Photo © Tom Carnegie

Canadian Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, unveiled her budget plan for 2024-2025 yesterday. There is no announcement regarding the Copyright Act, contrary to the hopes of Canadian rights holders. The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE), representing over 350,000 professionals and creators, and nearly 3000 cultural sector businesses across Canada, denounces the prolonged inaction of the federal government on this matter. 

The book, music, and visual arts sectors, supported by all members of the Coalition, have been advocating for changes for several years that would benefit tens of thousands of rights holders in the country while costing nothing to the government and citizens. 

“The 2024-2025 budget is a missed opportunity: while the government has been promising since 2022 to take action to better protect copyright holders, it could and should have included targeted measures to address significant flaws in the Act,” said CDCE co-chair Hélène Messier. 

“ In many respects, Canada’s Copyright Act has a poor international reputation. The current government engaged in extensive consultations from 2017 to 2019: the solutions are known, but none have been implemented! Five years later, the time should no longer be for consultation, but for action. As creators and their professional environment face immense challenges, urgent action is needed to provide adequate and lasting protection for copyright owners in all sectors,” said CDCE co-chair Bill Skolnik. 

In June 2023, the CDCE published a document compiling all the demands of rights holders in the country, emphasizing the six most urgent ones. 

It is worth noting that the Copyright Act is a key tool available to the government to protect the diversity of cultural expressions, and the budget is one of the solutions the government can use to adopt targeted legislative changes. Its inaction for over a decade contradicts the leadership role it aims to play in this regard. 

    Budget 2024-2025: Copyright holders denounce federal government’s inaction

    Press release
    17 April 2024
    Budget, Copyright