CAPIC was founded in 1978 as a national, not-for-profit association dedicated to safeguarding and promoting the rights and interests of photographers, illustrators and recently, digital artists, working in the communications industry. Starting as a single group in Toronto, CAPIC has grown to six chapters, spanning the country from Halifax to Vancouver, with a membership of over 1030.
CAPIC is the collective voice and advocate for professional photographers, illustrators and digital artists in Canada. We work hard to maintain industry standards, create a community, fight for copyright protection, and much more. Our work helps all the professionals in our industry, but only members benefit fully. We are active at the federal government level, working to promote the rights of artists and lobbying to have the Canadian Copyright Act changed to give Canadian photographers the same protection offered in other countries.
The major benefit of CAPIC membership is the ability to meet other professionals in your local area through Chapter events and educational programs. CAPIC is the acknowledged leader in business practices education for illustrators and photographers in Canada.
CAPIC members create the photographs and illustrations which are reproduced in published materials of all types. This includes editorial, advertising, education, books, brochures and periodicals.
In fact, a principal requirement of membership is reproduction and distribution of the member's work. CAPIC members provide the visual content of the Canadian communications industry and play a key role in defining the Canadian identity and point of view.
The industry which CAPIC members are part of has been on the "bleeding edge" of technological change. The past fifteen years have seen the demise of the typesetting industry, the introduction, development and maturation of electronic photo retouching, creation of photo CD's and DVDs, and the growth of computer based illustration.
CAPIC has maintained close liaison with international associations of similar purpose and composition including the American Society of Media Photographers and the Graphic Artists Guild.
In 1992-1993 CAPIC participated in the Department of Communications Consultative Committee advising the government with respect to revisions of the Copyright Act.
In early 1994, CAPIC created a Digital Technology Committee (DTC) to bring together leading stakeholders in the digital revolution. The members of the Committee included representatives from the major hardware, software and imaging technology companies in addition to the legal, publishing and design sectors. Finally, the committee included CAPIC members of national reputation in the development of visual communications.
In 1995, CAPIC formalized relations with the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). CAPIC developed "reciprocal membership" to encourage worldwide dialogue on the issues affecting visual communicators today.
In 1996, under the Status of the Artist Act, CAPIC was recognized as the sole bargaining representative for commercial photographers and commercial illustrators working with the federal government and all agencies and crown corporations.
Also in 1996, CAPIC worked with the Professional Photographers of Canada and other industry allies, under the banner of the Canadian Creators Coalition, to seek changes to the Canadian Copyright Act.
In April 1997, the amendments to the Canadian Copyright Act were passed into law by the Parliament of Canada, including two proposed by CAPIC - extending the term of copyright in photographs and blocking the transfer of rights to a photograph until the photographer has been paid in full for the work.
In the summer of 1997, CAPIC formally became involved in the creation of a new copyright collective that would license electronic rights for creators. This group was called The Electronic Rights Licensing Agency (TERLA). TERLA was absorbed by CANCOPY, now known as Access Copyright, in 1999.
In September 2001, CAPIC, along with the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC), formed the Canadian Photographers Coalition (CPC) to push the Government of Canada to a final resolution of the Copyright Act as it relates to photographers and commissioned work.
Currently, the Act states that "Where, in the case of an engraving, photograph or portrait, the plate or other original was ordered by some other person and was made for valuable consideration, and the consideration was paid, in pursuance of that order, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, the person by whom the plate or other original was ordered shall be the first owner of the copyright."
There are also two other issues that the CPC is driving to have changed:
- Section 10(2) "The person who
- was the owner of the initial negative or other plate at the time when that negative or other plate was made, or
- was the owner of the initial photograph at the time when that photograph was made, where there was no negative or other plate, is deemed to be the author of the photograph..."
- The term of copyright protection in photographic works needs to be changed to bring Canada's Copyright Act into compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization's copyright guidelines.
In 2004, the Heritage Review Committee recommended to Canada's Parliament that Canadian photographers be given the right to automatically own the copyright in commissioned works.
On the 20th of June, 2005, Bill C-60, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, had it's first reading in the First Session of Canada's 38th Parliament.
The Bill died on the Order Paper when Parliament was dissolved on November 29th, 2005.
CAPIC eagerly awaits confirmation that the new government of Prime Minister Steven Harper will act quickly to re-introduce legislation that will treat Canadian photographers fairly when they create commissioned photographic works.