to copyright reform, which is to continually delay and postpone action, is highly detrimental to the creative industry. Canadian Authors Association, along with its sister creator organizations, has been calling upon the government to fix the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act for over 10 years. More recently, a damaging 2021 Supreme Court of Canada decision ruled that tariffs are not enforceable, and so we now join the cry for reform of the law to fill that gap as well.

Because the government is languishing in its role as legislator, creators are not getting paid. Publishers are slashing new publication budgets or even closing their doors. And educators are stretched to find high-quality Canadian literature to teach our students.

Therefore, while CAA welcomes the news that Canada has finally walked its talk on this “life plus 70” aspect of copyright law reform, we implore the government to fulfill its 2022 budget promise to fix the Copyright Act. The Canadian creative industry should be protected on a par with other advanced nations of the world – nations which do not have educational purposes in their fair dealing exception laws, and which do have enforceable tariffs. That fix needs to happen soon. For the creative industry, it truly is the last minute.

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Canadian Authors Association was founded in 1921 with a goal of lobbying for the protection of authors’ rights and fostering a sense of cultural and literary solidarity among Canadian writers. Today, CAA and its branches continue to work to provide aspiring, emerging and professional writers across all genres and writing professions the programs, services and resources they need to develop their skills, promote their work, and enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer.

For additional information:
Travis Croken, National Co-Chair
travis.croken@me.com
613-868-2903

 

Fair remuneration, fair dealing – rebalancing the copyright equilibrium

For Immediate Release

April 8, 2022 – Canadian Authors Association applauds the federal government’s commitment in its recent Budget announcement “to ensur[e] that the Copyright Act protects all creators and copyright holders.”

Copyright law is inherently evolving, always striving for a balance between the rights of users and of creators. However, the copyright regime is currently out of equilibrium, with the scales now tipped unfairly against creators. The 2012 addition to the Act of the fair dealing exception  “educational purposes” — without qualification — followed by the 2021 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that copyright board tariffs are not mandatory, has led to an untenable situation for creators. Their work is being taken without compensation. This instability, left unchecked, would continue to erode the nation’s culture and heritage, and to damage a system that our future generations seek to enter.

CAA is extremely pleased with the Budget Commitment acknowledgement that creator and copyright holder rights need to be protected, and that the Canadian government perceives the need for change:

As such, the government will also work to ensure a sustainable educational publishing industry, including fair remuneration for creators and copyright holders, as well as a modern and innovative marketplace that can efficiently serve copyright users.

As a membership-based national organization for writers at all stages of their writing careers, CAA has been deeply concerned about the nation’s long-term cultural prosperity for over a century. “We are especially grateful for the support of Minister Rodriguez, Minister Champagne, numerous Members of Parliament and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage,” said Anita Purcell, CAA’s executive director. “They well understand that taking steps to fix the copyright regime is crucial to the security of creators and therefore to ensuring that Canadian culture and heritage thrive.”

CAA is gratified that the Budget Commitment statements, especially the emphasized phrase, signal a positive direction toward  rebalancing the copyright regime’s equilibrium.

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Canadian Authors Association (CAA) was founded in 1921 with a goal of lobbying for the protection of authors’ rights and fostering a sense of cultural and literary solidarity among Canadian writers. Today, CAA and its branches continue to work to provide aspiring, emerging, and professional writers across all genres and writing professions the programs, services, and resources they need to develop their skills, promote their work, and enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer.

For additional information:
Anita Purcell, Executive Director
apurcell@canadianauthors.org
705-955-0716

 

Flawed Law, Flawed Framework

Canadian Authors responds to the SCC decision in the York vs. Access Copyright suit

 For Immediate Release

 August 5, 2021 — The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently issued its long and anxiously awaited decision in the York University vs. Access Copyright case, a decision creators hoped would first, reverse the Federal Court of Appeal’s 2020 ruling that Copyright Board-sanctioned tariffs are not mandatory, and second, affirm the lower federal courts’ ruling that neither York University’s fair dealing policy nor its actual practices constitute fair dealing. The Supreme Court of Canada did neither.

Canadian Authors Association (CAA) is dismayed with the SCC ruling, deeply disheartened that the nation’s top court did not achieve any true balance between creator rights and user rights.

On the issue of whether tariffs are mandatory, the SCC said it agreed with the Federal Court of Appeal that Copyright Board-approved tariffs “are voluntary for users. If a user who chooses not to be licensed under a tariff makes an unauthorized use of a work, the remedy is an infringement action which Access Copyright does not have standing to assert because it does not own the copyright.” In other words, in almost all cases, it would be up to the individual author of the infringed work to sue the university for damages.

