As a Canadian author, you can take action to protect your rights and those of your fellow creators! Here are some things you can do today.

 

The April 2020 Federal Court of Appeal decision, the mandatory copyright review process reports, and what you can do now

Here’s the background:

1. After a year of study and public hearings, the federal government issued two reports pursuant to the mandatory copyright review process:

  • In May 2019, The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage released its Shifting Paradigms report. CAA stands by the Committee’s report, which contains 22 progressive recommendations for fixing the Copyright Act and better protecting the work of Canada’s cultural professionals.
  • In June 2019, a second report issued by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada claimed ownership of the Copyright Review, ignored Shifting Paradigms, and made recommendations that will further degrade the rights of creators and artists.

2. The government then dissolved and the October 21, 2019 election took place. We need to ensure that the Shifting Paradigms report remains front burner for legislators, even in pandemic times. Here are the relevant federal Ministers and their email addresses:

3. Then in April 2020, the Federal Court of Appeal issued its judgment inYork University v. Access Copyright, which affirmed the lower federal court’s ruling that the University’s so-called fair dealing guidelines are in law, unfair, but also ruled that Copyright Board tariffs are not mandatory. See our media releases page for more information.

Here’s the outcome and what you can do:

The recent Federal Court of Appeal decision deepens the plight of creators and emphasizes the urgency to provide relief to creators. This is a prime time to write to your MP, with a cc to the ministers mentioned above, to reiterate:

  • the need to follow up on the recommendations of the Shifting Paradigms report, and
  • the need to ensure the economic position of Canadian creators is improved, by implementing the Shifting Paradigms report recommendations, and by legislating that Copyright Board tariffs are mandatory.

To find your MP, enter your postal code on the webpage at this link: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/search

As you will recall, letters mailed to MPs require no postage and are to be mailed to a single address:

[name], M.P.

House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
OTTAWA, ON  K1A 0A6

It is important to make all MPs aware of the hard work done and the important issues to be considered from the perspective of the creator. Here a template letter you may wish to use: 2020-05 Template letter to MP

Please also consider posting messages on your websites, blogs and other networks, advising your colleagues and readers of the issue so they too are aware that the federal government needs to act promptly to ensure that quality Canadian literary content remains available.

Please act now, to ensure this issue remains alive. Otherwise we may well have to wait until the next mandatory Copyright Act review, which will be in approximately 2022.

 

Help Save Our Culture

For years, our national, regional and local culture flourished on radio, television and print. Our policies have enabled the development of dynamic and professional cultural ecosystems that nourish our identity, and even our economy.
Technological developments and the arrival of Web giants have greatly disrupted the cultural sector by bringing about changes in the way cultural content is produced, distributed, promoted and accessed. Online platforms offer a wide choice of musical, audiovisual and literary content. But can we really choose to see, listen, read our artists and creators on these platforms? Are our productions sufficiently present? Are they sufficiently supported and enhanced in this new environment?
The answer is no. Because our cultural policies do not apply online.
Meanwhile, more and more artists, creators, professionals and cultural entrepreneurs must make significant sacrifices. Some can no longer even make a living from their art or activities!
There is an urgent need to act to ensure that our cultural ecosystems remain alive and innovative and continue to fuel our uniqueness, pride and aspirations.

To find out more and how you can help, go to https://saveourculture.ca/

 

Support PEN Canada

Canadian Authors has worked multiple times in the past to support the work of PEN Canada. You can take action, too, in support of writers around the world who are imprisoned.

 

Oppose “Controlled Digital Lending”

“Controlled Digital Lending” or “CDL” is a recently invented legal theory that allows libraries to justify the scanning (or obtaining of scans) of print books and e-lending those digital copies to users without obtaining authorization from the copyright owners. Both the US Authors Guild and the US Society of Authors have created online open letters to Internet Archive about the unlicensed lending of scanned books. Canada’s authors are encouraged to join these campaigns here and here.

 

Stop eBook Piracy

A Canada-based website currently named ebook.bike is among the more prominent examples of ebook piracy, posting ebooks without author or publisher consent.

While piracy of this nature is not new, it doesn’t change the fact Canadian creators and publishers invest considerable time, resources and effort to bring these stories to life and that they have not consented to this use of their work(s). Blatant disregard for copyright under the guise of creating awareness or access to content is unethical and illegal. Learn more about this issue, and take action if your books are affected.