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At Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, Miranda Mulholland illustrates why urgent action to address the Value Gap is needed

Last Thursday, musician, label owner and music festival founder Miranda Mulholland appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study of remuneration models for artists and creative industries, where she shared her personal experience as an artist living in the Value Gap.

She began by making Committee members aware that although they may not recognize her, they had most certainly heard her play. “Over the last 19 years, I have played or sung on hundreds of recorded songs on over 50 records including many JUNO Award nominated or winning albums,” she said. “I have done film and television work – you can hear my fiddle playing on every episode of Republic of Doyle and in the film Maudie and on the Good Things Grow in Ontario jingle.”

Mulholland then stated that creators are storytellers and that the story she would tell them today had a beginning, a middle and that she hoped that she and the Committee members would write the end together.

After outlining how she got her start in music, becoming a fiddle player as the digital revolution took off, Mulholland spoke about the Value Gap, and what it has meant to her career.

Mulholland then referenced previous testimonies that the Committee has heard, from artists like Andrew Morrison of the JUNO-nominated group The Jerry Cans, and Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson, who both spoke of the disappearance of middle class artists.
Mulholland underscored this point, stating: “The musician middle class is gone – and even the ladder to get there is gone.”

In the middle of her dynamic and authentic presentation, Mulholland proposed four immediately actionable solutions that Committee members could recommend to help improve the framework, which are captured in the video embedded below.


Approaching the end of her story, Mulholland expressed hope that the Committee would help write the ending. Referencing the recent actions that lawmakers in Europe and the United States have taken to help close the Value Gap, Mulholland expressed hope that the Heritage and Industry Committees can work with artists like herself to fix the broken framework and update the laws to reflect artists’ day to day lives.

Her testimony was encapsulated by one of her closing remarks: “Artists have adapted and we need our laws to do the same.”

Mulholland’s dynamic and authentic presentation seemed to truly engage members of the Committee. Following her testimony, Pierre Breton, Member of Parliament for Shefford, Quebec, commented:

Wow, thank you for your excellent presentations. It’s really from the heart, and I would say that you are excellent at explaining the issues – so if there is anyone who had a hard time understanding the scope of the challenge that you’ve been living through, well, now they understand it. Thank you for your testimony – it was exceptional. These are very sensible recommendations in my opinion, and they could be implemented very quickly.

Martin Shields, Member of Parliament for Bow River, Alberta, said:

I think you’re passionate, I think you’re great – but I understand fairness, and what we have is an industry that needs fairness, and we need legislation changed.

During the question and answer portion of the hearing, Breton asked Mulholland which of the recommendations she offered could have a quick impact if enacted by government. Mulholland replied:

Each one would have an immediate effect. The first one, the radio royalty exemption, getting rid of that subsidy – and again, subsidizing – artists are subsidizing the big media conglomerates – that needs to stop. And if that ended, that money would be filtered through into artists pockets immediately.

Same with sound recording … I just played with Alan Doyle on a new kids show that he’s writing the music for… if this was enacted and the sound recording wording was changed, as soon as that is played, I will get paid for my work – so that would help me immediately.

The private copying – that would help immediately as well.

And having a term extension would help me value my work for longer, so I would be able to leverage that if I was talking to a publisher or a label about my catalog. So all four would help me right now.”

Anju Dhillon, Member of Parliament for Dorval — Lachine — LaSalle, asked Mulholland:

In many interviews you’ve done, I noticed that you’re talking about how the Copyright Act is not protecting creators and artists – what concrete changes would you like to see to the Copyright Act so that we can have more fairness and money can be distributed from the distributors to the creators?”

Mulholland replied that right now, she and her creator colleagues are subsidizing billionaires. She told Dhilllon, “the subsidies need to stop – so that would be the radio royalty exemption… it was supposed to be temporary, and it needs to be removed… We just want to have a functioning marketplace.

Following the hearing, Committee members enthusiastically thanked and congratulated Mulholland for her concise and moving testimony.

(l-r) Members of Parliament Randy Boissonnault, Julie Dabrusin, Anju Dhillon and Pierre Breton with Miranda Mulholland

 


Full video of the September 20, 2018, Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage hearing is available on the House of Commons website.

 

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Unanimous U.S. Senate support for Music Modernization Act is further evidence Canada must act to close the Value Gap

Music Canada joins our American counterparts in applauding the United States Senate following its unanimous passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) yesterday evening. The MMA, which was broadly supported by music organizations across the United States, is a comprehensive bill that includes the CLASSICS Act, legislation that guarantees artists and labels who recorded music before 1972 a federal right to be paid for those recordings when played by digital radio outlets.

The U.S. music community was united in its support of the MMA, with organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America, the National Music Publishers Association, ASCAP, SoundExchange, musicFIRST, and the Recording Academy advocating strongly for the bipartisan bill. Thousands of artists spoke up in support of the legislation, including Roseanne Cash and Dionne Warwick, who advocated for the bill in the House of Representatives; Smokey Robinson, who testified at the U.S. Senate; and Maren Morris and Adam Levine, who were vocal supporters of the bill on social media.

