The upcoming 2017 review of the Copyright Act presents an important opportunity for Canadian creators and publishers get involved and ensure their point-of-view is represented and considered during the process.
The cultural sector is an important driver of Canada’s economy, and the hard work, dedication and passion of content creators and publishers forms a vital piece of that sector, which Statistics Canada has pegged at $61.7 billion, or about 3.3% of Canada’s GDP, for 2014.
Even though the review has not yet officially started, there are still actions that you, as a member of Canada’s creator and publisher community, can take right now to share your unique perspective with your local MP.
That’s where this guide comes in. It doesn’t tell you what you write—as a creator or publisher, we know you can express yourself. What it does give is some practical suggestions about where to direct your efforts.
Our help doesn’t simply end with this guide. If you need assistance or just a little encouragement, contact us anytime at email@example.com or give us a call at 416-868-1620 (toll-free 1-800-893-5777).
This fall, the Federal Government will launch a review of the Copyright Act, as outlined in the 2012 Copyright Modernization Act, which requires the government to review the Act every five years.
This review is of utmost strategic importance to Canadian creators and publishers as it affords an opportunity to outline the impact felt as a result of the addition of “education” as a fair-dealing purpose in the Act and the education sector’s broad interpretation of fair dealing.
In 2012, the education sector adopted self-defined “Fair Dealing Guidelines”, which encourage widespread, systematic copying. Under these guidelines, neither permission nor royalties is required to copy 10% of a book or magazine, or an entire chapter or article, whichever is greater. That photocopy, or digital copy, is often shared with all the students in a class, compiled in a course pack with other articles or chapters, or posted on a password-protected learning management system. The implementation of these policies has led to a significant decline in licensing revenue from the education sector.
A report commissioned by Access Copyright and released by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2015 outlines in great detail what the impact of these policies has been on Canada’s creators and publishers, including:
To learn more, we encourage you to read this short summary which includes a link to the full report.
Additionally, Quill & Quire has reported on how the actions of the education sector have led to declines in royalty payments from our organization to creators and publishers that we expect to continue this year.
As a Canadian creator or publisher, the primary task right now is to help make the work of Canada’s creative sector tangible and real to local MPs. You can do this by illustrating how the issue of “educational” fair dealing has impacted you, and sharing with your local MP your unique story on why you have chosen creative work.
By doing this, you can start building a relationship and rapport with your local MP so that you can continue to push this issue later in the year once the legislative review has commenced.
The two most effective ways to get in touch with your local MP is to write a letter or try to arrange a face-to-face meeting.
A well-crafted letter or email can help to influence legislation and policy, and gives you the opportunity to say exactly what you wish to say and express to your local MP.
It’s an opportunity to clearly articulate your position and to bring attention to an issue you are passionate about that your local MP may not be aware of.
A well-crafted MP letter typically follows these general rules.
Finding your Member of Parliament (MP) and their contact information is easy. Visit Parliament of Canada’s Find your local MP tool and type your postal code in the box on the home page to find all of the contact information you need.
Depending on your MP, he or she may prefer one form of communication over another. It’s a good idea to call your local MP’s office and simply ask about what might be the best way to send your letter. If sending a letter via Canada Post, please remember that you do not need to attach postage for letters sent to MPs. If sending an e-mail, please remember to still include your full name and address at the end of the message.
Members of Parliaments have a duty and obligation to represent all constituents and are genuinely interested in their concerns. However, it is important to remember that MPs have a lot of demands on their time. Therefore, if you want to try to arrange a meeting with your local MP, you’ll need to be persistent.
The best time to arrange a meeting is when Parliament is not in session and MPs are in their local ridings. Parliament is not scheduled to not be in the session for the weeks of March 13, March 27, April 17 and 24, May 22 and during the summer starting on Monday, June 26.
To arrange a meeting, follow these four steps.
1. Prepare for the Meeting
2. Request a Meeting
3. During the Meeting
4. Following-Up on the Meeting
If you need assistance or a little encouragement to get started or to continue advocating, you contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 416-868-1620 (toll-free 1-800-893-5777).