Current News

Canadian publishers call for urgent reform of the Copyright Act08-03-2021

August 3, 2021

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is discouraged by the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) July 30 judgement in the long-running legal dispute between York University and Access Copyright. The judgement dismisses appeals from both parties and leaves the Federal Court of Appeal’s (FCA) earlier ruling, that tariffs certified by the Copyright Board are not enforceable, in place. Disappointingly, the SCC did not offer a ruling on York’s fair dealing guidelines. These guidelines—which are identical to those used by most K-12 and post-secondary institutions across Canada had previously been found by the Federal Court to be illegal in both their terms and in their application, a decision that was upheld by the FCA in 2020.

“The SCC decision leaves Canadian publishers to navigate an increasingly challenging marketplace without the necessary legal tools to protect our investments in new educational materials, let alone encourage new investment,” said Ruth Linka, ACP President. “Resolution of the fair dealing issue is essential to our ability to continue to supply the K-12 and post-secondary markets with Canadian-specific resources that tell our stories, use our language and measurement systems, and reflect the Canadian experience.”

The SCC decision reinforces that Canada’s copyright framework is broken. Amendments made to the Copyright Act in 2012 opened the door to mass and systematic copying by the K-12 and post-secondary education sector. The sector’s uncompensated copying beyond the legal limits of fair dealing, as determined by the Copyright Board, is in excess of $150M. At the same time, amendments have limited statutory damages for non-commercial use to a point that enforcement is impractical. Urgent action on the part of the federal government is needed to implement reforms that will correct market damage and provide a policy framework that supports future investment in Canadian writing and publishing.

“Canadian publishers have been told consistently by successive governments since 2012 to be patient and to let the Courts decide on the question of fair dealing for education,” said Kate Edwards, ACP Executive Director. “After nearly a decade of litigation we find ourselves facing even greater uncertainty than when the Copyright Act was amended in 2012, and cannot repair the marketplace on our own. Bold leadership on the part of government is needed to clarify fair dealing provisions, and to ensure that effective mechanisms for copyright enforcement are available to all rightsholders.”

ACP is the national voice of English-language Canadian-owned book publishers. ACP contributes to the development and maintenance of vibrant, competitive book publishing companies in order to support and strengthen the contribution that Canadian books make to Canada’s cultural, economic, and educational landscape.

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2021 ACP awards honour Hamish Cameron and Quill & Quire06-22-2021

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is delighted to announce that Hamish Cameron, Vice-President, Distribution at the University of Toronto Press (UTP), is the recipient of the 2021 President’s Award. The ACP is also pleased to report that Quill & Quire (Q&Q), Canada’s longstanding and leading magazine of book news and reviews, will be recognized for its contribution to Canadian publishing with an honorary lifetime membership in the association.

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ACP welcomes Budget 2021 commitments and seeks targeted support for book publishers in its implementation04-20-2021

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) welcomes the tabling of Budget 2021, which charts the course for Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19. In addition to targeted support for the arts and culture sector, the budget includes a much-needed extension of emergency support programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. These broad-based programs have been instrumental to maintaining industry capacity over the last year. Canadian-owned publishers’ access to additional funding supports will be critical through the pandemic recovery period.

Download the media release here.

Canadian independent publishers call for review of sale of Simon & Schuster to Bertelsmann/Penguin Random House11-25-2020

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is calling on the Competition Bureau and the Department of Canadian Heritage to review the pending sale of Simon & Schuster (S&S) to Bertelsmann, parent company of Penguin Random House (PRH).

Download the full release here.

A statement on bookstores and COVID-1911-20-2020

Canadian bookstores that can remain open and sell books safely want to continue to serve their communities. The Association of Canadian Publishers joins them in calling on provincial governments to ensure their services remain available.

Download the media release here.

ACP’s 2021 Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance08-07-2020

ACP has made available its 2021 Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance. The brief can be downloaded here or accessed on our Government Briefs and Submissions page.

ACP announces 2020 AGM honorees06-22-2020

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is pleased to announce that Margie Wolfe, president and publisher of Second Story Press, will receive the 2020 President’s Award. ACP is also delighted to award Sharon Budnarchuk, bookseller extraordinaire, with honorary lifetime membership in the association.

Download the full media release here.

A statement from the ACP Board of Directors on anti-Black racism06-05-2020

As members of the Association of Canadian Publishers, we stand in solidarity with those who have taken to the streets in protest against the ongoing, brutal, and systemic anti-Black racism that remains foundational in our culture. This racism is both overt and passive. As a result, Black people are subjected to violence at the hands of the institutions meant to protect them, and they face persistent barriers to economic opportunities to which others are privy.

As publishers we hold the privilege of editorial choice, making decisions about what voices and what histories, stories, recipes, or poems are published, found in bookstores, reviewed, promoted, and brought to readers. In Canada, according to a recent ACP study, only 3% of paid positions in the Canadian publishing industry are held by Black people and only 18% by BIPOC. This lack of fair representation of Black and other racialized editors, designers, publicists—indeed across all roles in publishing—reflects the longstanding and urgent need for active and accountable change in the Canadian publishing industry at every level. It points past education and calls us to action. It demands that we seek out and uproot systemic anti-Black bias and racism in our midst. The Association of Canadian Publishers is committed to this endeavour, in order to reform and reshape our industry and create meaningful change.