“We congratulate all of the artists and advocates who spoke up so passionately in support of the Music Modernization Act. As we saw with the European Parliament vote, governments are listening to creators and recognizing the need to update the legislation that affects their careers,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

“In the past week, we have seen overwhelming support for this type of legislation from Canada’s two largest trading partners, further underlining the need for Canada to follow through with meaningful reforms,” adds Henderson. “Our government has heard from creators – the Value Gap is an urgent issue that must be addressed. It’s now time for our government to seize the opportunity and close the Value Gap in Canada.”

Music Canada has been the leading advocate for addressing the Value Gap in Canada. Our recent report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, examines the Value Gap and its causes, and demonstrates how it impacts artists, businesses and our nation’s cultural foundations, with a particular focus on music. The report includes recommended steps that Canada’s federal government can take today to address the inequities that artists face due to the Value Gap.

Music Canada is encouraged by the progress made in the U.S. and EU, and remains committed to continuing to work with the government of Canada to close the Value Gap here at home.

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Landslide European Copyright Directive vote is a call to action for legislators globally to fix the Value Gap

Music Canada joins our European counterparts in applauding the European Parliament for today’s historic vote on the European Copyright Directive. The vote is a vital step towards ensuring Europe’s creators are paid fairly when their work is consumed online, and provides a strong example for other governments to follow to support their own creators.

“Congratulations to the European Parliament on today’s historic vote to create a framework for creativity to flourish in the digital marketplace. We also need to acknowledge the incredible impact of creator voices to this campaign – thank you to all of the artists who spoke up with such passion and honesty,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

“Today’s landslide vote is a call to action for governments around the world – We must all act with urgency. The Value Gap is a global issue of critical importance to the current and future health of creators and the creative industries. Here in Canada, our Heritage and Industry’s committees have heard loud and clear from creators that the Value Gap threatens Canadian culture and needs to be fixed. These committees have done excellent work so far and they must seize this opportunity. Let’s close the Value Gap NOW!”

In 2017 Music Canada released The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach. The first-of-its-kind report describes the Value Gap as “the significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed and enjoyed by consumers, and the revenues that are returned to the people and businesses who create it.” To protect the livelihoods of creators, businesses and cultures, creators and creative groups around the globe have been urging governments to enact legislative changes to ensure creators receive fair compensation for the use of their works.

The European vote comes as the Canadian government is conducting its own review of the Copyright Act. Numerous stakeholders have raised the Value Gap as a key issue at the Standing Committee for Industry, Science and Technology, as well as the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries. Additionally, through Focus On Creators, more than 3,700 creators have signed a letter urging the government to place creators at the heart of our country’s cultural policy.

A release from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada states that a “well-functioning copyright framework should enable Canada’s creators to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by digital technology, provide a supportive environment for business and investment, and position creators for success in a competitive marketplace.”

Music Canada is committed to continuing to work with the government of Canada throughout the review process to close the Value Gap here at home.

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Music Canada launches new non-profit organization Music Canada Cares


Toronto, September 7, 2018
: Music Canada is pleased to announce the establishment of Music Canada Cares, an affiliated national organization that will lead Music Canada’s corporate social responsibility efforts.

Music Canada Cares is a dedicated non-profit focused on highlighting the extraordinary benefits of music to society. Music Canada Cares will work to promote equitable access to music education, and strive to improve the connection between Canada’s diverse music industry and communities.

“At Music Canada, we’re of the firm belief that Music Can Help,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “It helps build bridges between people and communities, helps people express and process emotions, and helps drive economic activity locally and nationally. I’m thrilled that with the support of our members, Warner Music Canada, Universal Music Canada, and Sony Music Canada, we’re able to launch Music Canada Cares. This new organization will allow us to focus on boosting the social and developmental benefits music delivers, beginning with a source of so much passion, skill, creativity and fun – music education.”

Music Canada Cares’ first initiative is The Three Rs Music Program. The program will improve the inventory of musical instruments in Ontario’s publicly funded schools by rescuing gently used instruments, restoring them to a fully functional condition and reuniting them with students across the province.

“We’re thankful for the overwhelming support we’ve received from our outstanding industry and community partners,” says Sarah Hashem, Managing Director of The Three Rs Music Program. “Giving more young people in Ontario the chance to learn an instrument has wide-ranging benefits. Music education can ignite a career path and life-long passion, and equips students with skills that are transferable to various other fields.”

The Three Rs Music Program will serve both English-language and French-language schools, with the goal of improving access to quality music education for youth across Ontario. The program prioritizes providing instruments to Indigenous, at-risk, and underrepresented communities.

To stay updated with the latest news from Music Canada Cares and The Three Rs Music Program, including information on how to apply for and donate instruments, please follow Music Canada Cares on Facebook.

