As we wrap up our 8 Days of Tariff 8 campaign, we call for reform of the Copyright Board. We are asking the Government to make regulatory changes that determine which factors are taken into consideration on Board decisions, including market rates, international comparisons, or commercially negotiated agreements.
- We call on the Government to make regulatory changes to the Copyright Board on which factors are taken into consideration on Board decisions, including market rates, international comparisons, or commercially negotiated agreements.
- Continue larger discussions on how the Board’s procedures can be made more productive, how the Board can be transformed to serve Canadian businesses, and how creators can realize the value of their works through fair tariffs
- Create a clearer understanding of criteria beyond ensuring that Copyright Board decisions are indeed “fair” and push for rates that are an international standard.
Thank you for your support over the last 8 days. The fight’s not over. We urge you to use the tool below to send an email to newly-appointed Copyright Board chair Justice Robert A. Blair, urging him to facilitate the prosperity of Canadian cultural businesses rather than impede it by recognizing the value of the Canadian music industry for all Canadians.
We believe the Tariff 8 decision set a dangerous precedent in Canada for streaming rates on music streaming services.
There are three ways in which this decision negatively impacts the Canadian music industry:
- Tariff 8 is bad for Canadian artists, who receive 10% of the streaming royalties from semi-interactive services as their American counterparts. This means that Canadian artists are paid 90% less than what other artists on similar services outside of the country are paid.
- Tariff 8 is bad for international artists, who receive less royalties when their work is played on Canadian semi-interactive streaming services. This could lead to international artists refusing to have their music used on these services, potentially limiting content to Canadians.
- Tariff 8 is bad for the economy because it shows just how unpredictable the Copyright Board is. It created a regulatory precedent that ignores the reality of the marketplace and will continue to harm the business climate and create a market of uncertainty. This may dissuade new services from entering the Canadian market, which means less choice for consumers.
Stand with us and join the conversation at #IStandForMusic.
— Music Canada (@Music_Canada) June 23, 2015
Can you imagine being in a profession where your U.S. counterpart made 90% more than what you make for the same job? With Tariff 8, the Copyright Board of Canada decided that professional musicians should be paid 90% less for certain types of music streaming. Some people may argue that Tariff 8 isn’t an artist’s only source of income. But the reality is that for these types of services (CBC Music, Stingray, Songza, etc.), Tariff 8 royalties are the only guaranteed source of income for a performer. Artists deserve to be fairly compensated for their music. The Tariff 8 decision sends a message that music is not valued as a profession here, and this message is completely inconsistent with Canadian values. In last year’s The Rambler by Graham Henderson: Tariff 8 decision establishes “10% of Nothing Rates”, Music Canada President poses the rhetorical question: “Do Canadian plumbers get paid wages equivalent to 10% of American plumbers? Teachers? Auto workers? Farmers? Who? What profession receives compensation in Canada for their labour that is equal to 10% of the wages paid across the border?” If you think Canadian artists should be fairly compensated, share this image with the #IStandForMusic tag.
