The Writers' Union of Canada

The Writers' Union of Canada

February 15, 2011 06:00 ET

Canadian Writers Speak Out on Copyright

The Writers' Union of Canada Chooses to Send Their Video Message Via Social Media to Engage Others

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 15, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this Press Release.

Nino Ricci headlines a list of five prominent Canadian writers featured in a new short video, "Canadian Writers speak out on Copyright." The video, launched today on YouTube, is in response to Bill C-32, the federal government's proposed new copyright legislation.

"Strong copyright protections are fundamental to a writer's ability to make a living," said Ricci, a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award for fiction. "But C-32 needs serious revision so that it does not severely damage writing and publishing in this country."

The video, produced by The Writers' Union of Canada, also features stellar literary non-fiction writer Erna Paris, and award-winning novelists Susan Swan, Sandra Campbell and Alan Cumyn.

"Writers want to be paid for their work like everyone else," said Susan Swan. In the video, Erna Paris says, "No one else is being asked to subsidize education this way. Principals get paid for their work…computer companies aren't being forced to hand over free machines."

Alan Cumyn, Chair of The Writers' Union of Canada, was inspired to write the video when hundreds of Canada's most prominent professional writers signed full-page ads in The Globe and Mail and The Hill Times in November registering their concerns over C-32. "The professional writing community is galvanized over this bill," Cumyn said. "The new legislation, which is supposed to protect our work, has so many holes in it we'll be in court for years trying to figure out what it all means."

The video approach to advocacy is a departure of sorts for the Union. "We have spent months honing well-written briefs on copyright in conjunction with many other groups from the writing and other arts communities," Cumyn said. "But with the video we are trying to engage the larger public as well. Anybody who cares about the culture and history of this country ought to be concerned that professional writing and publishing are under such serious threat."

The Writers' Union of Canada is the country's national organization representing 2,000 professional authors across the country. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada and protecting freedom of speech, as well as promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic wellbeing of all writers. For more information, please visit

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Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    The Writer's Union of Canada
    Kelly Duffin, Executive Director
    416.703.8982 Ext. 221