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For more information:
Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 808-7359 

About Music Canada
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada: Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster. For more on Music Canada, please visit www.musiccanada.com

About Music Canada Cares
Music Canada Cares is an affiliate of Music Canada that is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the societal benefits and value of music and those who create it. 

About The 3 Rs Music Program
The Three Rs Music Program- rescuing instruments, restoring them to a fully functional condition and reuniting them with students-  is advancing the effectiveness of publicly funded music education programs across Ontario through musical instrument refurbishment, community appeals, and artist connections. Using a community-driven approach, we will be ensuring more students have access to the developmental, cognitive, and social benefits of music.

 

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Music Canada lance la nouvelle organisation à but non lucratif Music Canada vous aime

Music Canada a le plaisir d’annoncer l’établissement de Music Canada vous aime, une organisation nationale affiliée à laquelle sera confiée la direction des efforts de Music Canada dans le domaine de la responsabilité sociale des entreprises.

Music Canada vous aime est une organisation à but non lucratif vouée à faire connaître les bienfaits exceptionnels de la musique pour la société. Music Canada vous aime œuvrera à la promotion d’un accès équitable à l’éducation musicale et s’efforcera de resserrer les liens au sein de la grande mosaïque de nos industries musicales et de nos communautés.

« Chez Music Canada, nous sommes fermement convaincus que la musique peut aider », affirme Graham Henderson, président et chef de la direction de Music Canada. « Elle aide à construire des ponts entre les gens et les communautés, elle aide les gens à exprimer et à gérer leurs émotions, et elle alimente l’activité économique aux plans local et national. Je suis extrêmement heureux d’annoncer que, grâce au soutien de nos membres – Warner Music Canada, Universal Music Canada et Sony Music Canada – nous lançons aujourd’hui l’organisation à but non lucratif Music Canada vous aime. Cette nouvelle organisation nous permettra de concentrer nos efforts sur la stimulation des bienfaits sociaux et développementaux offerts par la musique, et ce, en commençant par la source de tant de passion, tant de compétence, tant de créativité et tant de plaisir – l’éducation musicale. »

La première initiative de Music Canada vous aime est le Programme musical des trois R. Ce programme contribuera à l’enrichissement de l’inventaire d’instruments de musique dans les écoles financées par des fonds publics de l’Ontario en récupérant des instruments de musique légèrement usagés, en les restaurant pour les remettre en bon état de fonctionnement et en les réaffectant à des étudiants et des étudiantes à travers la province.

« Nous sommes reconnaissants des immenses appuis que nous avons reçus de nos remarquables partenaires de l’industrie et de la collectivité », a souligné Sarah Hashem, directrice générale du Programme musical des trois R. « Le fait de donner à un plus grand nombre de jeunes Ontariens et Ontariennes la chance d’apprendre à jouer d’un instrument a une multitude d’effets positifs. L’apprentissage de la musique peut déboucher sur une carrière musicale et sur une passion de toute une vie, et il procure aux étudiants des compétences qui leur serviront dans de nombreux autres domaines. »

Le Programme musical des trois R sera accessible aux écoles francophones et anglophones de l’Ontario afin d’offrir un accès à une éducation musicale de qualité aux jeunes de toutes les régions de la province. Le programme privilégie le don d’instruments aux communautés autochtones, à risque ou sous-représentées.

Pour recevoir les dernières nouvelles de Music Canada vous aime  et du Programme musical des trois R, y compris des renseignements sur la façon de vous inscrire pour faire un don d’instrument, suivez Music Canada vous aime sur Facebook.
 

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Pour de plus amples renseignements :
Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 808-7359


À propos de Music Canada
Music Canada est une association professionnelle à but non lucratif qui représente les grandes maisons de disques au Canada, notamment Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada et Warner Music Canada.  Music Canada collabore également avec de nombreux chefs de file de l’industrie musicale indépendante – étiquettes et distributeurs de disques, studios d’enregistrement, lieux de spectacles, promoteurs de concerts, gérants et artistes – pour assurer la promotion et le développement du secteur de la musique. Pour en savoir plus sur Music Canada, veuillez vous rendre sur www.musiccanada.com

À propos de Music Canada vous aime
Music Canada vous aime est une filiale de Music Canada vouée à la promotion et à l’enrichissement des bienfaits de la musique pour la société et de la valeur qu’elle représente pour ceux et celles qui la créent.

À propos du Programme musical des trois R
Le Programme musical des trois R – récupérer les instruments, les restaurer pour les remettre en bon état de fonctionnement et les réaffecter à des étudiants et des étudiantes – ajoute à l’efficacité des programmes d’éducation des écoles financées par des fonds publics de l’Ontario grâce à la remise en état d’instruments de musique, au lancement d’appels de fonds dans la collectivité et à la complicité des artistes. Dans une démarche centrée sur la collectivité, nous verrons à ce qu’un plus grand nombre d’étudiants et d’étudiantes aient accès aux bienfaits développementaux, cognitifs et sociaux de la musique.

