CSCS establishes claims, collects and distributes, on behalf of its members, authors' levy payments arising from secondary uses made in Europe and other jurisdictions.
Membership in CSCS is open to screenwriters with one or more writing credits on produced Canadian audiovisual works.
Acceptance as a member is conditional upon approval by the board of directors of CSCS. All applications are subject to the articles and by-laws of CSCS.
At the present time, membership is available to current WGC members at no charge. Non-WGC members may join CSCS by paying a one-time initiation fee of $25.
What CSCS Does
CSCS establishes claims, collects and distributes, on behalf of its members, authors’ levy payments arising from secondary uses made in Europe and other jurisdictions.
Under the national copyright laws of several countries, “authors” of audiovisual works are entitled to be remunerated for certain secondary uses of their works. The uses are “secondary” in that they take place after the “primary uses” — such as theatrical exhibition or television broadcast.
Secondary uses for which CSCS collects include:
- Private copying of audiovisual works (the blank tape levy), which compensates copyright holders for the loss caused by the widespread private consumer copying of audiovisual works.
- Rental of videocassettes and DVDs (in the form of levies paid by video/DVD rental stores and libraries etc. for the right to lend their work) which compensates copyright holders.
- Cable retransmission of broadcast signals to compensate for the re-use by cable retransmission of audiovisual works originally aired by broadcast signal.
Why You Should Join
It would be difficult if not impossible for individual writers to track all uses of their rights, particularly overseas. For this reason, CSCS has been created to administer, monitor, claim and collect secondary-use payments for audiovisual works written by its members. By joining CSCS, you will permit CSCS to collect any secondary-use royalties/levies that may be owing to you.
Countries Where CSCS Collects Money
A number of countries around the world have introduced various levies for secondary exploitation of audiovisual works. Such levies are most widespread in Europe. Legislation in many of the members of the European Union (EU) requires “equitable remuneration” to be paid to “authors” of audiovisual works in respect of private copying (a blank tape levy), which is, generally speaking, divided between and payable through collecting societies to audiovisual authors.
All member states of the EU now have, or are in the process of enacting, legislation that establishes an entitlement to equitable remuneration for the rental of audiovisual works. These entitlements can take a variety of forms and may result in levies in some cases.
Claiming Your Money
If you are a member of the WGC, CSCS is authorized to collect these monies on your behalf.
If CSCS has received any monies on your behalf, you will be advised in writing. You are entitled to receive your share of any levies upon completing a rightsholder warranty and release form, and providing any other information that may be required by CSCS as evidence of your entitlement to the monies. Monies will be distributed to members on an annual basis.
What You Need to Provide
CSCS collects secondary-use monies for members who are authors of audiovisual works (i.e. screenwriters, not producers). This includes Canadian projects produced outside the WGC’s jurisdiction. However, we must advise that if you have signed contracts not governed by one of the WGC’s collective agreements in which you assigned your copyright and your entitlement to claim foreign levies to a third party (i.e. a producer), we may be prevented from successfully making a claim on your behalf.
In order for CSCS to include projects produced outside the WGC’s jurisdiction as part of its repertoire of works, you must submit a credit sheet providing details on the work. CSCS will make every effort to submit a claim on your behalf; however, the success of the claim will depend on whether the information provided meets the requirements of the foreign collection societies.
Once monies have been received, you may be required to provide a copy of your contract as evidence of your entitlement to the monies.
Missing Writers: We Have Money For You
Updated December 2020
The Canadian Screenwriters Collection Society (CSCS) has received foreign secondary authors' levies for these writers. In this context, secondary authors' levies include the blank tape levy (private home copying) and rental/public lending levy.
Either CSCS does not have a current address for these writers or these writers have been identified and located but we have not been able to forward monies to them.
Please be advised that money owed to the writers on this list will forfeit to CSCS when the names have been listed on the website and the money is unclaimed for two years. For example, money held for the names listed since August, 2018 would forfeit to CSCS as of the end of August, 2020. The money for writers on this list forfeits to CSCS when either CSCS cannot locate writers or located writers refuse to respond to CSCS inquiries or sign the required paperwork to make a claim.
If you have any information that would allow us to contact any of these writers or their agents, please contact Marisa King at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning (416)979-7907 ext. 5231 or 1-800-567-9974 ext. 5231.
CSCS Board of Directors
CSCS was established by the Writers Guild of Canada, but it is a separate organization with a distinct mandate.
Marisa King, Director of Operations
Telephone: (416) 979-7907, ext. 5231
Fax: (416) 979-9273
Canadian Screenwriters Collection Society
366 Adelaide Street W., Suite 401
M5V 1R9 Canada