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Fair remuneration, fair dealing – rebalancing the copyright equilibrium

Canadian Authors Association applauds the federal government’s commitment in its recent Budget announcement “to ensur[e] that the Copyright Actprotects 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.

For additional information:
Anita Purcell, Executive Director