Canadian Writers Removed from an Education Sector Seminar

The effort to use Canadian writing for free is clearly not fair  

For immediate release

Toronto, December 7, 2012 – The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is asking for a forthright conversation with Canada’s teachers, professors and students about the use of writers’ work in Canadian classrooms.

Many school, college and university administrations have recently signaled they will soon stop paying copyright licence royalties owed Canadian writers. We believe this development is part of an effort within educational administrations to cut costs by using the work of Canadian writers for free instead of paying a reasonable copyright licence.

This aggressively expanded interpretation of Copyright’s fair dealing provision has been the focus of sustained lobbying by educational representatives for over a decade. Some Canadian community colleges and universities have created resource policies aimed directly at the elimination of copyright licensing. We believe this effort was not requested by teachers, and is not to the benefit of students; rather, the aim appears to be radical cost cutting by administrators and boards. We believe this will result in the greatly reduced availability of quality Canadian writing in our schools.

When the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) recently held a series of seminars about this policy shift, TWUC members and staff tried to voice our concerns to those assembled. Instead of the conversation with teachers and students we’d hoped for, TWUC members were met by an impenetrable and evasive college administration. Canadian writers were removed from an educational seminar, and denied the privilege of speaking or distributing information.

See the video of TWUC’s removal from the ACCC seminar here:


The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,000 professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.


For additional information:

John Degen, Executive Director
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416-703-8982, ext. 221


Merilyn Simonds, Chair
The Writers’ Union of Canada