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8 Days of Tariff 8: What is the Copyright Board of Canada’s definition of ‘fair’?

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:


Join I Stand For Music on Facebook Share The Campaign


8 Days of Tariff 8: Making Cents of Tariff 8

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:

Join I Stand For Music on Facebook Share The Campaign


8 Days of Tariff 8: One Year Later…

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:


Join I Stand For Music on Facebook Share The Campaign


8 Days of Tariff 8: The Music Community’s Response to Tariff 8

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.

Join I Stand For Music on Facebook Share The Campaign


8 Days of Tariff 8: Happy Birthday, Tariff 8

Happy Birthday, Tariff 8

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

For the next 8 days, follow us on social media, and let everyone know that you stand with us by using the #IStandForMusic hashtag.

Join I Stand For Music on Facebook Share The Campaign


City of Toronto Addresses Postering Issue

We are pleased to hear that Toronto’s live music venues will no longer be receiving fines for postering around the city.

On June 8, 2015, a memo from Tracey Cook, Executive Director of the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division and Mike Tanner, Music Sector Development Officer, informed the Toronto Music Advisory Council of the recent decision. This is considered just one step in the City of Toronto’s efforts to support and address the concerns of Toronto’s growing music community.

The poster ordinance prohibited postering on all city property except for designated kiosks and allowed for fines to be issued to anyone who benefited from the poster in question. Because of this, many of Toronto’s music venue owners found themselves being charged with fines of $300 to $500 for posters that they did not put up. In most cases, the fines against these venues did not hold up when challenged in court, but they continued to be issued anyways. This created an unnecessary and costly expense for live music venues operating in Toronto.

Music Canada called attention to the postering issue in March 2012 with the release of its report, Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth—Leveraging Best Practices from Austin Texas. The Austin-Toronto report led to communications with affected stakeholders in the music community, as well as with city councillors and officials to bring the postering issue to their attention and help find possible solutions.

The Toronto Music Advisory Council worked collaboratively with Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, as well as the City’s Film and Entertainment Industries unit to secure this critical policy change. The City has committed to continued collaboration with the Toronto Music Advisory Council to build and support the music community in Toronto.

This is a policy change that we have looked forward to, and one which demonstrates the City and Mayor John Tory’s commitment to making Toronto one of the greatest Music Cities in the world. Music friendly policies like this are essential for the growth and continued health of Toronto’s live music scene.


Global Forum 2015: The Survival of the Creative Class

The Global Forum at Canadian Music Week has earned a reputation as a hub for insightful commentary on issues pertinent to creators and the creatives industries. In recent years, the Global Forum has discussed grassroots advocacy with Blake Morgan, brand supported piracy with David Lowery, Chris Ruen, and Chris Castle, strategies for eliminating the digital theft of cultural content with Robert Levine and Dr. Brett Danaher, and how corporations enable digital theft with filmmaker Ellen Seidler. Music Canada is proud to return as a sponsor of the Global Forum, which features a compelling group of panelists for the 2015 edition.

For ten years or more we have heard about the importance of the creative class: that it is essential to the growth and success of businesses, as well as cities and regions. Cities that don’t attract the creative class, apparently fail.

But have we forgotten the fundamental elements of survival? Attracting the creative class is one thing but its members must be able to afford to work in their fields.

Scott Timberg is one of a growing number of people who say the creative economy is broken. According to Timberg, it is virtually impossible for creative artists from musicians to filmmakers, to journalists and book sellers, to earn a living. And the impacts are far-reaching.

Zoë Keating has experience trying to make a living as a full-time musician. A Canadian cellist, Keating didn’t set out to become an artist advocate but was thrust into the spotlight when she refused to back down against one of the largest intermediaries of music, YouTube, over her right to control how and when her music is distributed.

Blake Morgan is no reluctant advocate and since his appearance at The Global Forum in 2014, has seen his I Respect Music campaign log a major success with the recent introduction of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. to ensure artists are fairly paid on digital services and AM/FM radio.
Is survival of the creative class at risk? Has the artist middle class disappeared?
If so, at what cost? And what can we do about it?

Kate Taylor, a columnist with The Globe and Mail and frequent writer on technology, the media and music, will lead the panel in an hour-long discussion. The panel will be followed by moderated table discussions on potential solutions.

Update: video from the panel is now available online, and is embedded below.


On World Intellectual Property Day, Get Up, Stand Up. For Music.

This Sunday, April 26th, is World Intellectual Property Day, an annual event to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property (IP) in encouraging innovation and creativity. The date was chosen in recognition of the day the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970, with the goal of increasing the general understanding of IP.

