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450 Broadview Ave.
Toronto, ON M4K 2N3
Board of Directors
Directors at Large
March 12, 2021
Copyright Act Technical Consultations
Since 1972, Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) has focused its operations on the protection and promotion of Canadian artists writing for the stage and performance in all regions across this country. Playwrights Guild of Canada also operates the Canadian Play Outlet, assisting playwrights in the publishing and distribution of their work. PGC is affiliated with Playwright Canada Press, an important national printing and publishing company in Canada.
Canadian playwrights make important contributions to Canadian content, to the cultural fabric of our country and give voice to the diverse identities of communities across our landscape. Canadian plays are known regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Playwrights Guild of Canada members earn artistic income in multiple ways: from commissions, from royalties on the sale of published works and royalties from performances of their works. Most Canadian playwrights cannot annually earn enough from commissions and royalties to sustain a living and therefore must also pursue teaching, administration, or other activities.
PGC strongly supports the recommendation that the Government of Canada pursue its commitment to implement the extension of copyright from 50 to 70 years after the author's death.
Within the Shifting Paradigms report, PGC does not see a clear method for addressing the 20-year gap that will be created because of this shift and suggests that a Grandfather Clause framework be designed before implementation of substantive changes to the act.
PGC further wishes to use this technical consultation process to ensure that consideration is given to any issues arising from derivative works have adequate provisions that protect Canadian artists who sourced material that had been in the public domain at the time of creation.
Playwrights Guild of Canada supports the request of Access Copyright Canada to leave the issue of licensing of orphan works and out of commerce works for future study and consultation.
With respect to the issues surrounding fair dealing for education, PGC finds that Canadian playwrights are more susceptible to being taken advantage of within the educational system for misuse and distribution of pirated copying that more traditional writing forms such as novels and textbooks.
We believe the intent of the parliamentary report and consultations is to focus on just practices, ethical issues and supporting a sustainable cultural industry and PGC is happy to participate in this process.
The Playwrights Guild of Canada wants to ensure that Canadian artists have copyright protection, that they are afforded fair compensation for the distribution and sharing of their works in the same manner that is true for corporate, technical, and scientific works. A significant issue facing the cultural industries is lack of resources to combat the situations which take advantage of Canadian artists.