Canadian cultural sector calls on the Senate to repair Bill C-11

Toronto – The Canadian cultural sector urges the Senate to seriously consider amendments to mitigate the destructive effects of the Bill C-11 (Copyright Modernization Act) on contributions that artists, creators and producers make to the knowledge economy.

Cultural organisations across Canada presented a list of amendments to Bill C-11 in February to Parliamentarians aimed at minimizing the negative impacts of the Bill. Stephen Waddell, ACTRA’s National Executive Director said, on behalf of the coalition, “We are deeply disappointed that none of our recommendations have been taken into account by the House of Commons. C-11 is now heading to the Senate where we hope Senators will pay more attention to our concerns.”

“The common concerns we put forward resulted from an unprecedented joint effort on the part of the cultural sector to concretely help Parliamentarians avoid unwanted consequences of the Bill,” added Greg Nordal, President and CEO of Nelson Education Ltd. “While it is good for some Canadian cultural industries, Bill C-11 creates an extraordinary number of exemptions which will materially damage the livelihood of our artists, creators and producers. We are now turning to the Senate to correct the most egregious aspects of the Bill.”

During the copyright reform debate of the past eighteen months, the sector has emphasized that significant amounts of annual revenue would be unfairly put at risk by an unchanged Bill C-11. Canadian writers and publishers are particularly concerned with the potential impacts of the new, vaguely defined exemption for education under fair dealing. Canada’s cultural industries, as well as governments, have invested heavily in recent years to make the transition to digital markets. According to Nordal, “By compromising the viability of the educational market for Canadian materials, Bill C-11 threatens to nullify these efforts. Indeed, the uncertainty created by the bill in its current form is already having a negative impact on the marketplace. Unless it is amended in a way that addresses its current ambiguities, this bill will greatly reduce incentives for investment in the creation of educational materials for all Canadian students.”

In its current form, Bill C-11 will also have an immediate impact on the music industry, as the long list of exceptions could result in the disappearance of various well-established sources of revenue for artists, creators and producers. For instance, radio broadcasters will no longer be required to pay rights holders for copies of works kept for less than 30 days, a new exception will allow the reproduction of works if it is an essential part of a “technological process”, the private copying regime will not be modernized to include digital audio recorders and consumers will be allowed to freely use works to create and distribute new “user-generated content” for non-commercial purposes. “In addition to reducing the existing revenues of rights holders, the proposed measures will restrict creators’ access to new markets and their participation in the digital economy”, said ACTRA’s Stephen Waddell.

As signaled by the Quebec Bar Association last year, it is expected that the new Act will lead to years of costly litigation, including legal action likely to be initiated by international trading partners whose interests are equally threatened by some of the new exemptions adopted by the House of Commons. We in the creative community call on Canada’s Senate to improve upon Bill C-11 and truly inject the balance of interests that the Government signaled as its goal when it bravely took up the critical challenge to modernize Canada’s copyright law for the digital economy that will sustain us in the 21st century.

This press release is signed by the following organizations:

Access Copyright, The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency
Alberta Craft Council
Alliance des arts médiatiques indépendants/Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA)
Alliance for Arts and Culture (BC)
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
Arts and Cultural Industries Association of Manitoba (ACI Manitoba)
Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAAPNB)
Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)
Association des illustrateurs et illustratrices du Québec (Illustration Québec)
Association des journalistes indépendants du Québec (AJIQ)
Association des professionnels des arts de la scène du Québec (APASQ)
Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ)
Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL)
Association québécoise des auteurs dramatiques (AQAD)
Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association
Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA)
Canadian Artists Representation Copyright Collective Inc. (CARCC)
Canadian Artists’ Representation / Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC)
Canadian Arts Presenters Association / Association canadienne des organismes artistiques (CAPACOA)
Canadian Authors Association (CAA)
Canadian Conference of the Arts/Conférence canadienne des arts (CCA)
Canadian Copyright Institute (CCI)
Canadian Crafts Federation (CCF) /Fédération canadienne des métiers d’art (FCMA)
Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) / Fédération canadienne des musiciens (FMC)
Canadian Educational Resources Council (CERC)
Canadian Freelance Union, CEP 2040 (CFU)
Canadian League of Composers (CLC) La Ligue canadienne des compositeurs (LCC)
Canadian Music Centre (CMC)
Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA)
Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd (CMRRA)
Canadian Publishers’ Council (CPC)
Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers / Société canadienne des auteurs, illustrateurs et artistes pour enfants (CANSCAIP)
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada / Syndicat canadien des communications, de l’énergie et du papier (CEP/SCEP)
Conférence internationale des arts de la scène / International Exchange for the Performing Arts (CINARS)
Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM)
Conseil québécois du théâtre (CQT)
Craft Council of British Columbia
Creators Copyright Coalition (CCC)
Culture Montréal
DAMI© – Droit d’auteur / Multimédia-Internet / Copyright
Directors Guild of Canada / Guilde canadienne des réalisateurs (DGC)
Edmonton Musicians’ Association
Federation of BC Writers
Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF)
Front des réalisateurs indépendants du Canada (FRIC)
Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ)
League of Canadian Poets (LCP)
Literary Press Group of Canada (LPG)
Literary Translators’ Association of Canada / Association des traducteurs et traductrices littéraires du Canada
Playwrights Guild of Canada (PWGC)
Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC)
Quebec Writers’ Federation
Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV)
Regroupement des arts interdisciplinaires du Québec (RAIQ)
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts / Académie royale des Arts du Canada
Saskatchewan Publishers’ Group (SPG)
Saskatchewan Writers Guild (SWG)
Screen Composers Guild of Canada / Guilde des compositeurs canadiens de musique à l’image (SCGC)
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)/ Société canadienne des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique (SOCAN)
Société de développement des périodiques culturels québécois (SODEP)
Société civile des auteurs multimédia (SCAM)
Société de gestion de l’Union des Artistes (ARTISTI)
Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (SARTEC)
Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD)
Société du droit de reproduction des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs au Canada (SODRAC)
Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ)
Société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction (Copibec)
Société québécoise des auteurs dramatiques (SOQAD)
Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC)
The Writers’ Guild of Alberta (WGA)
The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC)
Union des artistes (UDA)
Union nationale des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ)

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