This year’s theme is Get Up, Stand Up, For Music, a welcome ‘call to arms’ in support of artist rights. This is the 15th World IP Day, and the first to specifically highlight music, which is appropriate as music and IP are intrinsically linked. The event provides an opportunity to reflect on how intellectual property affects music, and how we listen to it. We don’t often think about it when listening to our favourite song, but IP plays a critical role in taking that song from the artist’s conception to our speakers at home.

Today, music fans have more options than ever to enjoy their favourite music and to discover new artists. There are now more than 400 licensed music services worldwide, with a model to suit all consumer preferences, from subscription services, to digital downloads, to the physical world of CDs, vinyl, and deluxe box sets. The music industry has embraced the digital revolution, which has provided artists with new avenues to bring their music to the global marketplace. It is intellectual property, and specifically copyright, that allows creators to sell and license their music in this wide array of platforms.

But regardless of the medium, the creator’s rights must be respected and fairly compensated. With so much access to music available today, it can be easy to take for granted the talent and years of practice an artist puts into their craft, as well the efforts and investments of the many people working to nurture and develop their career. It is important to remember that long before a song hits the radio or your earbuds, a team of professionals work to support the artist’s creative development and use their expertise to bring the artist’s talent to market.

Record companies remain the primary investors in artist careers. The IFPI’s Investing in Music report estimates that record companies have invested more than US$20 billion in artists and repertoire (A&R) and marketing over the past five years. In fact, the music industry invests a greater proportion of global revenues in A&R than most other sectors do in research and development (R&D). The music industry’s investment of 28% of revenues in A&R exceeds the R&D investment of industries such as pharmaceutical and biology (14.4%), software and computing (9.9%), or technology hardware and equipment (7.9%) sectors. Again, it is copyright that makes this investment possible. Copyright allows the industry to gain a return on these A&R and marketing costs, and reinvest those resources into the next generation of artists. This is why a secure copyright framework is so critical to the music industry.

While the music industry has made great strides in developing the digital marketplace, piracy remains a major problem for the industry, which stifles sustainable growth. This is where we need to ‘Stand Up for Music’, and support measures that will help tackle the problem. Today’s music piracy takes place in many forms, from unlicensed cyberlockers, BitTorrent fire-sharing, stream-ripping, and unauthorized distribution through mainstream social media networks. The IFPI’s Digital Music Report estimates that 20% of fixed-line internet users worldwide regularly access services offering copyright infringing music. The report also identifies that major brands, such as Microsoft and the Royal Bank of Canada, are fueling the piracy ecosystem with advertising dollars from legitimate businesses. Research quoted in the report found that 596 infringing sites generated US$227 million per year in advertising revenue, none of which goes to the artists, songwriters, and labels whose music attracts users to these sites. Rights holders around the world continue to push for support to tackle this evolving problem from governments and internet intermediaries.

Artists are among the most powerful voices in this fight. We have seen that when artists speak out in support of their rights, they can have a strong impact in the conversation. This was made clear this week, as artists such as Leonard Cohen, Randy Bachman, and Gordon Lightfoot spoke up in support of the federal budget’s proposal to extend the term for copyright of sound recordings in Canada to 70 years from 50 years. Similarly, last summer, artists such as the Barenaked Ladies, Brett Kissel, and Bob Ezrin brought significant attention to the Copyright Board of Canada’s Tariff 8 decision, which set the rate for music streaming services in Canada at less than 10% of rates that the same services pay in the United States and many other countries. The issue united Canada’s music sector, with more than 80 music industry associations and labels, led by Music Canada, CIMA, ADISQ and Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA), joining together to form “I Stand for Music”, a coalition that continues to raise public awareness about the disastrous effects of the Tariff 8 ruling.

To fully realize the potential of music’s ever expanding digital marketplace, we need to encourage a fair licensing environment and a world where copyright is respected and music is fairly valued. With that in mind, I would like to use the occasion of World IP Day to encourage all those who appreciate the value of music in our lives to advocate for artist rights, and Get Up, Stand Up. For Music.


Music Canada’s Graham Henderson: Junos show culture is a smart investment for Hamilton

Music Canada President & CEO Graham Henderson has an op-ed in the Hamilton Spectator today, congratulating Hamilton on hosting a very successful JUNO Awards earlier this month. In ‘Junos show culture is a smart investment for Hamilton,’ Henderson notes the multi-million dollar economic impact the four-day event had in Hamilton, as well as the added benefits that a strong cultural scene brings, like improving residents’ quality of life and attracting creative and innovative workers.

