June/July 2017

New Board of Directors for 2017-2018

Copibec’s Annual General Meeting was held on June 15, 2017. Danièle Simpson, representing the Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ), will be Chair of the Board during the upcoming year when the review of the Copyright Act gets underway. As an author, short story writer and poet, Ms. Simpson has never hesitated to speak or write in favour of royalty payments for authors and publishers when their works are used. She has been a Copibec Board member since 2006.

The following Board members were also elected: Gilles Herman from the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), Véronyque Roy (UNEQ), Yann Pineau from Les Quotidiens du Québec, Francine Bergeron from the Société de développement des périodiques culturels québécois (SODEP), Emmanuelle Bruno (ANEL), André Dumont from the Association des journalistes indépendants du Québec (AJIQ), Lise Létourneau from the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels (RAAV), André Roy (UNEQ) and Suzanne Spino (ANEL).

In the past fiscal year, Copibec collected $13.5 million in royalties (licence fees) for copyright-protected works that were copied or used. Since Copibec’s operations began nearly 20 years ago, we have paid out over $183.5 million in royalties to the publishers and authors of books, periodicals and newspapers as well as visual artists, songwriters and playwrights. Unfortunately, like the previous year, there has been a continuous decline in the amount of royalties distributed to rightsholders. That decline is a direct result of lower royalties collected by Copibec. 

On the royalty front, the lawsuit against Université Laval remains a major concern for us. Gilles Herman, outgoing Chair of the Board, noted that even though Quebec universities renewed their agreement with Copibec for a four-year term, “one village of diehard copiers was still keeping up the fight against copyright. But in contrast to the heroes in the Asterix series by Goscinny and Uderzo, they do not have much support from the public, professors, students and maybe even the judges on the Quebec Court of Appeal, which reversed the lower-court ruling by authorizing Copibec to sue Université Laval on behalf of copyright owners.”

Looking to the year ahead, let’s hope that the erosion of copyright will be stopped. It’s time for the work done by authors, publishers and artists to be recognized, which goes hand in hand with their right to receive fair compensation for the use of their works.

Payment to magazine and newspaper freelancers 

Lump sum payment on the way

The cheques will be mailed out this summer based on the data in your online account as of July 4, 2017. To be eligible for the basic lump sum (repertoire) payment, you must have published at least 8 articles in 2014 and 2015. A bonus will be payable if you published more articles than the median number reported by everyone registered. 

Do you have any questions? Please contact Kevin Charron, Communications and Rightsholder Services Officer, by email or by phone at 1-800-717-2022 or 514-288-1664 ext. 249.

Payment to book publishers 

A lump sum (repertoire) payment will be made this fall to book publishers based on their titles registered in the Copibec repertoire as of June 30, 2017. To be eligible, the books must have been published between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2015 and must meet the criteria set by the Board of Directors.

You can access your online account to check that all your titles have been registered in our repertoire and are complete and approved. Incomplete titles (including those whose status is “creation in progress” and “pending approval”) will not be eligible for the lump sum payment. It’s possible to generate an Excel report of your registered titles by going to the Repertoire section of your online account. 

What if some of your titles have been sold or their rights have reverted to authors? 

It’s important to notify Copibec so the royalties can be paid to the appropriate rightsholders. 

If you have any questions or need help registering your titles online, feel free to contact Isabelle Billeau, Communications and Rightsholder Services Officer, at 1-800-717-2022 or 514-288-1664 ext. 235.

Did you know…? 

Since 2009, Copibec and the Fédération québécoise des centres communautaires de loisir (FQCCL) have had a master agreement allowing copyright-protected works to be copied? 

About 70 FQCCL member centres have signed the agreement and can now copy magazine and newspaper articles and book excerpts. The Copibec licence gives them permission to copy and distribute copyrighted documents for training or information purposes. 

That means trainers in centres offering language courses can hand out magazine articles or a few pages from a textbook to their students. Does the centre have a musical awareness program for younger kids? It can give them their own copies of the lyrics of a few nursery rhymes or illustrations showing various musical instruments.

What if some of the centres offer yoga, physical fitness or table tennis activities? Anyone registered in the activity can receive legal copies of valuable information such as game rules, nutrition guidelines, specialist’s advice, etc.

So far, 68 centres have signed the Copibec-FQCCL agreement, including the Quebec City YMCA and Montreal’s Patro Le Prévost, Ateliers d’éducation populaire du Plateau, Centre Pierre-Charbonneau and Centre communautaire de loisirs Sainte-Catherine d’Alexandrie. 

We’d like to thank the FQCCL and its members and we encourage other community recreation centres to follow their lead! Please contact us!

Revamped website coming soon!

We’ve been busy in recent months updating our website to better address the questions asked by users, authors, artists and publishers. The new site will go live soon. We’re looking forward to sharing it with you!

Copyright news from Canada and beyond 

Artificial intelligence supporting copyright 

The Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Éditeurs de Musique (SACEM), which is a major French copyright licensing collective, is joining forces with IBM to create URights. The powerful Watson artificial intelligence system will enable SACEM to track more than 980 billion download and streaming transactions so content creators can be compensated.

For more information, read the IBM news release.

New Spotify fund to pay artists

Spotify, the popular music streaming service, will avoid a costly lawsuit by creating a new $43.45 million fund to pay songwriters and publishers who haven’t been compensated for the use of their works. 

For more information, read the article in Le Monde (in French).

The tale of the counterfeit duck!

Can a bath toy be protected by copyright if it’s produced in a giant-sized version? We first asked that question last year. The issue has come up again, this time in Toronto where the famous giant rubber duck was seen floating in the harbour to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. 

For more information, read the Motherboard article.

Are you moving?

Don’t forget to notify us of your new address to avoid delays in your royalty payments!

Whether you’re a book author, article writer or visual artist, be sure to keep your address up to date so you can continue to be paid royalties when your works are copied. It’s easy: sign into your online account directly or contact us by email or phone!

Online access is available to everyone and allows you to update your personal information, monitor the titles registered by your publisher, view the payments you’ve received, etc.

Coordinator: Caroline Lacroix 
Contributors: Rose-Marie Lafrance, Frédérique Couette, Kevin Charron, Nicolas Boudreault and Eve St-Aubin
Translator: Brian Colwill 

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