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VIDEO: 2018 Global Forum panel discussion with Lido Pimienta, Vanessa Reed, Greyson Gritt & TONA, moderated by Samantha Slattery

Titled Inclusivity & Accountability: Bringing Measurable Change for the Music Industry, the 2018 Global Forum at Canadian Music Week brought together, artists, academics and advocates working to make the music industry more reflective of, and accountable to, the wider community.

The event began with a keynote by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Founder and Director of the the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the leading think tank in the world studying issues of diversity and inequality in entertainment through research, advocacy and sponsored projects. Following extensive work in the film and television industries, including pioneering the popular “inclusion rider,” the group is now bringing their renowned work to the music industry. At the Global Forum, Dr. Smith discussed the striking findings of their preliminary music industry study Inclusion in the Recording Studio? Based on the extensive data they have gathered, the group plans to roll out practical solutions “so that the needle will move quickly, so that everyone who has the talent has the ability to participate not only equitably, but in safe work environments, so that they might thrive.”

Following Dr. Smith’s keynote, a diverse panel of artists and advocates discussed initiatives currently underway, and other possible solutions, to improve inclusion across various parts of the music industry. The panel featured Lido Pimienta, Polaris Prize-winning musician, curator and visual artist; JUNO-winning rapper, producer and youth advocate TONA; chief executive of PRS Foundation and the Keychange initiativeVanessa Reed, and; JUNO-winning Quantum Tangle member, producer and solo-artist Greyson Gritt. The discussion was moderated by Samantha Slattery, Chairperson and Founder of Women in Music Canada.

Watch the full panel discussion below.

Quoted

Sometimes, even with the artist community, it feels like there’s a constant tug of war between power and then opportunity. What ends up happening is that the people who are trying to capitalize and obtain the power – I’m going to refer to it as a meritocracy – because the people who are actually in control of things in this industry, especially in Canada, are the ones that are making the decisions. In our communities that we come from, there’s already a lack of opportunity. There’s already an imbalance of education as well, and even job opportunities. When people come in it feels like they’re kind of parachuting in to our communities and not integrating with us the way they need to. And it feels like a photo opportunity. You know, what are you really trying to accomplish as far as integrating artists? Is it more about filling a quota in the stats sheet? Or is it really about pushing the needle with your job description and what you’re doing? – TONA

 

Your point about respect is something that audiences have obviously been talking about a lot now. At least in the UK, we’ve been hearing a lot more from audiences than artists about some of the struggles they have. So, obviously sexual assault of women at festivals, and accessibility for anyone who’s got any kind of disability. There’s some interesting not-for-profit grassroots movements which have really been helping with that. There’s an organization called Attitude is Everything, which has got lots of venues and festivals to sign up to different kinds of charters ensuring that people of all backgrounds can access these brilliant festivals and stages. And then there’s an initiative called Girls Against, which has been working with festivals to start tackling the issue around sexual assaults. But I mean there’s still a long way to go, but it’s interesting that those first steps often come from the grassroots, not-for-profit, voluntary sector, and then it starts to be normalized, and eventually it will become something that hopefully will be part of everyone’s practice. But I think audiences and artists talking about the challenges together could be interesting.  – Vanessa Reed

 

Instead of men having their own conversations and starting their own initiatives and being like ‘yeah we need this too and we’re going to work with women’ it’s often this polarized response, ‘well you want that, but what about us? You shouldn’t have that unless we have it.’ And it ends up being this thing of ‘choose your side’ instead of everyone working together and recognizing you need this and I need this. And so I think about two-spirit people and transgender people, and we need that too, but I don’t want it to be in response to ‘what about me’ and to take resources away from that. I definitely believe women need more representation, always, and I would love to see more things of like 100%. It’s been 100% men for how long? Just to be equitable, you’d almost think it’d need to be 500 years of Indigenous and racialized folks, and women for about another 500 years first, and then we can talk about having half and half, right? – Greyson Gritt

 

Another approach that was just brought to my attention recently as well, and I believe it’s Harris Institute, has consciously hired back female students as professors, and originally it was about four or five years ago he said, there was about 5% female students – so we’re not even getting them into the pipe, it’s not that we’re losing them – and since adjusting his professor dynamic, it has gone up to 20% female students now in a very short period of time, so to your point, I think when people see people that they can relate to doing things that would maybe traditionally be white men doing them, I think it’s really important to be able to showcase everybody being able to do all those things. Just seeing it seems to make a huge impact on people actually following through. – Samantha Slattery

 

The best music right now is being produced by women. It just happens to be the case. The stuff that excites me, I listen to it once and I look at the credits and I look at who’s behind it and it just happens to be a woman. So I wouldn’t even call it that I get out of my way. It just happens. Brilliant women who are in music and in the music industry and in sound and sound engineering are there, and available and ready. And if I’m going to pay anyone, that’s the people that I’m going to pay because it’s just natural to me. It’s not even a question to me. – Lido Pimienta

 

A selection of tweets from event guests is below and photos from the 2018 Global Forum can be viewed on Music Canada’s facebook page.

