Rights for Writers: Proposed Copyright Law Threatens Writers' Ability to Earn a Fair Living in Canada
Dear C-11 Committee Members (Copyright Modernization Bill):
We are professional freelance writers and we have grave concerns about the proposed Bill C-11. This bill in its current form will undoubtedly have a negative impact on our ability to earn a fair living as small business owners.
The writing industry as a whole has lagged behind others in terms of compensation growth. Where other industries have seen consistent increases, ours has continued to decline. Rates of pay are often the same as in the 1970s. One way that writers are able to have fair earning potential is by maintaining copyright on works produced. Bill C-11 jeopardizes that by allowing unlimited copying of material and its ill-defined exception for education under fair dealing.
In the music and film industries, copying of content without proper authorization from, and compensation to, its creator(s) is called piracy – and it is illegal. It is incumbent on your committee that writers are afforded the same ownership protection of their works.
Bill C-11 in its current form reduces our ability to earn a fair living and potentially could collapse an entire small business industry. This industry is vital to the cultural preservation of the Canadian identity. We contribute to the perspective and views that are uniquely Canadian. Bill C-11 has the potential to derail our industry and force people out of work. As with any industry, there are ripple effects beyond the immediate and obvious that should be considered.
We and our colleagues across Canada expect you will push to change Bill C-11 so that it will maintain our right to operate a small business, to protect our rights as creators and our ability to earn a fair living.
Members of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) - Toronto
Chapter, and allied members of the writing community