Arts & Culture Canada Writing

An Unexpected Cheque in the Mail

Although I’ve been writing and publishing—both literary and visual work—for over 25 years, I only heard about the Access Copyright recently. It’s a Canadian government licensing body (established 1988) that collects fees from organizations for their right to copy protected work; it distributes money annually to affiliates.

I got busy collecting the data (e.g., photocopies of publications) to prove that I was a published author and artist, and applied for my share of the funds. Note: you don’t have to have had any of your work copied specifically in order to benefit.

And then I forgot about it.

Almost a year later, I reached into my mailbox and pulled out a business-size envelope with a cellophane window: “Pay to the order of …”

My first ever royalty cheque. Really?! OMG! Whoot, whoot! $94.22. Not a big deal, but … SUCH a big deal! Makes me almost feel like a “professional” (so often difficult for an artist to feel).

So, make sure to set yourself up—protect your rights—share in the earnings. Contact and get the ball rolling. And, this time next year, let’s go out and celebrate together.

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