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VIDEO: Dr. Stacy L. Smith keynotes at the 2018 Global Forum at Canadian Music Week

On May 10, the 2018 Global Forum took place at Canadian Music Week. The annual event, which Music Canada has been presenting for more than a decade, seeks to tackle the most pressing issues in the music industry with a global perspective. This year’s theme was Inclusivity and Accountability: Bringing Measurable Change for the Music Industry and discussions were focused on challenges, solutions, and actions to make the industry more reflective of, and accountable to, the wider community. This includes initiatives to improve representation of all gender identities, ethnicities and sexual orientations across the industry, and to ensure all community members have equitable access to performance and career development opportunities, funding programs, and more.

The forum’s keynote speaker was Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the leading think tank in the world studying issues of diversity and inequality in entertainment. Dr. Smith is at the forefront of inclusion in the film industry and pioneered the now viral concept of an “inclusion rider.” In 2018, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative also began to study the music industry and published a preliminary report titled Inclusion in the Recording Studio? During her keynote, Dr.Smith discussed the group’s preliminary findings, next steps, and areas for further research. Watch the full keynote below.

Dr. Smith began with a warning: “I am going to depress you.” Though her keynote described an industry where women and underrepresented groups were sorely lacking in many areas, members of the music industry, and those in other creative fields, were not shocked by the statistics.

One clear feeling among guests was that it’s time for action. Guests were all encouraged by Music Canada to complete an “Inclusion Pledge” detailing a specific action they will take to improve inclusion in their own field. Dr. Smith commented early on how refreshing it was to work with an organization that is committed to ensuring everyone feels they belong. “It’s an honour to be here amongst a group that cares so deeply about this issue,” said Smith.

After thoroughly detailing the problems facing the industry with data and statistics, Dr. Smith concluded by stressing the need for action. “What’s more important I think than the numbers themselves, is the solutions that we will be rolling out based on the data,” she said. “What we plan to do, just like in television, film and digital, is to roll out practical solutions so that the needle will move quickly, so that everyone who has the talent has the ability to participate not only equitably, but in safe work environments, so that they might thrive.”

To keep up with the latest from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, visit their website and follow them on Twitter. A selection of photos from the 2018 Global Forum is available on Music Canada’s facebook page.

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Graham Henderson’s testimony at the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology – Canadian Copyright Act review 2018

On June 12, Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) to provide testimony during the five-year statutory review of the Canadian Copyright Act. Henderson appeared before Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage two weeks prior to provide testimony on remuneration models for artists and creative industries. Below is the full-text of Henderson’s remarks before the INDU Committee.

 

Good afternoon and thank you for the opportunity to testify to this committee on behalf of Music Canada.

This committee’s review of the Copyright Act comes at a critical time for Canada’s creators. It is a time when governments around the world are questioning whether the current digital marketplace is functioning fairly for the world’s creators.

The reality for music creators in Canada is that there are provisions in our own Copyright Act that are preventing them from receiving fair market value for their work.

I believe the best way that this committee can assist in creating a marketplace that is transparent and supports Canadian creators is by providing the government with straightforward, accessible solutions to address the Value Gap.

Music Canada produced a comprehensive report on the Value Gap in Canada which you will find in French and English in front of you.

We define the Value Gap as “the significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed and enjoyed by consumers,” this is enormous, “and the revenues that are returned to the people and businesses who create it,” – it’s tiny.

Today, more music is consumed than at any time in history. However, the remuneration for that content has not kept pace with the record levels of consumption. The same is true for digital video content, film and even journalism.

I was pleased to hear Minister Joly recognize this point earlier this year, when she stated:

“The benefits of the digital economy have not been shared equally. Too many creators, journalists, artists have been left behind.”

The origins of the Value Gap extend back to more than twenty years ago. It was the dawning of the digital marketplace and countries around the world struggled to reinterpret copyright laws that were designed for an analog age.

They wanted to protect creators, but they also wanted to give a boost to young technological startups and inevitably, perhaps understandably, mistakes were made.

Around the world, lawmakers and policy analysts thought of the internet as a series of “dumb” pipes where your browsing habits were anonymous and the data travelling between sites was so vast it was unknowable. But twenty years later we know the internet is composed of the “smartest pipes” humankind has ever devised.  Your web habits are meticulously tracked and the metadata that they generate is collected, analyzed and sold every second of the day, mostly without our consent or knowledge.

While well-intentioned when they were created, the impact of these laws today is that wealth has been diverted from creators into the pockets of massive corporate entities, and what little is left over for creators is unfortunately concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. As a result, the creative middle class has virtually disappeared, and with it, numerous jobs, opportunities, and dreams.

There is no need to point fingers. No one planned for the creative middle class to suffer. The important thing at this juncture is to move forward purposefully and without delay to get the rules right. You should make absolutely certain that Canada’s Copyright Act ensures a creator’s right to be fairly remunerated when their work is commercialized by others.

