More than 500 Canadian art professionals have formed a new coalition to call on the government to take a balanced approach to copyright reform. Appropriation Art: A Coalition of Arts Professionals, includes arts organizations from Alberta, BC, Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan along with hundreds of artists from across Canada. The remarkable list features the President of Carfac Ontario and winners of numerous art awards including eight Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts.
The group identifies three issues in their letter to Ministers Oda and Bernier: fair access, certainty of access for creative purposes through a fair use provision, and no support for anti-circumvention legislation. There is something very exciting happening here: musicians, privacy groups, students, and now artists are standing together against anti-circumvention legislation and for balanced copyright. These are voices that until now have been missing from the copyright reform debate. With their active involvement, they have affirmed that the DMCA-like provisions have little to do with support for creators or creativity. Rather, they are provisions designed to support a small cadre of largely foreign-backed industry groups without representing the real needs of Canada's own artistic and cultural communities. It is time for the government to listen to its own artists, who are forcefully speaking in their own name.