On World Book Day, the Association of Canadian Publishers, Access Copyright, and The Writers’ Union of Canada are among the international organizations calling for governments to adopt economic stimulus packages that will help sustain the publishing sector.
An open letter signed by five international associations – including the International Authors Forum led by board chair and TWUC executive director John Degen – acknowledges the importance of books and reading during the coronavirus emergency as most of the world’s population self-isolates. The letter also draws attention to the devastating impact the pandemic is having on the world’s creative sectors: “We must find ways to ensure the future for authors, publishers, editors, designers, distributors, booksellers, and those who work in collective management, so that the book industry can bounce back once this pandemic is conquered.”
A separate statement by the ACP references the emergency support measures already announced by the Canadian federal government, in particular, last week’s $500-million investment dedicated to arts, culture, and sports organizations. ACP expressed its desire to keep working with Canadian Heritage on initiatives that will help sustain the publishing industry while continuing to rally for copyright reform.
ACP executive director Kate Edwards says, “Canadian publishers, writers, and booksellers have responded to the current emergency with creativity and generosity to ensure Canadians can access the books they need for education, information, and escape. Government policy and investment will be critical to ensuring this important work continues through 2020 and beyond.”
TWUC’s statement also reinforces the need for copyright reform: “TWUC calls on the federal government to finally fix the educational copying crisis that has so negatively impacted our industry. There is no longer any doubt that quality Canadian content created by Canadian authors and publishers is in high demand by the education system. It is time to clarify that the licensing of our work is mandatory, and to bring education back to the table to negotiate reasonable terms.”