Access Copyright has posted a two-page response to my recent series of blog postings (transactional licensing, economics of the collective, future reforms, all three posts in single PDF) titled “Let’s Get the Facts Straight on Access Copyright.” Unfortunately, as has become typical for an organization that based its advocacy strategy on Bill C-32 on misleading claims about fair dealing in an effort to “break through” beyond talk of digital locks and levies, the document contains very few facts to address its transparency and financial concerns.
The key post in my series involved a look at the economics of Access Copyright with the goal of ascertaining how much of the revenue collected in 2010 was distributed to Canadian authors. Those numbers should be easy to find, but they are not. Access Copyright points to its total distribution in 2010, which was $23.3 million. Yet this does not set the record straight. First, this global amount was distributed to all publishers and authors, both Canadian and foreign. Second, this figure draws from both the 2010 revenues and the balance entering the year, which stood at $29.5 million. How much of the 2010 distribution came from 2010 revenues? How much went to Canadian authors? Access Copyright still isn’t saying.