“It is simply not financially feasible for individuals to sue institutions such as universities or boards of education for copyright infringement,” said Anita Purcell, CAA’s executive director. “This is the reason that copyright collectives are set up. This is the reason that the Copyright Board sets tariffs for users.”

The SCC observed that Parliament could amend the current wording on the law regarding the voluntary nature of tariffs. For this reason, CAA exhorts the federal government to immediately address this flawed law. “The federal government could easily correct the law,” said CAA co-chair Karen Gansel. “The federal government is interested in a modern copyright framework, and an enforceable tariff is clearly a part of that.”

On the issue of whether York University’s policy and practices constitute fair dealing, the SCC did not disturb the lower federal courts’ rulings and therefore, York’s guidelines do not suffice. However, in obiter dicta, i.e., commentary that is not legally binding, the court stated it did not endorse the legal reasoning used by the lower courts in a particular analysis. It said: “At the end of the day, the question in a case involving a university’s fair dealing practices is whether those practices actualize the students’ right to receive course material for educational purposes in a fair manner, consistent with the underlying balance between users’ rights and creators’ rights in the [CopyrightAct. Since we are not deciding the merits of the fair dealing appeal brought by York, there is no reason to answer the question in this case.”

When the law undermines the ability of writers to earn an income from writing — for example, when Copyright Board-sanctioned tariffs are ruled to be voluntary instead of mandatory — writers are disabled from creating.

When the law forces individual writers to go to court against large institutions, writers’ works can be copied without compensation, and therefore, writers are exploited. They are discouraged from creating. Surely the federal government is interested in ensuring that literature continues to express national culture, heritage, values and issues, and therefore promoting the ability of writers to create.

CAA applauds the federal government’s ongoing consultation process to ensure a modern copyright framework. In keeping with its demonstrated interest in strengthening copyright law, the government could readily repair the system to reward creators for creating, and its first step in doing so is to amend the flawed law concerning tariff enforceability.

A century-old membership-based national organization for writers at all stages of their writing careers, CAA is deeply concerned about the nation’s long-term cultural prosperity.

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Canadian Authors Association (CAA) was founded in 1921 with a goal of lobbying for the protection of authors’ rights and fostering a sense of cultural and literary solidarity among Canadian writers. Today, CAA and its branches continue to work to provide aspiring, emerging, and professional writers across all genres and writing professions the programs, services, and resources they need to develop their skills, promote their work, and enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer.

For additional information:
Anita Purcell, Executive Director
apurcell@canadianauthors.org
705-955-0716

 

CAA Responds to Consultation on Extending Term of Copyright

March 29, 2021 – Canadian Authors Association has responded to the federal government’s consultation on extending the term of copyright in Canada. You can read the full response here [pdf]. An excerpt is provided below:

For the reasons provided in the Consultation itself – the mandatory nature of Canada’s obligation to extend term protection, the fact that Canada currently lags behind international standards with its life+50 rule, and the need for a more level playing field for Canadian creative industries and creators – the requisite term extension should be implemented without delay. Implementation should not be tied to any other policy issue at this time.

The issues raised in the Consultation are worthy of study and evaluation. However, they are less pressing than the INDU and CHPC Committee report recommendations, particularly those pertaining to fair dealing and mandatory tariffs, which we urge the Canadian government to consider. The more quickly Canada implements its binding obligation to extend term protection, the sooner Canadians will receive the benefits of reciprocity abroad.

 

Denounce and Act Against Racism

June 6, 2020 – Canadian Authors Association (CAA) condemns the crimes and injustices committed against Black, Indigenous and other people of colour—all of which have their source in systemic racism. Writers have honed language skills that can be used to rally our communities to act. Those of us who are not BIPOC can listen to, learn from and support those who are; all of us can advocate for change; we can extend hope and stand with those calling for justice; we can solicit, gather and disseminate stories rooted in BIPOC experience; we can engage in difficult discussions about racism; and we can act with compassion and courage. We can help educate. As writers we can be a force for good.

CAA denounces hatred in any form, and to start, will provide communication tools that help combat racism. By reading, looking, watching and/or participating, we can gain greater understanding. To that end, we are preparing a list of reading and viewing material on the topics of racism and oppression for our website. And we are working on other meaningful initiatives that give voice to the BIPOC community. We invite your suggestions for these lists and initiatives by contacting us here.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking in 1963, “shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” CAA seeks to be an agent of greater understanding.

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Canadian Authors Association was founded in 1921 with a goal of lobbying for the protection of authors’ rights and fostering a sense of cultural and literary solidarity among Canadian writers. Today, CAA and its branches continue to work to provide aspiring, emerging, and professional writers across all genres and writing professions the programs, services, and resources they need to develop their skills, promote their work, and enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer.