Download the full statement here.

Media Release: Canadian publishers call for copyright reform in the face of broken legal framework04-29-2020

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is frustrated and disappointed by the Federal Court of Appeal’s April 22 decision related to the legal action between Access Copyright and York University. Though the Court confirmed the lower-court decision that fair dealing guidelines adopted by York do not meet the Supreme Court’s test for fair dealing, it did not uphold the decision that tariffs certified by the Copyright Board are mandatory. In essence, the decision reaffirms that the Canadian education sector has engaged in illegal and unfair copying on a systematic basis, and makes the prospect of enforcement for small- and medium-sized publishers impossible.

Download the full press release here.

Media Release: World Book Day: Global writing, publishing, and bookselling sector calls for support in response to pandemic04-23-2020

On World Book and Copyright Day, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) joins the global book industry in calling on governments to support the sector through the implementation of economic stimulus packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The association is proud to join Canadian colleagues in endorsing a joint statement issued this morning by the European and International Booksellers Federation, the International Authors Forum, the International Publishers Association, and the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers.

Download the press release here.

Media Release: Canadian Publishers Launch “Read Aloud Canadian Books” Program for Teachers & Librarians03-26-2020

As schools remain closed indefinitely and classrooms shift to online learning, educators and librarians are seeking out ways to connect with students and provide meaningful learning opportunities from a distance. In response, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and Access Copyright have partnered to start the Read Aloud Canadian Books Program.

Reading books aloud and sharing stories is a treasured daily activity in classrooms and libraries. Many educators and librarians have sought permission from Canadian publishers to read part or all of a book and to share a video of the reading for online story-time with their students.

Download the press release here.

Media Release: ACP statement on Post-Secondary Tariff12-10-2019

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) welcomes news of the Copyright Board of Canada’s decision in the Access Copyright Post-Secondary Educational Institution Tariffs, 2011-2014 and 2015-2017. The long wait for the decision contributed to instability in the Canadian post-secondary market, forcing publishers to make difficult investment decisions. With the Board’s decision, publishers can invest with greater confidence in materials for the post-secondary sector, which will help to ensure the continued supply of Canadian-specific learning resources over the long-term.

Download the press release here.

Media Release: Canadian publishers urge action following conclusion of Parliamentary Review of the Copyright Act06-05-2019

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) urges the Government of Canada to move quickly following the October election to table legislation to clarify fair dealing for education. This call follows the tabling of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology’s Statutory Review of the Copyright Act in the House of Commons earlier this week.

Download the press release here.

Media Release: ACP announces 2019 AGM honorees05-27-2019

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is pleased to announce that the late Dr. Gregory Younging, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, will be recognized with the President’s Award at the association’s upcoming AGM. ACP will also present Catherine Mitchell, consultant and ACP volunteer, with honorary lifetime membership in the association.

Download the press release here.

Remembering Greg Younging, 1961 – 201905-16-2019

It was with deep sadness that members of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) learned of the death of Gregory Younging on May 3, 2019. A member of Opaskwayak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba, Greg was Publisher at Theytus Books—the first Indigenous-owned publishing house in Canada—where he previously served as Managing Editor from 1990 to 2004. He returned as Publisher in 2015. Greg is remembered for Theytus’ ground-breaking publishing program; his vital contributions to Indigenous writing, editing, and publishing; and his scholarship in copyright, intellectual property, Traditional Knowledge, and Oral Tradition.

Greg volunteered his time and expertise with numerous organizations, including ACP’s board of directors. He was a driving force behind the association’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, and advised the Professional Development Committee on a progressive series of seminars on topics in Indigenous publishing, programmed in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Greg did this work with generosity, good humour, patience, and persistence. His ACP colleagues knew him to be a trusted and knowledgeable advisor, and above all a great friend.

In addition to the books he published at Theytus, Greg’s influence is evident in the numerous books he edited or advised on for many Canadian publishers. His expertise is captured in his 2018 book, Elements of Indigenous Style, which has quickly become a leading resource on publishing works by and about Indigenous Peoples.

Greg earned an MA from the Institute of Canadian Studies (Carleton University), an MPub from the Canadian Centre for Studies in Writing and Publishing (Simon Fraser University), and a PhD in educational studies (University of British Columbia). He was a member of the Canada Council for the Arts Aboriginal Peoples Committee on the Arts (June 1997-June 2001), the British Columbia Arts Council (July 1999-July 2001), and was instrumental to the development of the Indigenous Editors Circle and organization of the Writing Stick Conference. He was assistant director of research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and taught Indigenous Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

The ACP board, membership, and staff will miss Greg enormously. We extend our condolences to Greg’s family, his colleagues at Theytus, and his many friends across the industry.

May 16, 2019

The above statement is available for download here.

ACP welcomes Heritage Committee recommendations on copyright reform05-16-2019

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) welcomes the release of Shifting Paradigms, prepared by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which was tabled in the House of Commons yesterday. The report includes several recommendations that respond directly to issues raised by ACP over the course of the Committee’s study on Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries, primarily in relation to educational copying and fair dealing.

Download the press release here.

ACP releases study on diversity in the Canadian publishing industry03-20-2019

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) has released the results of its 2018 baseline survey measuring diversity in the English-language Canadian book publishing industry. The first survey of its kind conducted of the Canadian industry, the results were presented at BookNet Canada’s Tech Forum this afternoon, and the summary report is now available on ACP’s website.

Download the press release here.

Canadian publishers welcome the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s continued protection of cultural industries10-02-2018

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) congratulates the Government of Canada on this week’s announcement of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). After more than a year of negotiations, the agreement maintains the cultural exception first established in the 1988 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, and continued under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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ACP's 2019 Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance08-03-2018

ACP and ANEL have made a joint pre-budget submission to the Standing Committee on Finance. Together ANEL and ACP represent more than 215 book publishers, located in all ten provinces and Nunavut. Our members are independent businesses, owned and operated by Canadians, and they make critical contributions to Canada’s creative industries.

The brief can be accessed on our Government Briefs and Submissions page.

ACP statement on litigation between K-12 sector and Access Copyright07-23-2018

The Association of Canadian Publishers notes that Access Copyright has served and filed its Statement of Defence and Counterclaim in the legal action initiated by Ontario school boards and the Ministries of Education for all provinces and territories except Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Together those plaintiffs are seeking to recover more than $25 million collected by Access Copyright under a legally certified tariff for the period of 2010-2012.

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ACP launches Canadian Book Publishing Diversity Baseline Survey07-16-2018

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) has launched a baseline survey to measure diversity in the Canadian book industry. Inspired by the Lee & Low Diversity Baseline Survey, the survey will measure the diversity of English-language Canadian book publishing workplaces.

The survey will be online until September 7, 2018 at 5:00 pm EDT and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. A link to the survey can be found below:

Complete the Canadian Book Publishing Diversity Baseline Survey Now

Class action settlement regarding copyright: Copibec and Université Laval07-10-2018

On June 19, Copibec and Université Laval announced they had reached an amicable settlement, ending the class action that Copibec had filed on behalf of creators and publishers against Université Laval in 2014.

A legal Notice to Members has been issued. Authors and publishers are invited to read it and share with their networks.

No action is required on your behalf to be a member of the group or to receive compensation. 

The notice and the settlement agreement are available on Copibec’s website:
Legal Notice:
Settlement Agreement:

Updates related to the settlement will be posted on Copibec’s website.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

ACP welcomes Creative Export Strategy06-26-2018

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) welcomes today’s announcement by Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, of the Creative Export Strategy, which will invest $125 million over five years to support the export initiatives of Canada’s creative industries. In addition to the creation of Creative Export Canada, a new funding program, ACP is particularly pleased that the strategy will build on the success of existing Canadian Heritage programs, and will increase the export funding available through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) and other programs.

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Canadian publishers welcome settlement between Laval University and Copibec06-21-2018

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) congratulates Copibec and Laval University on reaching an amicable resolution to their longstanding dispute over unlicensed copying of copyright-protected materials. Laval ended its licensing agreement with Copibec in 2014, which prompted the copyright collective to bring forward the suit against the university on behalf of publishers and creators.

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Study: Canada’s policy on foreign control in the book industry is ineffective06-06-2018

On the occasion of its 2018 Annual General Meeting, today the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) released Net Benefit: Canada’s Policy on Foreign Investment in the Book Industry. This longitudinal study commissioned by the association’s membership in 2017, was sparked by renewed public discussion in 2017 around the sale of McClelland and Stewart to Random House. Cultural policy consultant Roy MacSkimming examines the implementation of the Revised Foreign Investment Policy in Book Publishing and Distribution (1992) by successive governments over the past 25 years. His report shows broad disparities and inconsistencies in the policy’s implementation.

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Independent publishers respond to provincial governments' legal attacks on Canadian creators and publishers02-28-2018

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is alarmed by the legal actions launched last week by Ministries of Education for all provinces and territories (except Quebec, and in Ontario through the provinces’ school boards) against the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright) demanding repayment of more than $25 million collected under a legally certified tariff for the period of 2010 to 2012. ACP calls on the Ministries and school boards to withdraw the suits, pay the tariffs certified by the Copyright Board for the copying of materials in K-12 schools for the period beginning in 2013, and bring Canadian K-12 schools back under licence.

Download the press release. 

ACP releases submission on NAFTA and Canadian book publishing07-26-2017

In its submission to Global Affairs Canada’s consultations on the upcoming renegotiation and modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the ACP calls for maintenance of NAFTA’s cultural exception, a renewed commitment to Canadian ownership of cultural industries, and stronger protections for copyright and intellectual property.

The first round of NAFTA negotiations is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., from August 16-20, 2017.

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