Supreme Court unanimously decides in favour of artists

via Carfac

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 – Visual artists had a big victory
today at the Supreme Court in the fight for minimum artist fees at the
National Gallery of Canada. In a unanimous decision from the bench, the
court allowed an appeal on behalf of artist restoring an earlier
decision that found in their favour.

At issue was a perceived conflict between the Status of the Artist
Act and the Copyright Act. The associations that represent artists,
CARFAC and RAAV, had been trying to negotiate binding minimum fees for
the payment of artists at the gallery, similar to a minimum wage. The
gallery essentially argued CARFAC and RAAV, were taking away the right
of artists to be paid less if they chose. In allowing the appeal, the
court rejected this argument and, in an unusual move, ruled immediately
after oral arguments.

Artists from across Canada in attendance were delighted with the
results. “It’s a good day for artists,” said Grant McConnell, president
of CARFAC. “This is a major victory for all artists in Canada and

“We are looking forward to resuming negotiations as we always wanted
to do since 2003,” said Karl Beveridge, co-chair of the negotiation

We would like to say a special thank you to everyone who has donated
to support this legal effort. You made this victory possible!

We would also like to thank our lawyers, David Yazbeck, Michael Fisher and Wassim Garzouzi.”