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Société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction

Newsletter - October 16, 2017
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Consultations, Copyright Act revision and lump sum payments

2017: a busy year for Copibec! Our set of lump sum payments ends with the distribution of over $ 2,900,000 to authors and book publishers. Our Executive Director reviews the "Netflix Tax" and the Declaration for the sustainability and the vitality of national culture and media in the digital era. And, last July, the licensing team welcomed a new recruit: Patrick Painchaud our new business development specialist.

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Executive Director’s update

I’m very pleased to welcome you to our new revamped newsletter. It’s part of a long process we’ve undertaken in recent months to refresh our communications with rightsholders, licensees and everyone who’s interested in Copibec’s mission.

This is therefore a good opportunity for me to remind you to check out our new updated website and follow us on Facebook, if you haven’t already done so. Remember to tell others about us and encourage them to subscribe to our newsletter.

In its new format, the newsletter will now include an update from the Executive Director covering the topics that have been important for Copibec lately.

First, in recent weeks, it’s been almost impossible to avoid hearing about the federal government’s new Creative Canada Policy Framework to promote and showcase Canadian content in the digital world. Justin Trudeau’s government, through Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, announced (or, rather, confirmed) they had no intention of requiring Netflix or other GAFA-type companies to apply sales tax on their services. The government has said Canadians shouldn’t be subjected to a “new Netflix tax.” I’d like to point out, however, that this wouldn’t be a new tax nor even a tax directed solely at Netflix. Instead, it would be the application of a simple principle of tax fairness.

Minister Joly announced that Netflix would be investing $500 million in production. Not only have the terms and conditions of that investment remained very vague, but that amount cannot be considered a replacement for applying sales tax fairly to all the players operating in the same market. It might have been considered a gain if it was in addition to the sales tax!

Plus, rather than lightening Canadians’ financial burden, Netflix has already announced that its subscription fees will be increased in Canada. That’s why Copibec is supporting the Declaration for the sustainability and the vitality of national culture and media in the digital era, which asks our governments to protect our cultural products and give them the same treatment available to foreign companies.

Since the start of 2017, we have played (and are still playing!) an active role in various provincial and national initiatives, including Quebec’s cultural policy renewal, Canada’s new cultural policy and the consultations on Copyright Board reform. In the coming months, the review of the Copyright Act will be the frequent focus of Copibec staff and Board members as well as anyone else who’s concerned about developing and promoting our culture.

We hope the Copyright Act review will finally restore the balance between users and creators, which was so dramatically and dangerously pushed askew in 2012. The Act must allow authors, creators and their publishers to continue creating and distributing cultural content by guaranteeing copyright compliance and the right to compensation when their works are used. The vitality of the entire cultural sector and the value we place on our national culture depend on it.

Turning now to the class action lawsuit between Copibec rightsholders and Université Laval after the university adopted guidelines that broadly interpreted the fair dealing exception for education, the legal notice mandated by the judge was published on September 7. You can view the notice here. To stay up to date on any developments, be sure to refer to our website.

On a more positive note, the series of lump sum (repertoire) payments that kicked off last spring has been completed. We recently mailed out over 12,000 cheques (a new record!) to book authors and publishers whose works were eligible. Lump sum payments, which are made every two years, are different from the other kinds of payments because they’re intended for Quebec creators and publishers. This year, a total of more than $2,9 million was paid out to authors, book publishers, visual artists, freelance contributors and newspaper and magazine publishers.

In closing, I’d like to wish you a great fall season filled with exciting projects and I hope we can all look forward to getting real recognition for the value of the creative process and intellectual property.

Frédérique Couette
Executive Director

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New team member!

There’s someone new at Copibec. We welcome Patrick Painchaud, who has a Master of Administration (M.Adm.) degree from Université de Sherbrooke. With more than 20 years of experience in business development, Patrick will oversee the deployment of solutions catering to large and medium-sized businesses headquartered in Quebec. We wish the best of luck to our new colleague!

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2017 Repertoire Payment for books: $1.59 MILLION

Quebec authors and publishers have been looking forward to today. Copibec is distributing the 2017 lump sum (repertoire) payment for books. A total of 12,442 cheques amounting to $1,593,415 will be (...)

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