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.
Vote on October 21, and Whatever the Outcome, Urge the Incoming Government to Do Right by the Cultural Sector
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. Unfortunately, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada subsequently claimed ownership of the Copyright Review, ignored Shifting Paradigms, and made recommendations that will further degrade the rights of creators and artists.
A few weeks ago, CAA joined a coalition of 45 arts organizations and asked all the party leaders to consider the Shifting Paradigms report and its recommendations as the underlying structure for their approach to the cultural sector. The fact that copyright reform has yet to be mentioned as part of the federal election campaign is worrisome for leading copyright organizations, creators and the industries that invest in them.
CAA also shares the positions of our sister organizations, including The Writers’ Union of Canada’s (TWUC) Platform to Encourage and Protect Canadian Creativity.
The following are some tools and links that may help you ask the right questions and make informed decisions when you vote and/or interact with your current or potential MP:
- Federal Election Toolkit prepared by Access Copyright
- TWUC’s Platform to Encourage and Protect Canadian Creativity
- The Canadian Arts Coalition’s #Artsvote Election Toolkit
- MacLean’s Guide to the Federal Election – which gives an overview of where the major parties stand on the key issues
Please note that, as a non-partisan professional association, Canadian Authors Association is not directing support or criticism to any party in the federal election.
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.