I Value Canadian Stories

Brent Van Staalduinen, Author


Everyone can agree that workers should get paid for the work they do. Nobody should be asked to live without a paycheque. Not teachers or professors, nor the writers, illustrators, playwrights and all other artists and publishers they rely on. Copyright is an indispensable revenue source for creators and how many get paid.

Yet for ten years and counting, Canadian creators and publishers have not been paid when educational institutions outside of Quebec copy their work.

“Not amending the Copyright Act leaves Canadian creators out in the cold. The education sector needs to pay for the use of our work. Please fix the Copyright Act.”

Natasha Deen, Author

“Canadian creators, like myself, who tell Canadian stories, must be compensated when their work is copied by the educational sector. Please support amending the Copyright Act so that can happen.”

Steven Mayoff, Writer


What’s the Story with Canadian Copyright Law?

In the 2022 Budget, the federal government promised to amend the Copyright Act to protect creators and copyright holders and ensure a sustainable educational publishing industry. But no action has been taken to date.

Changes to the Copyright Act’s fair dealing rules in 2012 created ambiguity which has led to the widespread copying of creators’ work by educational institutions outside of Quebec without compensation. Though this change in behaviour was never intended by federal legislators, it is having real and damaging consequences. The number of jobs in Canada’s book publishing sector has dropped dramatically, and several major publishers in Canada have left the elementary, secondary or post-secondary school market altogether. The sector’s ability to produce local Canadian content for students is at risk.

Creators get paid when their work is copied by educational institutions in Quebec, because Quebec understands that creators must be paid fairly for their work. Quebec’s educational institutions still respect their agreements and pay royalties to creators and publishers for copying published works. But the same cannot be said for outside Quebec.

Creators from Quebec don’t get paid when their work gets copied by educational institutions in the rest of Canada. Educational institutions outside Quebec are exploiting an ambiguity in the Copyright Act to mass copy the work of creators, without their permission or any compensation. That’s not right. The situation in Quebec is fragile and as long as these copyright rules around fair dealing remain unclear, there’s a big risk that Quebec will follow the rest of Canada and stop paying creators for their work.

Ten years is an impossibly long time for anyone to wait to be paid.

The federal government must fix the Copyright Act so that educational institutions in the rest of Canada will follow Quebec’s lead, do the right thing, and pay creators fairly for the use of the work.

Bev Katz Rosenbaum, Author

“Canadian creators cannot wait any longer. The government must take action now to stop great Canadian content from disappearing. I stand with my fellow Canadian creators urging the federal government to take action. They’ve waited 10 years to be paid for copying of their works in schools & can’t wait anymore.”

Marissa Stapley, Author

“The current copyright climate affects the future of our community of diverse and talented Canadian creators. Creators should be paid fairly for their work. Their livelihoods depend on it.”

Sonya Lalli, Author

Prime Minister Trudeau.
Minister St-Onge.
Minister Champagne.

We are calling on you to follow through on your promise. Fix the Copyright Act, restore fair compensation, and stop great Canadian content from disappearing.