As a Canadian author, you can take action to protect your rights and those of your fellow creators! Below are some things you can do today.
Be Part of the Change!
It’s been ten years since the ill-advised 2012 amendment to the Copyright Act to include “educational purposes” as a fair dealing exception. Despite our active advocacy over that time — pressing legislators to change the law, asking educational institutions to recognize our rights, sending letters to our MPs and signing petitions — we Canadian creators haven’t been heard — or paid. And then, things got worse: the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2021 that copyright board tariffs are not mandatory.
All that may soon change!
We received the following hopeful sign in the federal government’s Budget Commitment of April 7, 2022. The government pledged “to ensur[e] that the Copyright Act protects all creators and copyright holders … and [to] 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.”
This promise was welcomed by writers’ groups across the country. CAA issued its media release almost immediately, here. Among our sister organizations, writers’ voices are building. As an example, here’s the link to a CBC Radio interview with the Writer’s Union of Canada executive director, John Degan. It provides a summary of the last ten years in ten minutes.
We urge you to join the momentum and be part of the push to get the law changed before anything else diverts the politicians’ attention.
How can you do this? Here’s how:
- Write to your MP. Yes, we’ve asked you to do this before. But now it appears, MPs are really listening. Here’s a template letter you can adapt to be your own. (We claim no © in this letter!) And here’s a link to find your MP’s name and email address. Everyone who writes to their MP, and fills out a form here, will be entered into a draw for a free CAA annual membership. Don’t delay: The deadline for the draw is May 31 at 3:00 am PT, with the winner announced on June 1, 2022.
- Don’t stop at your MP. Here are some other people you can write to as well.
- Join the Creators Calling on Ottawa campaign. Click this link Join Our Book Mailing Campaign | IVCS (ivaluecanadianstories.ca) to learn more. You’ll see you are in excellent company.
- Share the Shorts! We also encourage you to share some animated 15-second shorts with friends, family, and associates. This may help them better understand how unfair the 2012 amendment to the Copyright Act is, as well as what the impact on Canadian culture will be:
Please, take action now! Your livelihood truly depends on it.
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.