Copyright: Urgent Revision to Safeguard the Revenues of the Book Industry


Copyright: Urgent revision to ensure the Revenues of the book industry

Montreal, October 27, 2021 – Copibec applauds the election of the Liberal Party of Canada and the appointment of Pablo Rodriguez and François-Philippe Champagne as Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. Having recognized the need to revise the Copyright Act during the last electoral campaign, we hope that the government will promptly implement its commitments. Mr. Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage in 2018 and 2019, is already familiar with the issue and has all the tools in hand to make the review happen.

Reviewing the Copyright Act before it's too late

In its platform, the Liberal Party has promised to reform the Copyright Act to reflect the recommendations of the Shifting Paradigms report, released in 2019. All other parties also supported a copyright review during the campaign.

"This is the first time in nearly 10 years that there is unanimity among the parties. The legal framework in which the book industry operates must be strengthened," said Christian Laforce, Executive Director of Copibec. "The Liberal government must take advantage of this consensus to act quickly so that the book industry stops losing revenues."

Since 2012, authors and publishers have seen their copyright payments shrink. Due to numerous poorly defined exceptions, the Copyright Act can be broadly interpreted by educational institutions to justify the mass use of thousands of works without compensation. This reality jeopardizes the vitality, diversity, richness and the visibility of Canadian culture.

Three strong recommendations to be implemented 

The book community urges the government to implement the recommendations of the Shifting Paradigms report, namely:

  • That the Government of Canada amend the Copyright Act to clarify that fair dealing provisions do not apply to educational institutions if the work is commercially available;  

  • That the Government of Canada promote a return to licensing through copyright collective;  

  • That the Government of Canada review, harmonize and improve the application of statutory damages for non-commercial infringement under section 38.1(1) of the Copyright Act.  

Ensuring the sustainability of the book industry

These recommendations are simple to implement and would ensure significant revenues for authors and publishers. They would also allow Canada to be a model in the area of copyright, rather than being looked down.

"The main function of the Copyright Act is to protect creators and their income, not to provide a myriad of exceptions to circumvent that objective," said Gilles Herman, President of Copibec. "The Canadian government and the new ministers must take all necessary measures to protect the book industry. The revision of the Copyright Act must not be an exception.

"The book industry needs proactivity. Copibec is ready to collaborate with the federal government, Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Champagne, who already have a long track record on this file, to remedy the problems of exceptions to Canadian copyright," insists Mr. Herman.

About Copibec
Copibec is a non-profit social economy enterprise specializing in copyright management. It represents more than 30,000 authors and 1,300 publishing houses. It offers users of copyrighted material simple solutions adapted to their needs. Internationally, the collective has agreements with over 33 foreign societies to include books, newspapers and magazines from those countries in its repertoire. Its members include UNEQ, ANEL, RAAV, AJIQ, FPQJ, SODEP, Quotidiens du Québec and Hebdos du Québec.


Additional documentation


Source :
Kevin Charron
Coordinator - Communications / 514-288-1664 #249