How to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day

How to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day

A celebration of creativity

Every year since 1995, April 23 has been designated World Book and Copyright Day

It’s intended to showcase the creativity and diversity of everyone in the book industry but I also think it’s a great opportunity to thank the users who take a few minutes to report their use of copyrighted content. Thanks to their commitment, a total of $13.6 million was paid out to creators in the book sector in 2022 alone. 

That amount, which helps keep the literary world vibrant, may seem big. However, it’s not a huge sum considering how much content actually gets used. In truth, only a portion of content use is reported, while no royalties are paid to copyright owners for much of the content used. 

Many people aren’t aware that all content is protected by the Copyright Act unless the creative work has entered the public domain. A large share of the population doesn’t fully understand what they’re allowed to do or not allowed to do with content created by others. 

Whether you’re using copyrighted content for personal or commercial purposes, there are rules that apply. How well do you know them? 


Honouring the work done by creators 

There are many ways to honour the creative work done by the authors, journalists, visual artists and publishers that Copibec represents. Complying with copyright is at the top of that list. 

A good way to start is by getting into the habit of asking the copyright owners for permission when you want to use the copyright-protected content they have produced. 

For example, you need permission when you quote from a work, share it online, adapt it (e.g. video, theatre and radio), do a public reading, translate it, etc. Only the copyright owner has the authority to take those actions or authorize someone else to take them. 


Awareness about our consumption 

This year, what if World Book and Copyright Day became an opportunity for cultural content consumers like us to think about how we use cultural products and ask ourselves whether we always respect the rights of the people who created that content. 

— Mélissa Verreault, president