Access Copyright v. York University: Supreme Court Decision Preserves Quebec Model of Collective Management

MONTREAL, July 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Supreme Court of Canada has issued an important decision in the dispute between the collective society Access Copyright and York University. By refusing to declare York University's copyright policies to be fair dealing, the Court has allowed the book industry to preserve its collective management model and is allowing Copibec to continue to pay some $12.5 million annually to authors and publishers.

"The book industry has a unique and effective model for obtaining fair compensation," said Gilles Herman, President of Copibec and representative of the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres. "We can only applaud the Supreme Court's refusal to endorse the abusive interpretations of York University and other universities wishing to reproduce works on a massive scale without compensating rights holders."

The government needs to regulate exceptions

It should be noted that the Supreme Court's decision does not, however, provide new guidelines for fair dealing exceptions. "Although the Supreme Court recognizes that the institutional and massive use of works could have a significant impact on the application of fair dealing, universities could be tempted to continue their legal battles at the expense of taxpayers and rights holders," deplored Laurent Dubois, Vice-President of Copibec and Director General of the Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois.

Copibec intends to continue its political lobbying of the Government of Canada to ensure that the exceptions to the Copyright Act are better regulated and adequately protect the rights of creators and their publishing houses.

About Copibec

Copibec is a non-profit social economy enterprise specializing in copyright management. It represents over 30,000 authors and 1,300 publishing houses. It offers users of copyrighted material simple solutions adapted to their needs. It is the Quebec counterpart to the Copyright Clearance Center (United States), the Centre Français d'Exploitation du Droit de Copie (France) and Access Copyright (Canada outside Quebec).

About the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres

ANEL represents more than 110 French-language publishing houses in Quebec and Canada. Its mission is to support the growth of the publishing industry and to ensure the influence of Quebec and French-Canadian books on a national and international scale. The publishing houses that are members of the Association publish various types of works, from novels to textbooks, essays and children's books.

About the Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois

The Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ) is recognized as the representative association of artists in the field of literature and has over 1,600 members. The professional union has been working since 1977 to defend the socio-economic rights of writers and to promote Quebec literature in Quebec, Canada and abroad.

Kevin Charron
Coordinator – Communications