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Société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction

Newsletter - July 19, 2018
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The last few months have been busy!

Internal restructuring, Copyright Act review and out-of-court settlement with Université Laval: those three initiatives have taken up a lot of our time and energy. We hope the weather will be good during our time off this summer because we’ll be back focusing on those files again in September!

 Our most recent news

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Executive Director’s update

If you follow us on social media, you know that we’ve been very busy at Copibec these past few months! Because of everything that’s been going on, I haven’t had many opportunities to reach out to you. But rest assured our team’s efforts have made a difference. We have some (good!) news to announce.

Changes at Copibec

As you know, Copibec has been navigating unsteady seas since 2012. In that context, we have had to review how we do things and we’ve made some changes in our team to keep it dynamic and ensure we can successfully meet the challenges to come.

There are some new faces on our team and you’ll soon have a chance to get to know them. Some of our current team members have been given new challenges in different positions. You may have to update your contacts! But don’t worry: we’ll make sure you’re informed about any changes that affect you.

Agreement with Université Laval

Copibec and Université Laval have reached an out-of-court settlement agreement to put an end to the class action launched by Copibec in 2014. Copibec and the university are pleased with the agreement, which is expected to be approved by the Court in September. For more information, please refer to the legal notice, settlement agreement and news release on our site.

Copyright Act review

Last spring, the House of Commons undertook the process of reviewing the Copyright Act. The 2012 version of the Act required the legislation to be reviewed after five years in order to re-evaluate the previous amendments.

As part of that review process, Copibec tabled its memorandum for the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (in French only) on May 18. A few days later, on May 22, Copibec and Access Copyright appeared before the Committee members, who were attentive to what we had to say (in French only).

I took advantage of that opportunity to highlight how much the exceptions added during the modernization of the Copyright Act in 2012 had eroded copyright and negatively impacted the royalties paid to authors, visual artists, journalists and publishers, including in Quebec where each licence renegotiation shaves more and more off the amount of royalties paid to copyright owners.

For their part, the representatives from universities outside Quebec used their time before the Committee to trot out the same reassuring platitudes that they had put forward five years ago: fair dealing for education and the exceptions for educational institutions were not having the impacts described by arts and culture sector. They maintained there was no correlation between the decline in royalties and the non-renewal of licences. What’s more, the universities said that since fair dealing had been allowed, students had been given access to more content of better quality (but didn’t explain how they had determined that) and that it was all free. Although tuition fees and coursepack prices had not been lowered, at least students will not be taking on more debt because they have to pay copyright royalties (which represent slightly less than 0.4% of their total annual university bill in Copibec’s case).

Fall 2018

The Copyright Act review will continue to be an important issue when the House of Commons reconvenes in the fall. We will pursue our efforts to convince lawmakers that collective licensing is an efficient, cost-effective alternative to fair dealing.

Copibec will continue to evolve so we can develop major projects for both copyright owners and users. Some of those projects will be underway this fall! Be sure to check out our next newsletter!

I hope you all have a great summer. Check back in with us this fall! In the meantime, visit our Facebook page and the News section of our site.


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