April 2017 AGM Recap

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

About 50 attendees gathered at the Toronto Reference Library on April 7 to learn more about Access Copyright’s work in the innovation sphere as well as its advocacy efforts to uphold the interests of Canadian creators and publishers. 

Among the areas highlighted were:

  • The work of the Membership Advisory Committee (MAC)
  • A brief overview of the Access Copyright Foundation
  • Legal & tariff issues, including tariffs in the post-secondary, K-12, and provincial and territorial government sectors as well as the York University litigation
  • Advocacy work, particularly regarding last fall’s Canadian Content in a Digital World consultation and the upcoming review of the Copyright Act
  • Our work in the innovation sphere.

Roanie Levy, Access Copyright’s CEO & President, also addressed attendees to outline the organization’s operational plan for 2017.

Roanie highlighted the organization’s efforts to pursue work in the innovation sphere and illustrated the challenge that it entails; namely, that innovation work looks very little like what a mature business engages in. Therefore, the organization spent much of 2016 shifting capabilities and the organization’s culture to take on some of the characteristics of an innovative, entrepreneurial start-up.

She also stated that 2017 is the first year where creators and publishers will fully feel the impact of the copyright practices and policies followed by many in the education sector.

She stated that revenues are budgeted to decline by 24% from 2016 and royalties are estimated to decline to $5 million for the year, which represents a continuation of the loss of an important income stream for many creators and publishers.

Roanie highlighted to attendees that despite the difficulties it causes in working with the education sector, the organization continues its work upholding the rights of creators and publishers to be fairly compensated.

Other AGM Notables:

  • Re-elected to the Board of Directors were visual artist Grant McConnell and Emond Publishing’s Debbie Hogan. Kelly Shaw, CEO of Ooka Island, a game-based learning program that helps children to become confident readers, was also elected to the Board. All are to serve three-year terms.
  • The membership also approved the reappointment of John Degen, Kate Edwards and Robin Sokoloski to the Membership Advisory Committee (MAC). As well, it was announced that with the retirement of Gerry McIntyre, executive director of the Canadian Education Resources Council (which has merged with the Canadian Publishers Council (CPC)), his spot on the MAC will be filled by Roger Clarke, who is Vice-President, K-12 at the CPC and is assuming Gerry’s role representing K-12 educational publishers.