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Canada’s Access Copyright predicts 55% royalty drop in 2017

14 November 2016

From The Bookseller:

Canadian national organisation Access Copyright is warning creators and publishers that 2017 royalties could fall by as much as 55% due to a reduction in revenue from the educational sector.

Access Copyright represents tens of thousands of Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers and their works, to license the copying of content to educational institutions, businesses and governments, among others.

The organisation estimated the amount it pays to creators will fall from $11m to $5 next year, according to Canada’s book trade monthly the Quill and Quire.

The drop in educational revenues for Access Copyright and the creators it supports is down to the introduction of an expanded definition for “fair dealing” in Canada’s copyright laws. In 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada issued five rulings in a single day ultimately changing how fair dealing is assessed, meaning schools could rely more heavily on fair dealing for photocopying that takes place on campus and in the classroom. With licences becoming less necessary, the result is less money from Canadian schools to copyright holders.

Roanie Levy, executive director at Access Copyright, told the Quill and Quire that its 2017 payout to creators would be 80% less than it distributed in 2013, when copyright holders received $23.5m.

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

Non-US, Royalties

7 Comments to “Canada’s Access Copyright predicts 55% royalty drop in 2017”

  1. Why would ‘your’ royalty fall if someone else’s books aren’t selling?

    That they aren’t selling as many books this year might be a better headline, but that wasn’t the message they wanted writers to hear. (Heaven forbid those writers go where they might make more ‘royalties’ per sale like Amazon.)

    • Access Copyright is a licencing agency similar to BMI or ASCAP for music. They charge a fee for every page spit out by a copier.

  2. When the Supreme Court of Canada made the fair dealings ruling an analysis I read suggested that if Access Copyright hadn’t tried to raise the royalty rate as much as it did the schools wouldn’t have sued and the court wouldn’t have ruled as they did.

    TLDR: It’s their own fault.

    • I deal with Access Copyright as a creator’s representative and as a licensee’s representation. That analysis matches my observations at the time that the lawsuits that led to fair dealing being expanded were triggered by Access Copyright and publishers trying to restrict fair dealing.

      Further restrictions on fair dealing was never going to increase revenue. Schools have budgets for these things and higher prices would just mean schools spending the same amount of money to access less product.

      I’m also not convinced by the amount of doom and gloom in the projections. Licensees have budgets and will continue to spend to the limit of those budgets. The people with the authority to set the budget rarely are close enough to the purchasing decisions to know how many widgets are being bought, and the people spending the budget do not want to decrease the size of their fiefdom. Some money will undoubtedly be spent in areas outside of Access Copyright’s purview, but 55%?

      As a creator’s representative I would very much like to see how much of Access Copyright’s budget is going to overhead, including legal costs.

      • IIRC, the Access Copyright people are the same jokers who tried to force schools to buy licenses for content they weren’t a clearinghouse for or was already in the public domain, and tried the ever-shady “but we’ll totes hold on to the money and for sure give it to the copyright holder if we ever find them” line. So I don’t trust anything they say.

      • “I’m also not convinced by the amount of doom and gloom in the projections.”

        You’re most likely right, this is their way of setting the groundwork for their next trick.

        “See, judge? Way back then we knew this was going to hurt us and now you need to strike this down so we can pay those poor content providers.” … “Why no, we don’t own the copyright on a lot of the things we charge for, but we collect on it anyway and if the rights holder comes along we’ll be sure to give them what we think is fair.”

  3. ” this is their way of setting the groundwork for their next trick.’

    right on allen, cept people arent as dumb as they used to be

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