 

For additional information:
Anita Purcell, Executive Director
Canadian Authors Association
apurcell@canadianauthors.org

 

Canadian Authors Call for Action Against Illegal Copying

May 4, 2020 – Canadian Authors Association (CAA) joins our fellow creator and publisher organizations in their reactions to the April 22, 2020 Federal Court of Appeal decision in the case of York University v. The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright).

In that recent decision, the higher federal court affirmed the lower federal court’s 2017 ruling that York University’s self-styled “fair dealing guidelines” are, in law, unfair. Since many learning institutions have adopted similar guidelines, the higher court’s ruling fortifies the position that the educational community must respect creator rights. Educators cannot continue to copy illegally according to their own rules. CAA applauds that portion of the higher federal court decision since it balances the rights of users with those of creators. If creators are paid for their work, then users such as Canadian schools will continue to have access to high quality Canadian content.

In the same decision, however, the higher court ruled that Copyright Board-certified tariffs are not mandatory. The Copyright Board tariff process provides both educational institutions and collective societies – such as Access Copyright, in the case of writers and publishers – with a practical, effective method of establishing fair rates for use of creative works. Until now, tariffs were considered mandatory. The decision “deprives creators of fair and affordable payment for the use of their work by stripping them of the ability to rely on their collective to ensure compliance with their rights and forcing them to be their own compliance officers,” pointed out Access Copyright in its recent media release.

In summary, educational institutions’ fair-dealing guidelines are unfair, yet individual creators now have a personal onus to seek out infringements by users such as educational institutions, and to enforce their rights. Ideally, collectives would enforce the rights, and creators would devote their valuable time to creating. This situation is deplorable.

“The appeal decision reinforces that Canada’s copyright framework is broken,” stated the Association of Canadian Publishers in its release.

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) uses the same metaphor. The federal government must “repair the marketplace for Canadian creativity,” it says. CAA joins TWUC’s call for immediate implementation of the 2019 Canadian Heritage’s Standing Committee recommendations in Shifting Paradigms.“Canada needs to support a flourishing culture,” said Margaret Hume, national chair of Canadian Authors Association. “Our literature, music, and theatre tell our Canadian story. To foster an environment that encourages the continuance and growth of our stories, we must support the creators by allowing them to receive fair compensation for the use of their copyrighted work.”

Canadian Authors Association stands by the right of creators to receive fair compensation for the use of their copyrighted work.

“The current situation is not sustainable,” said Anita Purcell, CAA’s executive director. “Writers and publishers have been waiting since 2012 for copyright amendments that truly safeguard our rights. In the interim, millions of dollars in earned revenue have been lost. The fixes have been clearly spelled out — how much longer must we wait?”

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Canadian Authors Association was founded in 1921 with a goal of lobbying for the protection of authors’ rights and fostering a sense of cultural and literary solidarity among Canadian writers. Today, CAA and its branches continue to work to provide aspiring, emerging, and professional writers across all genres and writing professions the programs, services, and resources they need to develop their skills, promote their work, and enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer.

 

For additional information:
Anita Purcell, Executive Director
Canadian Authors Association
apurcell@canadianauthors.org

 

Canadian Authors Responds to Shifting Paradigms Report

May 16, 2019 – Canadian Authors Association National Chair Margaret Hume praised Shifting Paradigms, the report tabled yesterday by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. The report affirms the importance of creators’ right to protection of, and remuneration for, their work. “It is extremely gratifying that the Report’s concluding words acknowledge ‘that the continued creation of Canadian content depends on adequate remuneration for those who create it’.”
CAA’s written submissions to the Standing Committee included recommendations on the following issues:
  • Extension of copyright term to 70 years, harmonizing with international norms
  • Ensuring that creators benefit from digital uses of their works
  • Clarification and limitation on the Act’s education fair dealing exemption
Each of these points was addressed in the Standing Committee’s report. “We urge the federal government to establish legislation as soon as possible to better protect creators’ rights for the benefit of artists and consumers across Canada,” says Hume.

 

The following specific recommendations respond to concerns stated in CAA’s written brief:

 

Recommendation 1
That the Government of Canada increase its support for creators and creative industries in adapting to new digital markets.
Recommendation 6
That the Government of Canada increase its efforts to combat piracy and enforce copyright.
Recommendation 7
That the Government of Canada pursue its commitment to implement the extension of copyright from 50 to 70 years after the author’s death.
Recommendation 12
That the Government of Canada review, clarify and/or remove exceptions contained in the Copyright Act, ensuring that any exception respects section 9 of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, to which Canada is a signatory.
Recommendation 13
That the Government of Canada meet international treaty obligations (including Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement, and World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty).
Recommendation 18
That the Government of Canada amend the Act to clarify that fair dealing should not apply to educational institutions when the work is commercially available.
Recommendation 19
That the Government of Canada promote a return to licensing through collective societies.