The Value Gap is built on outdated safe harbour policies around the world. The announcement made last week by Ministers Bains and Joly that the Telecommunications Act and the Broadcasting Act will be reviewed, is an important step and in line with an international movement to find a solution to this problem. Safe harbours have been raised by other witnesses, and I hope that the committee will give significant consideration to addressing them.

But right now, the Copyright Act is exacerbating the Value Gap by effectively requiring creators to subsidize billion dollar technology companies.  Here are four steps that this committee could recommend. They could be immediately, quickly implemented, and would help creators and harmonize Canadian policy with international standards:

  1. Remove the $1.25 Million Radio Royalty Exemption
    Since 1997, commercial radio stations have been exempted from paying royalties on their first $1.25 million of advertising revenue. It amounts to an $8 million annual cross-industry subsidy paid by artists and their recording industry partners to large, vertically-integrated and highly profitable media companies. The cost to creators since inception…$150 million dollars. Internationally, no other country has a similar subsidy, and the exemption does not apply for songwriters and publishers – meaning that performers and record labels are the only rights holders who are singled out to subsidize the commercial radio industry. This is unjustified and should be eliminated.
  2. Amend the Definition of ‘Sound Recording’ in the Copyright Act
    The current definition of a “sound recording” in the Copyright Act excludes performers and record labels from receiving royalties for the use of their work in television and film soundtracks. This exception is unique to television and film soundtracks, and does not apply to composers, songwriters and music publishers. It is inequitable and unjustified, particularly in light of the profound role music plays in soundtracks, and it is costly to artists and record labels, who continue to subsidize those who exploit their recordings. The cost to creators? About $55 million dollars per year. The Act should be amended to remove this cross-subsidy.
  3. Amending the term of copyright for musical works
    The term of copyright protection in Canada for the authors of musical works is out of line with international norms. Under the Copyright Act, protection for musical works subsists for the duration of the author’s life plus a further period of 50 years, and that is out of line with international standards.
  4. Private Copying: Renew Support for Music Creators
    Years ago, a private copying levy had been created, originally intended to be technologically neutral. It has been limited by various decisions to media that are obsolete.  This important source of earned income for over 100,000 music creators is now in jeopardy unless the regime is updated. Music creators are asking for the creation of an interim four-year fund of $40 million dollars.

Each of these changes removes an unfair subsidy, harmonizes the laws within our industries, and brings us to international standards, and they can be done simply and they can be done today.

This is an exciting time. As you review the Act, you have the opportunity to put creators at the heart of your policy making, ensuring that creators are paid every time their work is commercialized by others.

Thank you.

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Miranda Mulholland issues call to action at Banff World Media Festival

On June 11 at the Banff World Media Festival in Banff, Alberta, musician, label owner and music festival founder Miranda Mulholland presented a keynote address titled “Your content isn’t free – fixing the Value Gap.” Mulholland has become an internationally-recognized figure in artist rights advocacy, having just returned from Midem in Cannes, France, where she was the keynote speaker at an event presented jointly by Music Canada and the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL). She also participated in panel discussion on North American copyright updates at Midem on June 7.

The Banff World Media Festival, now in its 39th year, brings together creators, producers, media moguls, and industry stakeholders to learn, build relationships, and tackle the biggest issues facing their industries. The festival features high profile speakers from media industries, pre-booked face-to-face meetings, and other networking and development opportunities.

In Mulholland’s keynote, she reflected on her path to speaking publicly on the challenges creators face and her experiences working with politicians and other decision makers. In her trademark style, she also issued a call to action, urging everyone, regardless of their position or affiliation, to take steps to help creators succeed in the digital marketplace. Many of these actions are detailed in an infographic available on Mulholland’s website.

Below are select passages from Mulholland’s keynote address.

All of us need to stay updated on all the ways artists can be compensated. This includes royalty opportunities, the differences between streaming platforms and how fans consume our art. Use your platform to advocate for change for creators. Create opportunities for others to speak – like this conference! and speak up yourself. This will help everyone, including you. We are all highly effective advocates. No one knows about our experiences as well as we do and sometimes making change is as easy as being very honest about how things really are.

 

The legal framework within which we are operating and trying to innovate was concocted in the 1990s. This is when I wore scrunchies. Governments haven’t meaningfully adapted their laws since then. I should have kept the scrunchie. The fashion has come back but the policies have left us far behind.

 

Minister Joly has herself concluded that “The benefits of the digital economy have not been shared equally. Too many creators, journalists, artists have been left behind, and there needs to be a better balance.” Imagine if the governments around the world had realized that in 2003? Where would we all be now? 

 

Much has changed since I first spoke to Minister Joly two years ago. I get the sense now that the Government is finally listening to us but we have to act with urgency. In Europe there is a very important vote going through in a few weeks – their stance on Safe Harbours could set a precedent for the rest of the world. If we, as creators, don’t speak up, pieces of important of legislation will be drafted without our consent.