“From the dozens of downtown streets and stores that featured free performances, to the 15 venues that took part in JunoFest, to the spectacular closing show at FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton delivered on all counts,” wrote Henderson. “More than 3,000 musicians and industry personnel attended Juno Week, and Hamilton’s tourism sector welcomed them with open arms and exhibited terrific hospitality. Hotels were at full capacity, bars and restaurants were bustling, and taxis were kept busy shuttling attendees around town. Tim Potocic, chair of the Junos host committee, has estimated the economic impact of the four-day event to be between $11 million and $12 million in Hamilton.”

The op-ed comes as Hamilton City Council is scheduled to continue the city’s 2015 budget deliberations, which include a proposed $500,000 added investment in the arts, which would represent the first major arts funding boost in Hamilton in 15 years.

Yesterday, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Keanin Loomis issued a strong statement on the economic value of music & cultural events to a city in an op-ed in the Hamilton Spectator. In ‘Arts and culture now drive Hamilton,’ Loomis notes that a city’s quality of life is among its strongest tools for economic development.

“It is indisputable that the arts activity that’s been buoying Hamilton’s cultural renaissance over the last decade led directly to the economic boost we got from hosting last week’s Junos,” wrote Loomis. “Considering the type of returns we are receiving from the limited investments we are making to enhance this city’s quality of life, more investment in the arts is an economic imperative.”

Hamilton City Council will deliberate the arts investment motion today in Council Chambers. Members of Hamilton’s arts community are attending in the gallery as a show of support for the motion. The final budget vote is scheduled for April 8th.


Music Canada’s Graham Henderson discusses the shutdown of The Pirate Bay on CBC’s Metro Morning

Yesterday, Music Canada President Graham Henderson appeared on CBC Metro Morning to discuss the recent shutdown of The Pirate Bay, and how to restore respect for creators’ work.

When asked why the Pirate Bay remained in operation despite legal threats for so long, Henderson replied, “I think it’s one of the realities of our digital environment, that if you are persistent, and you want to operate outside the law, there are ways to do it. And very clearly that’s what the Pirate Bay has been doing for these past years. But it also reflects an almost insatiable demand for music.”

“The site was popular, because music is popular,” said Henderson. “What we’ve seen for the past 14 years is an entirely avoidable, inappropriate loss of value for creators. I think it’s fair to say that musicians and creators in general today are worse off than they were in 1999 – was that the plan? I don’t think that was the plan, and in fact, I would suggest to you that there was an implicit promise that came from the intermediaries, that came from everybody, that creators were going to be okay – and they’re not, and I think we can thank The Pirate Bay for a lot of the reason for that.”

Host Matt Galloway asked why, with the emergence of licensed digital music options, “what still drives some people to a site like the Pirate Bay?”

“It’s not even a really good experience, we have to remember that,” said Henderson. “It’s free, but the contrast would be a service like Spotify, which is $10 a month. I think people are gradually migrating to legal – I think once they experience legal services, for example, there was a brand new high-def service named TIDAL launched here last week – once they experience these services, they realize there is a phenomenal customer experience there.”

“Intellectually, people understand that illegally downloading is like stealing,” said Galloway. “And yet they still do it – how do you convince them to make that intellectual leap, that downloading is no different than going and taking something from a store?”

“I think that a lot of people have lost the connection with the recording artist; I think we have to restore that respect for the creative process, restore the respect for the creator,” said Henderson. “I also think we need to acknowledge the elephant in the room: creators are not doing as well as it was suggested they’re doing – in fact, they’re worse off. I think when people realize that the direct consequence of their actions is to impoverish the musicians they love, then maybe we’ll move in the right direction.”

“Do you think people care if Taylor Swift doesn’t get more money because they are getting it for free?”, asked Galloway.

“I don’t think everyone does, because I think people can be quite selfish in terms of the way they behave – but it’s not about Taylor Swift – that’s an easy thing to say, but what’s happening is we’re seeing an unprecedented shift of wealth,” said Henderson. “It’s moving from creators to the hands of billionaires and trillionaires – that’s where it’s going, into the hands of intermediaries. Lost in this – Taylor Swift is doing fine. It’s like the 1% problem – more and more wealth, concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and the middle-class in the music environment: wiped out. We have more hobbyists than professional musicians. And I think it’s been very convenient in the past to think, ‘I’m doing this because rich artists are fine anyway.’”

The full interview is available on Metro Morning’s website, and is embedded below:


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