 

If the federal government implements these and the other 16 recommendations of the Heritage Canada Standing Committee, the Canadian creative community will be greatly strengthened. CAA notes that another report resulting from the statutory review of the Copyright Modernization Act is expected, the second one to be issued by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
CAA calls on its members and all Canadian creators to contact their Members of Parliament to voice their support for the Committee’s recommendations.

What Canadian Writers Should Know About Controlled Digital Lending

February 21, 2019 — Canadian Authors Association denounces “Controlled Digital Lending” or “CDL,” the unsanctioned scanning and lending by San Francisco-based Internet Archive of thousands of copyright-protected works through its Open Library site. This copying takes place without the permission of or remuneration to the copyright holders, and therefore constitutes infringement. CAA fully supports the coalition of almost 40 international groups of creators and publishers in their opposition to this flagrant abuse of copyright and in their appeal to readers and librarians to engage in a dialogue with creators about this practice.

The US-based National Writers Union wrote anappeal letter, “Controlled Digital Lending (CDL): An appeal to readers and librarians from the victims of CDL,” which states in part:

CDL [Controlled Digital Lending] is not comparable to lending of physical books by libraries. CDL is not “fair use” as defined in U.S. copyright law, and an exception to or limitation of copyright to allow CDL without permission or remuneration would not be permitted by the Berne Convention on Copyright. CDL interferes with many of the normal ways, including new ways largely unnoticed by librarians, that authors are earning money from written and graphic works included in so-called “out of print” books. There is no basis for a good-faith belief that CDL is legal under either U.S. or international law.

Canadian Authors Association encourages its members and all Canadian authors to learn more by reading thatappeal letter. Additional information may be found on the National Writers Union website atFAQ on Controlled Digital Lending. We further encourage you to join the opposition to “Controlled Digital Lending” by signing an open letter to the Internet Archive on theUS Authors Guild website here.

“As the appeal letter has stated, this is not a victimless crime,” said CAA Chair, Margaret Hume. “This is another erosion of earnings for creators and another violation of their copyright. We must stand up firmly against this abusive practice and do all we can to stop it.”

To check whether copies of your books are available on Open Library for e-lending and downloading, go toopenlibrary.org. If your book is there, please notify your publisher and ask them to send an infringement notice to Internet Archive. Please also report the infringement to Canadian Authors Association’s executive director, Anita Purcell, at apurcell@canadianauthors.org, so we may add this infraction to our list of infringed works.

 

December 7, 2018

CAA Submission to Standing Committee on Copyright Modernization Act

The Canadian Authors Association (CAA) today made its submission to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology on the 2017-2018 Statutory Review of the Copyright Modernization Act. As a voice for authors in Canada, CAA has pointed to the urgent need for changes to Copyright Act to better protect the rights of creators.

Read the full submission.

 

Media Release – March 5, 2018

CAA Responds to Lawsuit Against Access Copyright

The Canadian Authors Association (CAA) is shocked and dismayed by the lawsuit filed against Access Copyright by the Ministries of Education in most of the provinces and territories in Canada as well as all of the school boards in Ontario. We join The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Association of Canadian Publishers in calling for the ministries and school boards to withdraw this lawsuit and respond to the Access Copyright call for meaningful dialogue.

As a founding member of Access Copyright, CAA stands in full support of this copyright collective, its defense of authors’ copyright, and the steps it takes to ensure proper compensation for the use of authors’ copyrighted materials.

This is a direct attack on Canadian authors and publishers who struggle enough as it is to earn sufficient income from their copyrighted work,” said CAA National Chair Margaret Anne Hume. “Instead of expensive legal action that will cause further division among us, we call on the ministries and school boards to engage with Access Copyright in open-minded discussion that will result in a solution acceptable by all.”

CAA reminds the ministries of education and the school boards that the Federal Court of Canada in its July 2017 decision in Access Copyright vs. York University stated that the ministries and school boards cannot opt out of copyright tariffs certified by the Copyright Board.

CAA is also mindful that this lawsuit has been launched during the federal government’s mandatory review of the copyright legislation and in particular the 2012 enactment of the controversial educational purposes fair dealing exception. “Our organization is strongly encouraging our members to contact their Members of Parliament to inform them that this lawsuit against Access Copyright feels like a lawsuit against creators, and to urge the federal government to remove the educational purposes fair dealing exception,” said Anita Purcell, CAA executive director.