Copyright – should writers give their work away for free?

Here’s what I wrote to my MP (Stephen Harper), as well as the ministers of industry and culture:

From my understanding of Bill C-32, the government is attempting to be fair to creators and consumers, and to address the complexities of our rapidly evolving digital world. However, I am concerned about the provision for allowing educational institutions to use my work without compensation, or as I understand it, to legalize theft.

I am a professional fiction writer, with one novel and several pieces of short fiction in print, and I am a member of several professional organizations. My yearly income from writing is under $2000 per year. My next novel is under consideration with a major publishing company, and should it be accepted, would likely generate an income of $7000, spread over two years. Clearly, in itself, my writing income is not livable (I am fortunate to be married to an income-earner).

My question for you is this: Approximately one-third of my annual income, or about $600, derives from my association with Access Copyright, an organization which negotiates contracts with school boards, libraries and other organizations to license the photocopying of

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