Federal Budget Promises Long-Awaited Copyright Repair

The Writers' Union of Canada
Press Release

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) congratulates Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, and the federal government on delivering a progressive budget that recognizes the unique recovery and sustainability needs of the arts and culture sector in Canada.

TWUC’s pre-budget recommendations to Minister Freeland included following through on the government’s promised increase to the Public Lending Right (PLR) budget, and the immediate amendment of the Copyright Act in order to repair the damage to the cultural economy from unregulated educational copying of published works.

The Union is extremely pleased to see an extra $50 million in recovery funds for the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts, the ministry and agency responsible for PLR. We will watch for the promised PLR increase to be implemented in this fiscal year.

As well, after over a decade of market failure resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost to educational copying, it is gratifying to see Budget 2022 promise immediate repair to the Copyright Act. Minister Freeland’s budget commits to extending the term of copyright protection in Canada by twenty years (thereby bringing us into alignment with our major trading partners) and:

“…the government will also work to ensure a sustainable educational publishing industry, including fair remuneration for creators and copyright holders, as well as a modern and innovative marketplace that can efficiently serve copyright users.”

“TWUC has worked hard over many years for recognition of the need for sustainable marketplace repair,” said Rhea Tregebov, the Union’s Chair. “We’re grateful to Ministers Freeland, Rodriguez and Champagne,  our sector colleagues, and all government partners and contacts who have listened and responded.”

– 30 –

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. TWUC was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. Now over 2,500 members strong, TWUC advocates on behalf of writers’ collective interests, and delivers value to members through advocacy, community, and information. TWUC believes in a thriving, diverse Canadian culture that values and supports writers.

For additional information:
John Degen, Executive Director
The Writers’ Union of Canada

Date: April 8, 2022