Outlining the failings of Canada’s 2012 Copyright Act, John Degen, Executive Director of the Writers’ Union of Canada, has raised concerns held by the cultural sector which the Canadian Government should take note of in its review of copyright policy. This is a warning not only to the Canadian Government, but to the world about the impact bad policy can have on creators and the society that enjoys their work. Degen sets out the need to better acknowledge the position of creators in the balance of copyright, respect for the principle of copyright and a moratorium on further copyright exceptions.
Regarding respect for copyright, there has been progress in Canada with a recent case ruling for York University to pay authors for uses of their work, which the University had been using without payment erroneously claiming it to have been fair use. It is rewarding to finally see the courts act positively to respect the work of authors and acknowledge where fair dealing exceptions have gone too far. We are delighted that Access Copyright filed this lawsuit on behalf of stakeholders, who for several years now have suffered from some poor decisions regarding the extent of exceptions in Canada. We hope to see this momentum continue through the review of Canadian copyright policy.
In his piece Degen cites the signed letter to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly from over 3,000 professional cultural workers respectfully demanding a return to creativity-centred policy and legislation. The IAF supports these creators in Canada who deserve better policy to support the cultural sector.
The full article can be found here.