The Canadian Arts Coalition supports Canadian creation in the Copyright Act Review

The following requests have been brought forward by Canadian creators and creative organizations in consultations with the Federal Government in 2017.

  • Improve the efficiency of the Copyright Board’s operations.
  • Ensure predictability in the Board’s decisions.
  • Preserve and elevate Canadian creativity.
  • Set proper limits on exceptions to preserve the market for Canadian works.
  • Guarantee fair remuneration for content creators and producers.
  • Build a framework for timely tariff decision-making and enforcement.

Quotes from Canadian Creators and their Organizers:

For various reasons, the Copyright Board’s tariff approval process has become very slow, with decisions made several years after the period to which they relate … this degree of uncertainty around tariff timelines and rates acts as a barrier to innovation and competitiveness in the Canadian marketplace.” – A Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada, Submission by the Association of Canadian Publishers, September 2017

Setting out clear rules of procedures including new case management rules, along with their corresponding timelines would help achieve the goal of improving the efficiency and timeliness of Board decisions.These procedures could be codified in regulations or otherwise. Access Copyright is of the view that such procedures and timelines may be shortened or dispensed with by the Case Manager if the situation lends itself to this (eg. an unopposed tariff) or if the parties agree.” – Reforming the Copyright Board of Canada, Access Copyright’s Submissions on the Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada, September 28, 2017

Music Canada applauds the government’s initiative and urgency in undertaking this reform process. Stakeholders, experts, academics, international observers and government committees have long believed that the Board must operate more efficiently, predictably, and render decisions in a more timely manner. The options for reform that have been proposed in this consultation process would represent significant steps forward for the Board, and provide hope for Board participants that the tariff-setting process will finally be improved.” – Re: A Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada, Music Canada’s Submission on the Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada, September 29th, 2017

A strong copyright regime for Canada is vital for content creators, particularly in this digital era. As cinematographic works are created and disseminated across digital platforms in Canada and around the world, it is all the more critical that Canadian creators be recognized under the Canadian copyright regime, and properly compensated for their creative efforts. This will ensure that our creators are well positioned to continue to innovate, take risks, be bold in their creativity, and create original screenbased content that appeals to audiences in Canada and around the globe.” – Re: A Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright the Board of Canada, Directors Guild of Canada, September 29, 2017

Setting out clear rules of procedures including new case management rules, along with their corresponding timelines would help achieve the goal of improving the efficiency and timeliness of Board decisions. These procedures could be codified in regulations or otherwise.” – Reforming the Copyright Board of Canada, Access Copyright’s Submissions on the Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada, September 28, 2017

Copyright is the foundation on which the creative economy is built, and is an essential policy tool that protects the intellectual property rights of publishers and creators, while allowing Canadians ready access to the content they rely on for work, entertainment, and education.” – A Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada, Submission by the Association of Canadian Publishers, September 2017

It can be cumbersome and inefficient for a user to seek permission from each and every individual rightsholder for every copyright-protected use it makes. When the system is working properly, the collective management of rights is an efficient and cost-effective way to ensure that Canadian copyright owners receive fair compensation when their content is used and users have easy, affordable access to that content.” – A Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada – Comments of the Canadian Media Producers Association, September 29, 2017

The legitimacy of the Act, the Board and the collective management regime is dependent on the legal certainty of the Board’s decisions and tariffs. There are, however, arguments being advanced regarding the mandatory nature of tariffs and whether users can “opt out” of a tariff set by the Board … in light of the continued behaviour by some users to ignore certified tariffs, the review is an opportunity to reinforce for greater certainty though legislative amendment to the Act, the Court’s conclusions that tariffs are mandatory.” – Reforming the Copyright Board of Canada, Access Copyright’s Submissions on the Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada, September 28, 2017

Meaningful, significant and enforceable penalties must be set for noncompliance.” – Submission on Copyright Board Reform, The Writers’ Union of Canada.

As the Copyright Act is being reviewed, the Canadian Arts Coalition will stand behind Canadian creators to encourage an outcome that upholds and values Canadian content.

– By Julia Horel and Monique Renaud

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