FROM CARCC to Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels
Canadian Artist Representation Copyright Collective – CARCC — was established in 1990 by CARFAC. It was founded to put into practice the principles concerning artists’ copyrights – preparing the written agreements (licenses) and the payment of appropriate royalties for the use of their art works. CARCC members – better known as affiliates – are part of a copyright collective, and affiliation means that the artist gives a mandate to CARCC for the purpose of administering their Copyright, also known as AUTHOR’S RIGHTS.
Last December, our longtime friend and colleague Janice Seline retired from CARCC. Since then, we’ve been going through a transitional period, transferring CARCC’s administrative duties between our partner in Quebec, RAAV, and our CARFAC National office in Ottawa.
Copyright Laws are not static. Following the introduction of the Copyright Modernization Act, and despite all efforts from artistic and cultural players, nothing could prevent the partial destruction of the protection of Copyright in Canada. The act to “modernize” copyright came into force in 2012 and in the following year, university and school networks – who had campaigned for its adoption – began to rely on the education exceptions to free themselves off of the obligation to pay royalties to Access Copyright. This had the direct effect of dramatically reducing CARCC’s income, threatening its very existence.
As artists do when confronted with a difficult situation, CARFAC and RAAV took advantage of this challenge and decided to dramatically renew their copyright collective society, turning it into Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels.
A new name and a new vision
While keeping its corporate name, CARCC will be operating under the name Copyright Visual Arts – and “en français” : Droits d’auteur Arts visuels. Under this new appellation we will be serving artists in both languages from sea to sea.
Copyright Visual Arts has also become a copyright collective society administered by a board of directors delegated by CARFAC and RAAV. The two largest associations of visual artists are now working together to ensure the provision of professional copyright administration services by their society: Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels
Here are its new mission and vision statements:
Copyright Visual Arts is a non profit organization providing Copyright administration for professional Canadian and Québécois visual and media artists through comprehensive access to artworks licensing and professional services.
Copyright Visual Arts responds to a shifting Art economy in the digital age by providing effective tools developed with CARFAC and RAAV to enable visual and media artists to achieve sustainable careers.
Copyright Visual Arts will facilitate broad access to the finest works by Canadian and Québecois artists through simple and effective online licensing.
Administering Authors’ Rights for the benefit of Artists
As you may know, even after the original work is sold, the copyrights remain with the artist unless specifically assigned. Assigned or not, a work may generate income through use in exhibition, reproduction, digital reproduction, in film and so on. Copyright Visual Arts helps artists to protect their copyright and benefit from it. Any time an affiliate’s works are used, Copyright Visual Arts issues a license to the party using it. The license is a written “permission to use” in order to hold an exhibition, make a reproduction, etc. The license specifies the royalties to be paid for each way in which the work will be used, which are based on the CARFAC-RAAV minimum fees schedule. Once it has received payment from the users Copyright Visual Arts remits the money to the artists.
“Fee”, a word often misused
Speaking of “fees”, it is important to understand that when we speak of “exhibition fees” or “artist’s fees” we are speaking in reality of “exhibition royalties” because the Exhibition Right is included in the Copyright Act. Most artists and users understand that a reproduction fee is a copyright royalty but many think that the exhibition fee or artist’s fee is not. Because they also cover such payments as per diem, transportation, equipment rental, etc., these non-royalties payment are then deemed to be included in the exhibition royalty paid to the artist which is not right. Additional payments made to the artist for the exhibition of their work can be added to the Exhibition copyright fee but are not included.
That is also why Copyright Visual Arts deals with the Exhibition Right. In the future, we as artists in the visual and media arts sectors, should start using the term “exhibition royalties” and our fee schedule should be called the “CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Copyright Fees Schedule”.
We know that this transition has caused some delays in communication, which we sincerely apologize for hoping that you understand that it takes some time to reorganize Copyright Visual Arts’ services.
The daily administration of Copyright Visual Arts is now divided between two locations. Renuka Bauri, Membership Coordinator for CARFAC National, and Samar El-Chemali from RAAV have been working closely with RAAV’s Executive Director, Christian Bédard, so that we can ensure that all our affiliates are receiving the full benefits of their membership with us. Renuka is interacting with affiliates and the users to prepare the licenses, while Samar is handling invoicing and accounting. A Coordinator overviews the administration and ensures proper relations between the society and its members, CARFAC and RAAV.
CARFAC, RAAV and Copyright Visual Arts exist for the promotion and respect of artists’ rights because paying artists for the use of their works is the best way to improve their socioeconomic conditions.
Together, we will promote Copyright Visual Arts’ services in order to interest more artists to benefit from its services.
New exciting developments are on the way for Copyright Visual Arts. We will keep you posted. Long live Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels
Paddy Lamb and Deborah Carruthers
Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels
For information or affiliation: Christian Bédard, Coordinator : firstname.lastname@example.org