The Copyright Board claims to operate on a “fairness principle” but has made a decision that is inherently unfair to Canadian artists, and does not take into account the differences between web and terrestrial radio, on which they based the Tariff 8 rates. This decision has created a regulatory precedent and decision that ignores the reality of the marketplace and will continue to harm the business climate and create a market uncertainty. We believe that if the Copyright Board of Canada wanted to embody a ‘fair’ approach, it would not have discarded existing market rates at which digital music service providers had been operating in Canada. In fact, Tariff 8 discarded years of agreements freely negotiated between digital music service providers and the music industry, setting the rates for webstreaming in Canada at 10% of the rates that the same services pay in the United States and many other countries. Help raise awareness about the disastrous effects of the Copyright Board of Canada’s Tariff 8 decision by retweeting the image below:
— Music Canada (@Music_Canada) June 19, 2015
When you break Tariff 8 down into real numbers, it’s terrible for musicians. On the occasion of #ThrowBackThursday, we look back at our attempt to make cents of Tariff 8. Last year, we used the Barenaked Ladies classic “If I Had a Million Dollars” to show just how many streams they would need to buy the items in the song at the rate determined by Tariff 8. As you can see, it’s pretty abysmal. Here’s how many plays an artist would need to buy some of the other items mentioned in the song: “If I had a million dollars… ” / 1 million dollars = 9.8 billion plays “I’d buy you a house…” / Average price of a single home in Canada: $413,215 = More than 4 billion plays “I’d buy you furniture for your house, (Maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)” / Nice sofa = 16 million plays, matching ottoman = almost 5 million plays “I’d buy you a fur coat (but not a real fur coat that’s cruel)” / Faux Fur Coat = 17 million plays “I’d buy you an exotic pet (Like a llama or an emu)” / Llama = almost 3 million plays “We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Dinner. (But we would eat Kraft Dinner. Of course we would, we’d just eat more.)” / Kraft Dinner = 9216 plays for a box of KD “I’d buy you a green dress (but not a real green dress, that’s cruel)” / A real green dress (that’s cruel!) = almost 16 million plays “I’d buy you some art (a Picasso or a Garfunkel)” / Picasso recently sold at Sotheby’s for $6.5 million CAD = almost 64 billion plays “I’d buy you a monkey (haven’t you always wanted a monkey?)” / (It is illegal to own a monkey in Toronto.) “I’d be rich.” / With royalties from the Tariff 8 decision, you would not be rich. How does Tariff 8 affect you? Use our Tariff 8 Royalty Calculator to learn how much the Copyright Board of Canada thinks you deserve to be paid for your music. Help raise awareness about the disastrous effects of the Copyright Board of Canada’s Tariff 8 decision by retweeting the image below:
It took the Copyright Board six years to come to the Tariff 8 decision. In the past year, the Board was without a chair, meaning that without quorum they were unable to move forward on issues of critical importance to Canada’s economy. Even with a newly-appointed chair, the Board itself is in desperate need of reform. Because all decisions are already heard and determined retroactively (for instance, Tariff 8 applies to the years 2009-12), the lack of movement in the past year has resulted in even more time and uncertainty added to the Copyright Board’s processes. The average pending tariff has been outstanding with the Copyright Board for 5.3 years since filing. Last year, alongside our 75+ music industry partners, we pointed out that “the Board’s decision comes as a result of an inherently flawed system that lacks clear criteria for rate-setting and allows the Board to reject market rates…it is clear that a legislative framework that ignores the reality of the marketplace is one that will continue to harm the business climate and create market uncertainty, delaying the entry of new services into the Canadian marketplace.” Help raise awareness about the disastrous effects of the Copyright Board of Canada’s Tariff 8 decision by retweeting the image below:
One year ago today, the I Stand For Music coalition issued a joint statement in support of Re:Sound’s application for judicial review of the Copyright Board’s Tariff 8 decision. Together, 75+ record labels and associations spoke up about what a serious setback Tariff 8 was for the music community in Canada, for artists, and the music companies who invest in their careers.
Follow updates on the campaign by liking the I Stand For Music Facebook page.
It’s been one year since the Copyright Board of Canada set one of the worst royalty rates in the world for music streaming on services like Songza and CBC Music. It’s called Tariff 8. And it means that musicians around the world will be paid 90% less when their music is streamed by Canadian consumers. To mark the occasion, we are launching the “8 Days of Tariff 8” campaign that will highlight the importance of the issue and what has happened in the year since the decision.
Through this campaign, we hope to highlight the decision from last year, but importantly, to talk about the kind of precedent it has set going forward for royalty rates on these kinds of services in Canada. Most important, is that we are calling on music lovers and industry folks across the country to stand with us as we call for reform of the Copyright Board.
If you’re new to the world of royalties and streaming, check out some of our campaign materials from last year to get up-to-speed on what Tariff 8 means to Canadian musicians, international artists, and you, the consumer
- Backgrounder on last year’s Tariff 8 decision
- Tariff 8 Q&A
- Graham Henderson’s Rambler on Tariff 8
- The Music Canada royalty calculator for semi-interactive and non-interactive services
For the next 8 days, follow us on social media, and let everyone know that you stand with us by using the #IStandForMusic hashtag.