Access Copyright & Access Copyright Foundation: What Can They Do for You?

by Elle Andra-Warner

Are you registered with Access Copyright (AC) as one of over 11,000 Canadian writers, visual artists or publishers who receive an annual payment? Or have you ever applied for a Professional Development, Research or Events grant from Access Copyright Foundation?

If not, here’s some information that could add to your stream of income.

Access Copyright, a non-profit national organization, was founded in 1988 by Canadian creators and publishers and today represents over 11,000 Canadians and their works. AC provides a variety of services in relation to the use of works in educational institutions, businesses, government and others, including licensing, permissions, and payments. And registering with AC is free.

I’ve been a published journalist, photographer and author since 1992 but didn’t learn about Access Copyright (AC) until about five years later when I became a member of the Professional Writers’ Association of Canada (PWAC) and learned about AC from their e-list.

I registered as a creator affiliate and have been receiving an annual payment since then. In 2007, when I started a small publishing company to produce regional books about Northwestern Ontario by other authors, I signed with AC to also become a publisher affiliate with AC, and dependent on sales, that has provided another annual payment.

So, who can sign on to be a creator affiliate with AC? If you are a writer, editor, translator or visual artist (e.g. photographer, graphic artist, etc.) published in print format – such as in a book, magazine, newspaper or scholarly journal — for which you retain reproduction rights; a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and don’t reside in Quebec; at least 18 years of age; and, not already affiliated with any other reproduction rights agency (such as COPIBEC in Quebec), you can become part of AC.

Fill out the online Creator Registration Form and submit photocopies/scans of sample(s) of work, two pieces of ID and Social Insurance Number.

On behalf of their creator affiliates, AC will license, collect licensing fees and distribute royalties for copying of works. Plus all creator affiliates will receive AC’s annual Payback payment in November. In addition to the Payback base amount, affiliates will receive an additional amount for their work published in the claim year.

In other words, the more published work in print you have in a given year, the higher will be your Payback payment. Creator affiliates can also claim work published between 1995 and 2015 to receive a one-time supplemental payment, calculated on total amount of the work in those years.

Canadian publishers (whether small or large) can become publisher affiliates with AC. You can be both a publisher and creator affiliate, however if you publish only your own material, you can only affiliate as a creator. Publisher affiliates receive royalty payments and an annual Publisher Repertoire payment based on revenue totals reported to AC.

If you become a creator and/or publisher affiliate before December 30, 2016, you will be eligible for Payback and/or Publisher Repertoire payment in 2017.

To apply and/or for more information on Access Copyright, check out their website,

Another source of project-based income to consider are the grants program of the Access Copyright Foundation (ACF).   Grants to individual creators and publishers, and publishing, writing and visual arts organizations are available through the following three grant programs: Research, Professional Development and Events. For example, in May 2016, ACF awarded $100,000 in Marian Hebb Research Grants to 20 Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers.

The next deadlines are November 1, 2016 for the Events Grants and April 1, 2017 for the Professional Development Grant. The deadline for the next Marian Hebb Research Grant has not yet been announced.

The Grants Programs are open to all Canadians. For more information, including list of past grant recipients, visit Access Copyright Foundation website at



Posted on October 20, 2016 at 9:00 am by editor · · Tagged with: , , , ,

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