February 2017

Copibec gets green light to sue Université Laval

In a decision announced February 8, the Quebec Court of Appeal has authorized a class action by the Société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction (better known as Copibec) against Université Laval on behalf of all authors and publishers from Quebec, the rest of Canada and other countries. 

Outlining the reasons behind the Court’s ruling, Justice Gagnon wrote that this class action is intended to help ensure that authors have access to justice while preserving legal resources and, if applicable, efficiently punishing behaviours that would otherwise remain beyond the reach of judicial intervention because of the limited degree of injury when considered in individual terms. He concluded that the action proposed by Copibec meets all these higher-level considerations (ref. subsection 86).

For more information regarding this class action, visit Copibec’s website or write to

Read the press release.

Visual artists: Now’s a great time to update your file!

This spring, Copibec will be making two royalty (licence fee) payments to visual artists. To be eligible, at least one of your works must have been reproduced in a book (including exhibition catalogues), magazine or newspaper PUBLISHED IN QUEBEC between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015. Works reproduced on digital media are not eligible.

March 17 is the deadline for updates!

Log into your account to update your list of publications in preparation for this payment. Copibec reserves the right to reject any registrations received after March 17, 2017.

What if you have questions?

Please contact Isabelle Billeau, Communications and Rightsholder Services Officer, by email or by phone at 1-800-717-2022 or 514-288-1664 ext. 235.

Lump sum payments coming in 2017!

Whether you’re a visual artist, freelance contributor to magazines and newspapers, or a book author or publisher, be sure to take a look at the communication material from Copibec. Some of our lump sum (repertoire) payments have registration deadlines that you won’t want to miss because the amounts available are distributed only to qualifying works. Unlike payments based on reporting results, lump sum payments go to works that meet specific criteria set by Copibec’s Board of Directors. The eligibility criteria are announced a short time before each registration period begins

The amounts available for lump sum payments come from various sources: interest earned on amounts collected, royalties received for copied works that Copibec is unable to identify, copies made from works whose rightsholders are unknown, amounts not claimed by rightsholders after a long time period has elapsed, etc. 

Here are some of the major lump sum payments scheduled for this year:

Visual artists

Registration: Winter 2017
Scheduled payment: Spring 2017

Freelance contributors to magazines and newspapers

Registration: Spring 2017
Scheduled payment: Summer 2017


Catalogue updates by publishers: Spring 2017
Scheduled payment: Fall 2017

If you’re an author, it’s your responsibility to sign into your account to check that your address is valid. You can also enter any titles that are missing from our repertoire. We will then contact the publisher to have those titles completed if necessary.

Make sure the address listed in your account is accurate so you can receive information on how to register for the payments. And don’t forget to read our newsletters and follow us on social media.


Check out all the services available from Copibec

For about the past 20 years, Copibec has been negotiating master agreements with groups that use copyrighted material and we’ve been issuing pay-per-use licences for paper and digital copies of articles, book excerpts and images. But did you know we also offer a range of other services to copyright owners and content users? Here’s an overview:

Locating copyright owners

Do you want to include an article, image, poem or short story in your project? Are you having trouble tracking down the copyright owner or are you simply running out of time? Then you should get some of the “detectives” on our staff working for you! They’ll be glad to take over the necessary research. Contact us for details about rates.


Are you a book author or publisher who wants to include an excerpt, image or chart that’s already been published somewhere else? Does your association or municipality publish brochures, newsletters or documents that include photos, illustrations or text material from various sources? We have extensive experience in managing those types of uses and we have already set rates for many different situations (password-protected websites, paper publications, exhibitions, USB thumb drives, corporate brochures, excerpts incorporated into visual content, interpretive signs, etc.). Copibec handles more than a hundred republishing requests per year.

Whether you want to ask for permission to use excerpts in a new work or you need help after receiving this type of request, choose the easy, fast solution and get in touch with us!

Public readings

What are public readings? Stories read out by phone or online services as well as poems and book excerpts read out during radio or TV shows would be good examples. Royalties are payable to the authors and publishers whenever copyright protected material is distributed publicly. 

If you’d like to obtain permission for public distribution of Quebec content or if you receive requests for public readings of your works, contact Copibec!

Attention publishers: Under the new agreement developed by Copibec, you can now give us authority to manage your public reading rights. Be sure to get in touch with us for more information or to add this option to the other rights we already manage for you!

Formats adapted for learning disabilities

Do any of your students with a perceptual disability need a digital copy of a document that can be used with speech synthesis or reading support software? Copibec already has agreements with select publishers to make content available to schools in adapted formats. The publishers provide a digital file to the educational institution (elementary school, high school, college or university) or school board and Copibec takes care of processing the request and then collecting and paying out the royalties. 

Last year, we processed more than 400 requests in this category. It’s a convenient solution that publishers and content users really appreciate!

Contact us!

Subscribe to SAMUEL 

Discover thousands of works published here! 

If you work in an educational institution at the preschool, elementary, high school or college level, your copying licence already gives you access to the content on SAMUEL.

