Thursday, June 16, 2011
Don Meredith comments
(Don's attempts to use the comment function are being sidetracked somewhere, and as we have not yet worked out the bug, we're posting his comment here:)
I want to thank Dennis Reid for his detailed explanation of the League of Canadian Poets support of the TWUC motion to reorganize Access Copyright in favor of more revenue for creators. There is much food for thought in that information, and I hope to take the time to compare that information with my understanding of how AC works.
That said, I wish to make an observation that might explain some of the de facto (and not so de facto) pushback I’m receiving from many of the creators I represent with regard “killing the goose that lays the golden egg” (as was quoted to me). Those creators are nominally called “outdoor writers” but include magazine and newspaper writers, book authors, photographers, broadcasters, videographers and assorted government and industry “information officers” (who regularly write on outdoor subjects for their employers). Personally, I earn the bulk of my writing income from magazine articles and columns, and less so from the two novels I’ve published (which qualified me for a TWUC membership). While Dennis reports an overall drop of income from AC for poets, I must report that a poll I made of the members of the Outdoor Writers of Canada showed that 60% of those who did receive a payment from AC in 2010 received a larger payment than they did in 2009 (some of those payments were in the $1000 to $5000 class). Why? Because most of these writers also publish photographs to illustrate their work in either magazines or books, and many are very prolific indeed. Thus, the expansion of the repertoire system through Payback, that included payment for photographs as well as the number of articles and pages published, provided many of the writers I represent to AC with significant increases in their income. As would be expected, these writers are somewhat defensive of that income.
That’s not to say that how AC is run and how revenue is distributed is not a concern. It is. However, it has been made clear to me that a more important challenge is on the horizon that could render all this arguing among the creators moot. If Michael Geist and the federal government are successful in placing educational copying in “fair use”, then a whole different landscape with regard to AC will be presented.
I’d be curious to know how writers other than book authors (TWUC) and poets (LCP) feel about this issue (e.g., where does PWAC stand). Have they supported the TWUC motion?
Posted by Christopher Moore at 6:04 AM