The CDCE recommends that the Copyright Act be reviewed as soon as possible to help restore a balance for cultural ecosystems. The COVID highlighted the fragile situation of cultural industries and the precarious condition of artists, creators and workers in the sector. The cultural sector has been shaken by the growing access to cultural expressions via the Internet during the 2010’s and then by the revision of the Copyright Act in 2012, which added several exceptions that do not meet Canada’s international obligations.
The pandemic has accelerated the move to digital. The market was already broken by digital; it is now collapsing. Beyond jobs and the contribution of culture to our economy, it is the vitality of the sector and the diversity of cultural expressions that is at stake. Meanwhile, companies providing access to cultural expressions online have made unprecedented profits. They have the means to better remunerate rights holders for the value they derive from the content protected by copyright.
At a minimum we can assess the impact of our recommendations to amend the Act to more than $136 million in autonomous revenues, paid by companies for the use of content that could be returned annually to the cultural ecosystems and the Canadian economy. At a time when public finances are already under pressure, the revision of the Act presents itself as a fair and relevant market based solution to contribute to the creation of rich, innovative and diverse cultural expressions.