A subscription could be a great opportunity if you haven’t had a chance to use SAMUEL yet. Students in education or teaching programs and anyone working in an educational institution (in Quebec or elsewhere) can subscribe! Get in touch with us for more information or details about rates!

A growing number of teachers, education consultants, francization specialists, adult education specialists, remedial teachers and other education professionals are turning to SAMUEL when they want to download resources in addition to the textbooks and other books they’re already using in class. 

SAMUEL has even received a valentine! It came from a Grade 3 teacher who declared her love for SAMUEL on her website.

What’s new in SAMUEL?

The latest additions to our theme-based bundles (in French) are winter fun, dinosaurs and childhood education techniques.

There are more than 20 bundles available, including some designed for specific age groups by Communication-Jeunesse and Livres ouverts. Take a look at all the other bundles and feel free to send us your comments and suggestions!

First stage of data collection completed in schools

A cohort of about 350 schools covering every region of Quebec is collecting data for the 2016-2017 school year so that royalties can be paid to the authors and publishers of copied documents. The first stage of this year’s data collection process ran from July 1 to November 30, 2016. The participation rate was 61%, representing a slight decline. These somewhat disappointing results were attributable mainly to administrative changes in a few of the school boards. Since then, they have made the necessary adjustments and have been submitting data for the second stage of the process. 

For the first stage of the year, we received about 5,000 copy log entries relating to book excerpts or articles reproduced by school board personnel or teachers at the preschool, elementary or high school levels, including vocational training or adult education centres. The data comes from the educational institutions participating in the surveys as well as teachers who voluntarily report the copies they make or who request pay-per-use licences.

More and more data is being generated by SAMUEL, our digital content platform. Since the start of the current school year, over 8,000 new users at the preschool, elementary and high school levels have created accounts to access our online services. That’s over four times more than the corresponding period last year! Our registration support team deserves recognition for their hard work in answering all the questions so quickly.

On the road with Copibec

Our outreach team consisting of Camille, Kevin and Nicolas has continued to travel across Quebec to talk about copyright, licensing and SAMUEL. 

Since September, they’ve visited 43 schools and met with the management personnel of three school boards and a college. They’re always looking ahead to the users of tomorrow and have met with future librarians as well as education faculty students at Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal and Université du Québec en Outaouais.

With many conventions being held last fall, our team had the opportunity to chat with teachers, education consultants, remedial teachers and other teaching professionals. Copibec set up booths at the conventions organized by FAMEQ (music teachers), ACELF (French-language schools across Canada), AQIFGA (adult education), AQÉSAP (visual art teachers), AQÉCR (ethics and religious culture teachers) and AQEP (elementary teachers).

We’d like to give a big thank you to all the people who’ve welcomed us! 

New licensees

The cities of Gaspé and Charlemagne are among our new licensees. Like Montreal and many regional county municipalities (MRCs) and municipal bodies, they’ve ensured that their employees can copy and share copyright protected documents. 

In addition, we’ve now created our first SAMUEL subscriptions for students in university education faculties. We’re pleased to welcome our new users!

Copyright news from Canada and beyond

Université Laval: RAAV makes its position known

The support for Copibec has continued to grow. The Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV) has joined the Union des écrivaines et écrivains québécois (UNEQ) and Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) in criticizing the remarks made by minister Hélène David in the Quebec National Assembly on December 9.  

Ms. David, who is the minister responsible for higher education and the former minister of culture, made some very regrettable comments about respecting creators’ rights and called into question the usefulness of copyright collectives. 

Read the RAAV media release (in French)

Pay double for copyright infringement!

Europe – Depending on the national legislation in the rightsholder’s country, twice the amount of damages can now be claimed for unauthorized use of a copyrighted work. The January 25, 2017 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union put an end to a Polish legal battle that had lasted 19 years. 

Read the article in French at Décider & Entreprendre or the blog post in English at The IPKat

U.S. publishers write to Trump 

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has asked U.S. President Donald Trump to strengthen copyright against new technologies that make it easier to illegally share books. In its open letter, the AAP notes that President Trump and his daughter Ivanka have published a total of 18 popular books and should be well aware of the valuable role played by publishers.

Read the AAP’s open letter 

What the Monopoly game can teach us about copyright

Is copyright a monopoly? Copyright skeptics say it is. We’ve all played Monopoly but that doesn’t mean we fully understand the difference between a “monopoly” and “ownership.” The Copyright Alliance has unpacked those definitions for us.

Read the article from the Copyright Alliance 

Facebook bots fighting for creators

Last December, we told you that Facebook was working with anti-piracy groups to remove illegally copied music from social media. Now the music industry has asked Facebook to develop a tool for identifying illegal works and removing them automatically.

Read the article in Billboard

©   ©   ©

Coordinator: Caroline Lacroix  

Contributors: Rose-Marie Lafrance, Frédérique Couette, Kevin Charron, Eve St-Aubin et Nicolas Boudreault 

Translator: Brian Colwill 

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last changed 2/21/2017