Many of our copyright conventions can be traced to the mercantilist nineteenth century and even further back, but my focal point will be the more recent and precedent-setting role Canada played in the fight to protect the creative industries. One result is the 2005 UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity. Equivalent language is also included in the FTA, NAFTA, CETA, CTTPP and, we think, even the USMCA. This will be a personal story of how Canada’s tilt at a windmill persuaded much of the world to acknowledge the essential role of the creative industries in nation building, and the right of individual states to ensure their unique stories—in books, magazines, film, tv and digital media—can reach the public. Despite meeting initially with open derision, the initiative succeeded, enshrining a wide range of measures from the toolkit of public policy to preserve space for local stories in the face of the juggernauts of international power. It was a fraught journey, with many bumps along the way. Ultimately, its success defied the odds: 147 countries have now signed the Convention.
Biography: Scott is the founding partner and recently retired Publisher and Chairman of Douglas & McIntyre Publishers which during his tenure published some 2000 Canadian books. For over 40 years Scott has been actively involved in government relations and industry association work in the cultural industries, both provincially and federally. He has served on many cultural boards, both in Canada and Internationally, and recently completed a term as President and Program Chair of the Vancouver Institute. He is Past- Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, and on the Advisory Boards of the Global Reporting Centre, the Museum of Anthropology and Green College, all at UBC, and PEN Canada in Toronto. His many other board involvements have included the Writer’s Trust of Canada, the BC Arts Council, the UBC School of Journalism, the Association of Canadian Publishers, and Logos:The Journal of of the World Book Community. In 1996, Scott received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Simon Fraser University. The following year, he became a member of the Order of Canada, which recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement and dedication to the community. His contributions to cultural life in Canada have been further recognized by a Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal in 2002, and her Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2012 Scott was honoured with the inaugural IVY Award for his substantial contributions of Canadian publishing from the International Festival of Authors in Toronto. In 2016, he received the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the British Columbia book publishing industry. In 2019, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia.