The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) congratulates the MPs elected on Monday, October 21, 2019, and invites them to take note of the important mobilization of the cultural sector during the election campaign.

The Coalition, made up of organizations such as the Directors Guild of Canada, ACTRA, the Songwriters Association of Canada and many others, led a major campaign to protect and promote Canada’s cultural expressions in the digital environment. Under the slogan “Save Our Culture”, the creative industries have mobilized to demand that our cultural policies be applied online.

“The increase in campaigns and initiatives on cultural issues in recent months reflects an unsustainable situation for artists, creators, professionals and cultural enterprises in Canada: loss of visibility of local works, falling copyright revenues, declining funding for content development”, said Bill Skolnik, CDCE Co-Chair.

The federal election marks a new stage in this mobilization. The Liberal Party made several commitments during this campaign: taxation of the Web giants’ revenues, revision of broadcasting and telecommunications laws in the coming year to ensure that all players who benefit from the system contribute to it (offering and promoting Canadian content, contributing to the creation of Canadian content), increased funding for Telefilm Canada, strengthening the mandate of Radio Canada, etc.

“It is our hope that the new team in place will work on implementing these commitments in the coming weeks”, said Bill Skolnik. “We invite the new government to work with the other political parties to obtain quick results and improve their proposals. The culture sector needs a global mobilization and we are ready to make our contribution to the work of the new government now.”

The Coalition is calling on the new federal government to take immediate action to ensure that digital platforms contribute to the funding and promotion of Canadian cultural content, and that telecommunications service providers contribute to the financing of creative activity in Canada.

The revision of the Copyright Act must also be one of the new government’s priorities in the field of culture. Authors, creators and professionals in the sector urgently need a legislative framework that allows them to be remunerated at the level of the value generated by their content. The new Copyright Act must be adapted to contemporary reality so that digital platforms pay rights to those who own them in Canada and the private copying regime includes technological devices that provide access to cultural content. The number of exceptions provided for in the Act must be reduced and the remaining exceptions must result in compensation for creators.

All these measures must be taken quickly because the cultural sector can no longer wait. In a constantly evolving digital world, with the continuous development of technologies and the uncertainties associated with the deployment of artificial intelligence, these fundamental laws, which date back to the 1990s, must be adapted. The future of our cultural ecosystems is at stake, we must act now.

 

For more information:

Bill Skolnik, CDCE Co-chair

Céline De Dianous, Communication and Research Officer

514-277-2666