In December Copyright Visual Arts distributed thousands of dollars to Members whose works have been reproduced in books and magazines. These royalties have been collected by our sister society Access Copyright which manages the Reprographic Right. We have also added royalties collected by SAIF [Societé des Auteurs des arts visuels et de l’Image Fixe] from the private copy levy collected in France for which we are very thankful.
The sharp decrease of reprographic royalties collected in Canada by Access Copyright is a result of decision by most colleges and universities to stop paying royalties for the millions of photocopies teachers, students and staff make every year. This is why, since 2012, the cheques we post in December are for a smaller amount each year.
As we explained last year, this drop of income is the direct result of the educational exemptions made to the Copyright Act in 2012 by the previous federal government. In Quebec, most colleges and universities still pay licenses to Copibec (the Quebec equivalent of Access Copyright), but at a much lower rate.
Both Copibec and Access Copyright have taken legal action in the name of all artists, authors and publishers of Canada to defend the Reprographic Right. In Ontario, a judgment in favor of Access Copyright vs York University has been appealed by the university. In Québec, Copibec has launched a class action against Laval University. Ultimately, success in these legal cases could have a beneficial effect on the amount of royalties we distribute to you.
Copyright Visual Arts continues to work with its partners, CARFAC and RAAV to build national and international partnerships and to advocate for stronger royalty protection for visual artists.