Details about affiliation, the repertoire payment, and other royalties and services for publishers.

Updated Publisher Affiliation Agreement FAQs

Why is an updated agreement necessary?

The previous agreement was developed back in 2003 and a lot has changed since then. That agreement contains a menu of grants arranged and described using increasingly unnecessary distinctions. While it remains sufficient for the delivery of existing licences, an updated agreement will strengthen the prospects for future offerings.

What does the updated agreement entail?

The updated agreement features a single, consolidated grant of rights with a technologically-neutral definition of copying and, as before, it appoints Access Copyright as your Canadian collective society to license that copying.

What is a “technologically-neutral definition of copying”?

The copying guidelines in the updated agreement treat all copying equally regardless of the method (ie: paper or electronic reproduction). 

How much of a title can be copied?

Customers would be pre-cleared to copy up to 20% of a book, or one article or artistic work from a single publication; or up 25% of a title if the permission is licensed transactionally.

What are the key differences in the updated agreement?

The updated agreement adopts four key changes that reflect current trends in copying behaviour and copyright law, and are designed to ensure that you continue to be compensated for the uses of your published materials:

  • A single, technologically-neutral grant of rights covering the copying of portions of all your titles
  • One set of copying guidelines for all customers/sectors
  • Inclusion of a “Making Available Right” to accommodate amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act in 2012
  • Removal of the digital deletion clause

Grant of Rights

What are the uses that we are granting?

The updated agreement features a single, technologically-neutral grant of rights that covers the copying of limited portions of your works, excepting any titles that you specifically exclude. Additionally, in response to amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act in 2012, the agreement includes a “making available” right to cover delivery of material in ways that allow access in a time and place of an individual’s choosing.  As well, there is a provision covering alternate formats for individuals with a perceptual or other print-related disability.

The grant of rights doesn’t mention anything about print or digital copying. Why is that?

In today’s marketplace, a copy is a copy irrespective of how it is made. In order to ensure continued compensation for the use of your published materials, we’ve framed the grant of rights in the updated agreement so that it will be applicable to both current and future copying practices.

Under what circumstances would Access Copyright be obligated to license alternate format uses?

There are provisions in the Copyright Act or under an applicable WIPO Treaty that would designate certain individuals with an applicable perceptual or print disability as being entitled to receive published content in a format that would allow them to use the materials.  In these circumstances, Access Copyright would offer a licence to create alternate format copies.

Does the updated agreement permit you to license posting on the open internet?  

Absolutely not. As in your current agreement, there is a specific prohibition against us licensing your work on the open internet.

How can we exclude some of our works in the updated agreement?

While we hope that you grant us the right to license all your works as described in the updated agreement, if you do wish to exclude certain works, simply give us written notice of the works you wish us to exclude.


How will our future royalties be affected?

You will remain eligible for the same payments and royalty splits you receive today. These include the annual Publisher Repertoire Payment and title-specific payments related to the appearance of any of your works in a reporting log or sampling study. There is no change to royalty splits or terms of payment between your current agreement and the updated affiliation agreement.

How can we set the fees for copying of our works under a transactional licence?

Simply give us written notice of the fees you wish to set for transactional copying of your works.

What allocations does Access Copyright make on royalties collected before distributing them to creators and publishers?

Access Copyright’s Board of Directors has approved the following allocations from the licensing royalties collected by Access Copyright:

  • An administrative holdback to cover administrative and operational costs. The holdback is currently set at 35%, including an allocation of 5% to cover costs of current future tariff proceedings before the Copyright Board of Canada.
  • An allocation of 1.5% towards the Access Copyright Foundation (currently suspended).

The administrative holdback is set at an historical high due to education sector’s interpretation of uses covered by “fair dealing” for educational purposes, which has lead many of our customers to stop paying for uses previously covered under licence. Portions of the holdback are being used to develop “add-value” services designed to re-engage those customers.

How does Access Copyright determine the allocations it makes on royalties collected? 

Administrative allocations are set by the Board of Directors, in consultation with the membership.

Distribution Guidelines

What if Access Copyright’s royalty distribution guidelines conflict with the contracts we have with authors and other creators?

Our guidelines relate solely to royalties collected and distributed by Access Copyright. These guidelines are developed by our Board of Directors and reflect current industry practices for royalty collection and distribution for copying done under collective licensing. By signing the affiliation agreement, you agree to distribute the royalties according to the royalty distribution guidelines, irrespective of your contracts with authors and other creators.

How would Access Copyright change the distribution guidelines in the agreement? 

Under the updated agreement, Access Copyright commits to consulting with our membership (comprised of thirty-four publisher and creator member organizations) about any changes our Board of Directors may make to our distribution guidelines. If our Board does implement any changes to these guidelines, we will give you three months’ notice in writing. 

How will Access Copyright determine which distribution splits to apply to our titles?

While we strive to ensure that our royalty distributions are made as accurately as possible, we won’t always know when a creator has assigned copyright to his or her publisher, or if there has been a reversion or reassignment of rights. As a result, please let us know when the copyright ownership in any of your works has changed by email at affiliates@accesscopyright.ca.

How quickly are we required to pass along royalties paid to us on behalf of creators?

While there is no time limit or deadline to pass along these royalties, it is expected that you will distribute them to applicable creators following standard industry practices.

What types of works would be covered by the “Other” category in the revenue distribution guidelines?

The “Other” category refers to any works that would not fall under any of the guideline categories of education and technical books, scholarly publications, trade books, and newspapers and periodicals.

Signing the Agreement

What will happen if we don’t sign the updated agreement?

If you don’t wish to sign the updated agreement, you will remain an Access Copyright affiliate and will continue to receive the Publisher Repertoire Payment and any other royalty payments to which you are entitled.

Why would we update if there are no consequences?

While your current agreement has been sufficient to deliver existing licensing offerings, it includes sections that are increasingly outdated. Failing to update agreements now may limit our offerings in the mid-to-long-term and that may ultimately lead to a reduction or elimination of the royalties you currently receive.

How do we return a signed agreement?

Please complete and sign the agreement (including the terms and conditions) and return to us by scanning and emailing (affiliates@accesscopyright.ca) or by fax (416-868-1621).

How much notice do you require if we wish to terminate the updated agreement?

We require at least ten days notice in writing should you wish to terminate your agreement with us. Termination will take effect six months after receipt of notice as long as all royalties entitled to you during your agreement with us have been distributed to you.

Can we revert to our previous agreement with you?

Once you sign the updated agreement, your previous agreement is replaced by the updated version.


Why are we being asked to confirm for which other entities we are authorized to act as an agent?

Asking publishers to confirm or modify this information when signing the updated affiliation agreement ensures that we are acting on the most up-to-date information when we make royalty payments.

What entities/imprints should I list under Schedule A?

All active and inactive entities/imprints that a publisher owns the copyright to or is authorized to act as an agent for should be listed. 

The agreement I was sent has no other entities listed. How do I add these to the agreement?

Please add your list of other entities or imprints to the included Appendix A (Other Entities) or attach a separate list clearly marked “Appendix A (Other Entities)” with a signed copy of the updated agreement.

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