For Immediate Release
Toronto – December 6, 2010 – Proposed reforms to Canada’s copyright law will turn core principles of copyright on their head and gut protections that for decades helped ensure the economic survival of Canadian artists, writers, photographers, visual artists, directors, composers, musicians and performers, a group representing more than 100,000 professional creators said in a paper released today.
“As MPs scrutinize C-32 in Committee they have to bear in mind that modernization of copyright for the digital age must not be allowed to shut creators out,” said Bill Freeman, Chair of The Creators’ Copyright Coalition (CCC), which prepared the statement. “But that’s exactly what C-32 will do.”
“It’s rare for arts groups to be unanimous in their views and to speak with a united voice,” Marvin Dolgay, a music composer and President of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, said. “We are 16 major arts groups representing a massive number of professionals in virtually every sector. To come together on this issue like this shows we mean business. We mean business, because our business is at risk.”
Canada needs stronger collective licensing, not the weakening of protections for creators that C-32 proposes, the CCC paper argues. (The full CCC paper is below.)
The Creators’ Copyright Coalition supports the modernization of copyright and the encouragement of greater access to creators’ works – but access for use and re-use of creative works must be compensated. The introduction of numerous broad exceptions for education and private purposes, and the refusal to adapt the private copying regime to a technology-neutral system that strengthens collective licensing, will shut Canadian artists out of the digital economy.
“Creators depend on a range of revenue streams for their economic survival,” Mr. Freeman said, “and C-32 would eliminate a number of those revenue streams. Fair copyright legislation should give the public access to the works of creators in exchange for fair compensation. That principle is even more important in the evolving digital economy so creators can develop new business models that ensure that they are fairly compensated when their works are used – vital to them continuing to create,” Mr. Freeman added.
The CCC proposes six changes to proposed reforms that disadvantage Canadian creators. These include the Bill’s provisions for reproduction for ‘private purposes,’ user-generated content, exceptions for education, statutory damages, Internet Service Provider (ISP) liability and the weakening of collective licensing mechanisms.
“Parliament must change these legislative plans,” actor Wendy Crewson said. “It must encourage – not discourage – the essential investments that Canadian musicians, composers, authors, poets, playwrights, artists, screenwriters and performers make and that will keep our digital economy healthy and productive. C-32 is flawed by a poor understanding of the structure of Canada’s creative industries,” continued Crewson.
About The Creators’ Copyright Coalition
The Creators’ Copyright Coalition is an alliance of national associations, unions and collectives representing individual artists working primarily in the English language media in Canada. The CCC includes the following organizations:
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (Equity)
Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC)
Canadian Artists Representation Copyright Collective (CARCC)
Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM)
Canadian Music Centre
Canadian League of Composers
Directors Guild of Canada
League of Canadian Poets
The Literary Translators Association of Canada
Playwrights Guild of Canada
Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC)
Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC)
Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC)
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
Writers Guild of Canada (WGC)
The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC)
The following creators have made themselves available for one-on-one interviews with the media. To arrange an interview please contact John Provenzano at 416-868-1620 ext. 292 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phyllis Aronoff is a literary translator from French to English. She has translated fiction, non-fiction and poetry by French and Canadian authors. Her translations have won the Quebec Writers Federation Prize and the Jewish Book Award and have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and other prizes. Phyllis lives in Montreal.
Gerald Beaulieu was born in Welland, Ontario in 1964. He studied art at the Ontario College of Art and Design including a final year of study at the New York City satellite campus. He is primarily a sculptor and installation artist. He has had exhibitions across the country. Gerald works and lives on Prince Edward Island.
Douglas Arthur Brown is the author of five books including the award-winning novel Quintet. He has also written short stories and plays. In 2009 he won the Nova Scotia Established Artist Recognition Award and has won the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize. Douglas lives at the Bras d’Or Lake in Cape Breton.
Alan Cumyn’s fiction for adults focuses on personal and political relations and his fiction for children explores the often humorous struggles of the inner world. He is the winner of the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Silver Birch Express Award, and the Ottawa Book Award and has been a finalist for The Giller Prize and the Trillium Award. Alan lives in Ottawa.
Bill Freeman is the Chair of the Creators’ Copyright Coalition and the author of numerous books, plays, travel features and film scripts including an award-winning series of historical fiction adventures for young adults set in Canada in the 1870s. He is a winner of many awards including the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature and the Canada Council Award for Juvenile Literature. Bill lives on Toronto Island.
Paul Hoffert is a recording artist, performer, music composer, and author of bestselling books, as well as the Chair of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, and the Glenn Gould Foundation Inc. He has won numerous awards including the Pixel award as the New Media industry’s “Visionary” in 2002, four Juno awards, San Francisco Film Festival Award, SOCAN Film Composer Award and the “Order of Canada” in 2005 for his contributions to music and media. The Financial Post described him as a “New Mandarin” along with Bill Gates and the Toronto Star characterized him as the “ideal visionary for the Digital Age.” Paul lives in Toronto.
Greg Hollingshead is the author of six books. He is a winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, has been a finalist for The Giller Prize, and is a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Gold Medal for Excellence in the Arts. Greg lives in Edmonton.
Denis McGrath is a Gemini-Award nominated screenwriter. He has written on such television series as The Border, Stargate: Universe, Less Than Kind and the upcoming XIII. He also co-created the series Across the River to Motor City, for which he won a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award. Denis lives in Toronto.
Eddie Schwartz is an award winning Canadian songwriter and producer. Best known for writing the smash Pat Benetar song, “Hit me with your best shot”, Schwartz has also penned tunes for greats such as the Doobie Brothers, Paul Carrack, Joe Cocker, Peter Frampton, Carly Simon, Rita Coolidge, Rascall Flatts, April Wine and Amy Sky. His worldwide sales are currently in excess of 30 million recordings. Eddie lives in Nashville and Haliburton.