 

None of us gave our informed consent about what was going to happen to our work, our businesses, our industries twenty years ago. We do however have the ability to inform policies moving forward.

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Graham Henderson’s testimony at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study of Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries

Earlier today Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to provide testimony on remuneration models for artists and creative industries as part of the Copyright Act review. Below is the full-text of Henderson’s remarks.

 

My name is Graham Henderson, and I am the President and CEO of Music Canada. We are a passionate advocate for music and those who create it.

I am very pleased to see the Heritage Committee studying remuneration models for artists and creative industries. This is an aspect of the music industry ecosystem that I, and Music Canada, have for years been working to modernize. Creating a functioning marketplace where creators receive fair compensation for the use of their works forms the bedrock of our mission.

But the reality for Canadian music creators is there are provisions in our own Copyright Act that prevent them from receiving fair market value for their work.

I believe the best way that this committee can assist in creating a marketplace that is transparent and supports Canadian creators is by providing the government with straightforward, accessible solutions to address the Value Gap.

Music Canada produced a comprehensive report on the Value Gap in Canada which you will find in French and English in front of you.

We define the Value Gap as “the significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed and enjoyed by consumers, and the revenues that are returned to the people and businesses who create it.”

Today, more music is consumed than at any time in history. However, the remuneration for that content has not kept pace with the record levels of consumption.

I was pleased to hear Minister Joly recognize this point earlier this year, when she stated:

“The benefits of the digital economy have not been shared equally. Too many creators, journalists, artists have been left behind.”

The origins of the Value Gap extend back more than two decades to a time when countries around the world, including Canada, began adapting and interpreting laws created in another era to protect common carrier telephone companies in the then-dawning digital marketplace.

Around the world those laws understood the internet as a series of “dumb” pipes where your browsing habits were anonymous and the data travelling between sites was so vast it was unknowable. But twenty years later we know the Internet is composed of the “smartest pipes” humankind has ever made.  Your web habits are meticulously tracked and the metadata that it generates is collected, analyzed and sold every second of everyday.

While well-intentioned when they were created, the impact of these laws today is that wealth has been diverted from creators into the pockets of massive digital intermediaries, and what little is left over for creators is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. As a result, the creative middle class is disappearing, if it hasn’t disappeared already, and with it, numerous jobs and opportunities.

There is no need to point fingers. No one planned for the creative middle class to suffer. The important thing at this juncture is to move forward purposefully and without delay to get the rules right. You should make absolutely certain that Canada’s Copyright Act ensures a creator’s right to be fairly remunerated when their work is commercialized by others.

The foundation of the Value Gap is outdated safe harbour policies and exceptions – all around the world. A safe harbour, by the way, is a way to limit the liability of an intermediary and allow music to be consumed without payment. I know that Ministers Joly and Bains are working on this issue and having conversations with their international counterparts to find a solution to this problem.

But here in Canada, there are particular laws that exacerbate the Value Gap by effectively requiring individual creators to subsidize billion dollar commercial technology companies.  Here are four steps that this committee could recommend immediately that would help creators immediately and harmonize Canadian policy with international standards:

  1. Remove the $1.25 Million Radio Royalty Exemption
    Since 1997, commercial radio stations have been exempted from paying royalties on their first $1.25 million in advertising revenue. It amounts to an $8 million annual cross-industry subsidy paid by artists and their recording industry partners to large, vertically-integrated and highly profitable media companies. Internationally, no other country has a similar subsidy, and the exemption does not apply for songwriter and publisher royalties – meaning that performers and record labels are the only rights holders whose royalties are used to subsidize the commercial radio industry. The exemption is unjustified and should be eliminated.
  2. Amend the Definition of ‘Sound Recording’ in the Copyright Act
    The current definition of a “sound recording” in the Copyright Act excludes performers and record labels from receiving royalties for the use of their work in television and film soundtracks. This exception is unique to television and film soundtracks, and does not apply to composers, songwriters and music publishers. It is inequitable and unjustified, particularly in light of the profound role music plays in soundtracks, and it is costly to artists and record labels, who continue to subsidize those who exploit their recordings to the tune of $55 million per year. The Act should be amended to remove this cross-subsidy.
  3. Amending the term of copyright for musical works
    The term of copyright protection in Canada for the authors of musical works is out of line with international copyright norms. Under the Copyright Act, protection for musical works subsists for the duration of the author’s life plus a further period of 50 years. By contrast, the majority of Canada’s largest trading partners recognize longer copyright terms for musical works, and a general standard of the life of the author plus 70 years has emerged. I note that a vice-chair of this committee, Mr. Van Loan, introduced a Private Members bill on this issue and we thank you for your support.
  4. Private Copying: Renew Support for Music Creators
    The private copying levy, originally intended to be technologically neutral, has been limited by various decisions to media that are effectively obsolete.  This important source of earned income for over 100,000 music creators is now in jeopardy unless the regime is updated. Music creators are asking for the creation of an interim four-year fund of $40 million per year. This will ensure that music creators continue to receive fair compensation for private copies made until a more permanent, long-term solution can be enacted.

