Learn about creator affiliation, the Payback payment, and other royalties and services for writers and visual artists.

FAQs for Creator Affiliates

For information about Payback, please click here.

Note: Access Copyright is currently updating our affiliation portal for creator affiliates. During this time, we will not be able to process affiliation applications online. If you are interested in affiliating with us, you can learn more about the benefits of affiliating with Access Copyright and also sign-up to be notified by email once our affiliation portal is re-opened. Remember, in order to be eligible for the 2016 Payback payment, you have until December 31 of this year to affiliate with us.

    Who can become an affiliate of Access Copyright?

    If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, outside the province of Quebec, you can affiliate with Access Copyright provided that you meet the following requirements:

    • You own reproduction rights to at least one work published in a print format such as a book, magazine, newspaper or scholarly journal and is also commercially available.
    • You are not already affiliated with any other reproduction rights organization (such as COPIBEC in Quebec). 
    • You are a writer, editor, translator and/or visual artist (i.e. illustrator, photographer, designer). 

    Find out more here about our eligibility requirements for becoming an Access Copyright creator affiliate.

    How do I become an affiliate?

    Affiliation with Access Copyright can be done quickly and simply online. At this moment, however, we are not processing applications for affiliation as we are updating our affiliation portal. If you are interested in affiliating with us, you can sign-up to be notified by email when our affiliation portal is re-opened. Remember, in order to be eligible for the 2016 Payback payment, you have until December 31 of this year to affiliate with us.

    Why can’t I affiliate right now?

    We are not currently processing affiliation applications as we have just recently released a new Creator Affiliation Agreement which replaces our old Creator Registration process. As a result, we need to take our affiliation portal offline for the next little while to make required changes to accommodate the new agreement. 

    Why did you end Creator Registration?

    We have ended Creator Registration as we believe it’s important that all writers and visual artists receive the comprehensive service afforded by a complete affiliation agreement.

    Why have you released a new creator affiliation agreement?

    Access Copyright introduced a new Creator Affiliation Agreement, with input from national creator organizations, in anticipation of continued innovation and shifting modes of content usage. The new agreement features a consolidated grant of rights and a technologically-neutral definition of copying that would appoint our organization as your Canadian collective society to license that copying.

    Where can I find more information on the new affiliation agreement?

    More information on the new agreement can be found here. You can review the agreement itself here.

    Will I miss out on next year’s Payback if I wait for your affiliation portal to go back online?

    Absolutely not. To be eligible for next year’s Payback payment, you have until December 31 of this year to affiliate with us.

    Is there a fee to become an affiliate?

    No. Affiliating with Access Copyright is free. However, Access Copyright retains a percentage of royalties we collect to cover administrative costs. The percentage of this holdback is determined annually by our Board of Directors.

    Do I need to send in a new affiliation application each year?

    No. Once you are an affiliate, there is no need to renew your affiliation every year. It will not expire unless you submit written instructions for us to cancel your affiliation. However, we do occasionally update our affiliation agreement to offer more services. In this case, you may be required to sign a new affiliation agreement. When this happens, we will notify our affiliates that a new affiliation agreement is available.

    Should I let Access Copyright know when I publish new titles? Do I need to submit a complete works list?

    We do not require a specific list of titles/works. If there is copying reported, we will update the Rights Management System (RMS). We do, however, ask for annual reports on creative output to calculate Payback.

    We may contact you from time to time to confirm that you are the creator of a work that has appeared in our reports. As a result, we ask that you please let us know of any changes to your contact information as soon as possible.

    If I'm Canadian, but am published primarily in the U.S. and U.K., is it still worth my while to affiliate?

    Yes. Through reciprocal agreements with other reproduction rights organizations, Access Copyright affiliates are represented in other countries around the world, including the U.S. and U.K. These agreements ensure representation of Canadian authors and Canadian publications in other territories and also allow us to represent foreign publications in Canada.

    Can I become both a publisher and creator affiliate?

    Yes, however, if you publish only your own material, you can only affiliate as a creator.

    If I am a member of PWAC (or any other Access Copyright member organization), does that automatically make me an Access Copyright affiliate?

    No. Being a member of an Access Copyright member organization does not automatically make you an affiliate.

    What allocations are deducted from the licensing royalties Access Copyright collected?

    Access Copyright's Board of Directors has approved three allocations from the licensing royalties we collect:

    • An administrative holdback of 30% to cover Access Copyright's administrative and operational costs.
    • An allocation of 5% of copyright licensing royalties has been made toward costs for current and future tariff proceedings before the Copyright Board of Canada. These tariff proceedings help us ensure fair compensation for creators and publishers when their works are copied.
    • An allocation of 1.5% of copyright licensing royalties towards the Access Copyright Foundation (currently suspended).

    Why is 15% of all licensing revenues directed to creator and publisher repertoire payments?

    This allocation is made in recognition of the value that all our writer, visual artist and publisher affiliates bring to our licences and is distributed to them through Payback and the publisher repertoire payment

    Why am I receiving a royalty payment for the first time?

    You may be receiving a payment for the first time if the amounts owing reached the minimum payment of $25. This amount was set by Access Copyright's Board of Directors in order to reduce administrative costs. You may also be receiving a payment for the first time if we recently located you or received your tax-identifier number.

    Do my royalties include GST or HST?

    The royalties you receive from Access Copyright do not include GST or HST. Access Copyright is exempt from paying GST or HST to creators under the Tax Act for Artists' Representatives (GST/HST) Regulations SOR/91-25. However, all royalties you receive from Access Copyright are considered taxable income. We will send you a T5 slip in February of each year. Please contact your accountant or the Canada Revenue Agency for more information on income taxation and revenue.

    Why does my statement show tax being deducted?

    Some of the royalties we collect on your behalf come from other reproduction rights organizations (RROs) around the world and there may be a withholding tax at the source. Please contact for more information.

    I receive my royalties from Access Copyright by cheque, but would rather receive them by direct deposit. How can I do this?

    To sign up for direct deposit, please visit our website and download our direct deposit enrolment form.

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