Over the past five years, creators and publishers have found their ability to make a living under threat as a result of how the education sector has interpreted the addition of “education” as an allowable purpose under fair dealing.

When this amendment was under discussion, the education sector assured Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers they had nothing to be worried about and that these changes would not bear a negative impact on their income.

But once the Copyright Modernization Act came into effect in November 2012, ministries of education and post-secondary institutions walked away from long-standing licensing agreements and implemented copying policies that have had a staggering impact on the income level of creators and publishers.

The most immediate impact was the loss of licensing royalties – a source of revenue that historically represented 20% of creator income[1] and 16% of profits for Canadian publishers[2]. Today, royalties to creators and publishers for the copying for their works have declined by 80% since 2013[3]. The impact on creators and publishers is even greater when you consider the ripple effect that free copying has on primary sales.[4]

The issue is that this has created a Value Gap for Canadian creators and publishers with over 600 million pages of published materials copied each year by educational institutions without payment.

Canadian creators and publishers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the education system.

The federal government is reviewing the Copyright Act. Please help us ensure that Canadian lawmakers support Canadian creators and publishers during the review process and restore balance between the need to compensate our creators for educational copying and the need to promote access to quality content.

[1] Economic Impacts of the Canadian Educational Sector’s Fair Dealing Guidelines, PricewaterhouseCoopers, June 2015, page 29-30: http://www.accesscopyright.ca/media/94983/access_copyright_report.pdf
[2] Ibid, pages 7 and 64
[3] Access Copyright 2016 Annual Report, “Royalty Distribution Trend” table, page 6: http://www.accesscopyright.ca/media/112021/annualreport_2016.pdf
[4]  Economic Impacts of the Canadian Educational Sector’s Fair Dealing Guidelines, PricewaterhouseCoopers, June 2015, pages 8 and 69-76: http://www.accesscopyright.ca/media/94983/access_copyright_report.pdf