Each of these changes removes an unfair subsidy, harmonizes the laws within our industries and brings us to international standards, and they can be done today.

As the creative community anxiously awaited this review of the Copyright Act, an organization called Focus On Creators sent Minister Joly a letter that has now been signed by more than 3,650 Canadian creators.  In that letter, the creators discussed their concerns with the Value Gap and how the Value Gap is causing the middle-class artist to disappear in Canada. The creators’ letter concludes with a message I hope you will take to heart, “We know you understand the cultural significance of our work; we hope you also see its value and crucial place in Canada’s economy. We ask that you put creators at the heart of future policy.”

Thank you.

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Music Canada EVP Amy Terrill’s remarks at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs

This morning, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill participated in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs and Cultural Districts in Canada.

Her remarks, which pulled from Terrill’s extensive Music Cities research, including The Mastering of a Music City report, are included below.

Remarks (check against delivery): 

Chair MP Dabrusin,

Distinguished members of the committee,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.  I’d like to commend you on your study as it is an active topic of discussion currently across the country.

My interest stems from my work on Music Cities which we began at Music Canada in 2011.

We define Music Cities as a municipality of any size that has a vibrant music economy which is intentionally supported and promoted.

Since 2014 I’ve led our study of close to 30 international cities and become one of the world’s leading thinkers on the topic.   I’ve advised cities on every continent and spoken at countless events.  I’m an active member of music city committees in Vancouver and Toronto.

Music Canada published a roadmap for the development of a Music City in 2015 and since then about a dozen Canadian cities or regions have taken that roadmap and begun to develop music strategies – including most recently Ottawa which released a strategy just two weeks ago.

 

One of the most important components of a Music City is the availability of spaces and places – to rehearse, record, perform – It’s also likely the top issue identified in Canadian communities.

Some of the common concerns that arise in public surveys and focus groups relating to music are:

  1. Lack of affordable rehearsal spaces; live-work spaces – and housing in general
  2. Pressure on small grassroots venues – affordability pressures – and pressures that come about from mixed use areas – venue closures are creating gaps in what we call the venue ladder which is needed to adequately incubate artists
  3. Heavy red tape is also cited
  4. The need for greater audience engagement
  5. And greater opportunities to collaborate – to connect with other professionals – both within music – and also across the cultural sectors

Creative hubs and cultural districts can, in their own ways, respond to these commonly identified needs and in so doing accomplish larger policy, economic, or cultural goals.

 

In our Music City investigation – we have identified three typical formats for creative hubs:

  • Hubs that are artist-centric with recording facilities, rehearsal and performance spaces, workshops, access to professional services like lawyers or accountants. The Kitchener Public Library is emerging as a cultural hub of this kind.
  • A music business incubator like you might see for other industries providing hot desks, networking events, business development support and training.
  • Or a combination of the two; The Music District in Fort Collins Colorado is a great example. 4000 square feet with programming aimed at both of the two groups, plus outreach to the broader community.

Cultural districts, on the other hand, allow municipalities, in particular, the flexibility to design rules and regulations that can be used to nurture creative activities and organizations in a set geographic area.

Both of these tools are ultimately about creating spaces and places for cultural uses.

 

As you consider this topic and how best the federal government can support them there are two key things I’d like you to remember:

Music spaces are sometimes not what you might expect.

A large portion are not buildings built specifically for a music purpose.  Likely half of the inventory is made up of multi-use, repurposed or unusual spaces.  Bars, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, retail spaces, micro-breweries, repurposed industrial properties – to name a few.

In large cities and small towns – places for musical creation and performance are emerging from unique raw materials.

Similarly creative hubs do not fit a tight definition – I encourage you to think in broad terms about what qualifies as a creative hub.

And secondly this network of cultural spaces is composed of a mix of for-profit and not-for-profit– both are critical for the sustenance of our cultural sector.

The same artists who perform at not-for-profit venues, perform at for-profit venues – it really makes no difference.

Our cultural districts are also made up of this mix.

Commercial entities – as an example music venues or music studios – are important tenants in cultural districts and struggle with some of the same challenges facing their non-profit cousins, but typically do not qualify for federal funding programs.

Queen Street West was mentioned in the department’s testimony.  One of Queen West’s most iconic and longest-serving operators – the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern – is only able to maintain its space thanks to the generosity of the building’s owners.  Should the landlord choose to charge market rent – the Horseshoe could not remain.

Other jurisdictions have recognized the important contributions of the commercial sector – and that they too face affordability pressures – and heightened demands from nearby residents to mitigate sound – and have made loans or grants available to venues to upgrade their facilities or acquire specialized equipment.

This is something that could be considered in an enhanced funding program.

Again – I applaud you for your study.

Thank you and I look forward to expanding on some of these issues in the Q&A.

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