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 2019 Federal Election Outcomes – What We Can Do Now
With the re-election of the Liberals on October 21st, albeit with a minority government, the reports issued this spring pursuant to the mandatory copyright review process need to remain high up on the legislators’ radars. As you may recall, there are two reports:
- In May 2019, The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage released its Shifting Paradigms report after a year of study and public hearings. 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.
The new cabinet has been sworn in. Here are the relevant Ministers and their email addresses:
- The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry email@example.com
We await Ministerial mandate letters and committee announcements, so this interval is a prime time to write to your MP, cc’d 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.
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:
House of Commons
OTTAWA, ON K1A 0A6
Your MP may well be new this term and be unaware of the issues. It is important to make all MPs, especially new, but also returning MPs, aware of the hard work done and the important issues considered. Here is some wording you may wish to use:
I urge the incoming Government to proceed without delay in implementing the recommended changes to the Copyright Act as outlined in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s report, Shifting Paradigms. Specifically, I stress the importance of the following recommendations:
- 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 18 That 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…
- Recommendation 21 That the Government of Canada harmonize remedies for collective societies under the Copyright Act…
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
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.