Federal Budget 2024: Another Missed Opportunity for Copyright Reform


Federal Budget 2024: Another Missed Opportunity for Copyright Reform


Montreal, April 17, 2024 — 
Access Copyright and Copibec, copyright collectives serving over 40,000 writers, visual artists, and publishers across Canada, are alarmed by the Government of Canada's Budget 2024, which neglects to include long-needed action regarding Canada’s fair dealing regime. 

Despite sustained and concerted advocacy from the entire creative and book-publishing industry in Canada regarding copyright reform, the government has once again chosen to delay the adoption of measures that are necessary to ensure that rightsholders are properly compensated when their works are used in Canada. After more than ten years of consultations and promises, definitive legislation has never been more urgently needed to set clear limits on the issue of fair dealing and ensure fair remuneration for rightsholders. 

For over a decade now, Canadian creators and publishers have stressed the urgency of clarifying the issue of fair dealing in Canada. It is disappointing that Budget 2024 does not provide the tangible solutions needed to remedy this situation.

“Since 2012, the copyright landscape has been rife with uncertainty for writers, book publishers and rights collectives,” said Kate Edwards, CEO of Access Copyright. “Canadian authors, visual artists and publishers outside of Quebec—those served by Access Copyright—have borne the primary impact of government inaction, which has resulted in millions upon millions in lost revenue for those who create and publish Canadian literature and Canadian-specific learning resources.”

Quebec rightsholders have not been immune. “Without a clear legislative signal from the government, the risk of an increasingly permissive interpretation of fair dealing in Quebec grows which will hurt Quebec creators”, said Christian Laforce, Executive Director of Copibec. 

Without certainty as to fair dealing and other necessary changes to the Copyright Act, Canada will continue to be out of step internationally. It is imperative that Canadian authors, visual artists, and publishers enjoy the same rights and remuneration as their peers around the world, and that they be assured that their government will fiercely defend these rights alongside the future of Canadian literature.

The Copyright Act does not adequately protect Canadian authors, rightsholders and publishers. The government must take action during the current parliamentary session to remedy this longstanding issue. Access Copyright and Copibec will continue to work in partnership with others across the sector to propose solutions that will strengthen and protect Canadian creators and their stories.

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About Access Copyright

For over 35 years, Access Copyright has facilitated content use for educational and professional purposes. Access Copyright has helped people make customized use of published materials combined with an assurance that the original creators and publishers also benefit, so that they can continue creating new and innovative works. This is vitally important to a strong Canadian culture and to all who rely on quality publications.

About Copibec

Copibec is the Quebec collective management society for reproduction rights, a non-profit social economy enterprise specialized in copyright management. It represents over 30,000 authors and 1,300 publishing houses. Copibec provides users of copyright-protected material with simple and tailored solutions to meet their needs. On the international scale, the collective management society has agreements with over 33 foreign societies to include books, newspapers, and magazines from these countries in its repertoire. Among its members are UNEQ, ANEL, RAAV, AJIQ, FPQJ, SODEP, Quotidiens du Québec, and Hebdos du Québec.

For more information, please contact:

Kate Edwards
Chief Executive Officer
Access Copyright
kedwards@accesscopyright.ca

Christian Laforce
Executive Director
Copibec
c.laforce@copibec.ca