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Miranda Mulholland highlights copyright and artist remuneration issues at the 2018 World Trade Organization Public Forum

In October 2018, Canadian musician and artist advocate Miranda Mulholland participated in the the World Trade Organization Public Forum 2018 in Geneva as part of a panel discussion on the future of innovation and creativity.

The panel also featured Richard Bagger, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Market Access at Celgene, and Nicholas Hodac, Government and Regulatory Affairs Executive, IBM, and was moderated by Ellen Szymanski, Executive Director, Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In her remarks, Mulholland provided a stark picture of the current realities of artist remuneration in this increasingly digitized musical landscape. She outlined the differences in opportunities for artists in the 1980’s and 1990’s, whose earnings sustained their livelihood and enabled them to enter the middle class –  in a way that artists today are simply not able to.

Photos: © WTO/Jay Louvion

“Royalty checks that once paid for a down-payment on a home for those lucky enough to be working before the digital disruption, only amount to enough to buy a cup of coffee today.”

Indeed, rapid technological and digital advancements has meant that music has become instantly accessible, in a variety of mediums and services. Yet, the remuneration of creators and musicians for the use and commercialization of this work has not matched the pace of these developments.

Mulholland connected this reality to the phenomenon of the Value Gap: the significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed by consumers, and the revenues that are returned to its creators.

She ended her remarks by reflecting on the positive regulatory and legislative steps that have been occurring at the federal level worldwide. Canada’s ongoing statutory review of the Copyright Act, as well the EU’s review of the Copyright Directive have both created opportunities for meaningful reforms that better protect creators.

Watch Miranda Mulholland’s full remarks below.

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Gordon Lightfoot presented with Gold plaque ahead of 80th birthday

Photo Credit: Linus Entertainment (Facebook)

Ahead of his 80th birthday, iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was presented with a Gold plaque for his 2000 DVD Live In Reno.  The plaque was presented at Lightfoot’s concert at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, ON. Linus Entertainment’s Geoff Kulawick, who distributed the concert video, presented Lightfoot with the award, along with Brooke Kulawick and Bernie Fiedler.

Watch Gordon Lightfoot’s performance of his hit “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” from the Gold-certified DVD below.

 

 

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The Agenda panel appearance illustrates Miranda Mulholland’s depth as an Artist Advocate

Last week, TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin focused an episode on “Copyright for the Digital Age,” which featured impactful remarks on the importance of fair copyright for creators by Canadian musician, label owner and music festival founder Miranda Mulholland. Joining Mulholland on the panel discussion were composer Donald Quan and activist and author Cory Doctorow.

“Recent changes to copyright rules in Europe are designed to better compensate artists whose work fuels the revenue earned by digital platforms such as YouTube,” said host Steve Paikin at the outset of the episode. “But some have expressed concern that the new regulations will stifle innovation and harm free speech. As Canada updates its own copyright regulations, should these new rules serve as a roadmap?”

Mulholland, who has been increasingly sought-after as an artist advocate, brought a clear and personal message to the discussion.

On the importance of strong copyright laws for artists:
Paikin: “Miranda, how about for you – how much does copyright matter to your bottom line?

Mulholland: “Well it matters to me, because it matters to my community. I think we live in an ecosystem, so this is very, very important. For me, I’ve been a side-person, I was in Great Lake Swimmers for 7 years, I was in Bowfire … most of my income comes from performing. This is a problem though, because it means if I ever wanted to take a break from the road – say, have a child – and have some kind of time where I wasn’t just paid for when I was exactly on the stage, then loose copyright laws don’t allow me to have any kind of income coming back.”

On the problem of the current definition of a “sound recording” in the Copyright Act:
Paikin: “You do scoring work – do you get royalties for that?”

Mulholland: “Well, actually, that’s a very interesting one, because as of right now, I do a lot of work with composers, so I play for film and television. But in Canada, unlike 44 other countries around the world, the performer is not paid for soundtracks. So I am not actually paid when anything I’ve played on is (aired) around the world. I do get paid for anything I compose on.”

On the need for a functional marketplace for creators’ work:
Paikin: “It’s not enough obviously to sell tickets to a concert, or to sell records … Are you in the t-shirt business now?”

Mulholland: “Well, no, I’m not… I do feel as though we are close to finding some sort of a market. What we want is a marketplace. And YouTube is really our biggest disrupter in the marketplace, because while Spotify and Apple Music are trying really hard to pay creators and try come up with some sort of market share version of what this is going to be, or how it’s going to be, (YouTube) is giving it away for free. … So of course I’ve portfolio’d my income though, because I absolutely have to. I’m an entrepreneur, but I also play for hire, so I play with Jim Cuddy, I work for SoulPepper Theatre – I have so many hats that I have to wear, but I am so far not in the t-shirt business.”

Although the Music Technology Policy blog has identified some examples of what Chris Castle deemed “sloppiness” in the questions – such as The Agenda citing a crowd-sourced job search site to suggest Canadian authors earn an annual salary of $61,798; a marked departure from The Writers Union of Canada’s study finding an average annual income of $9,380 – Mulholland calmly disputed the flawed statistic.

After Paikin cited a quote opposing copyright protection measures from German MEP Julia Reda, whom Paikin neglected to mention is the sole member of the European Parliament from the Pirate Party, Mulholland expertly brought the conversation back to focus on the need for regulations that supports creators.

“I think that one of the biggest problems is that those people who are responsible for those copyright filters don’t want to pay people to do that, so they’re trying to implement this software that maybe can’t catch it all. But I really think that this type of fear-mongering isn’t helpful,” said Mulholland. “We have history to show us, since the beginning – we have the printing press, the invention of compass – history shows us that there are disruptions that happen, and then there is a time that shifts, and people that come in and try and monetize these periods of disruption, and then regulation needs to set in. And fear-mongering doesn’t help… the most important thing is that people in the EU, people in Canada, and in the US are actually listening now to creators. And that is the most important thing that we’re seeing – the sea-change that’s different. … We’re seeing a real change for the better, and finding technical reasons to oppose this, I think is just ludicrous.”

This clear response to this topic shows why Mulholland is increasingly being invited to speak on artist rights issues. She recently appeared at the World Trade Organization Public Forum 2018, presented a keynote at the Banff World Media Festival, and delivered a keynote at Midem 2018.

Mulholland also made an impactful appearance 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 also called for action for creators in the NAFTA negotiations at an ACTION for Trade event in Washington, D.C., and was the first creator to deliver a keynote address at the Economic Club of Canada.

The full program is available on TVO’s website, and is embedded below.

 

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Amy Terrill addresses Auckland City of Music strategy launch

Aucklanders warmly welcomed Music Canada Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, as the keynote speaker at their recent launch of the Auckland Music Strategy, Te Rautaki Puoro o Tāmaki Makaurau. Terrill provided an international perspective to the event, commenting on the growth of the Music Cities movement, Toronto’s experience, and providing some considerations for Auckland as it implements its three year strategy.

Read More: Auckland joins UNESCO creative cities network

The event, which took place at The Wintergarden, a venue within the historic Civic Theatre,  began with a Māori welcome speech and song, Miki whakatau & waiata, demonstrating the importance of music to the indigenous community,

“For Māori, music is a divine gift passed down by the gods.  It is embedded in traditional ceremony and preserves stories of the past.  These stories live on today, woven into our culture and city.”

Photo: Serene Stevenson

Other performers included Irene and Saia Folau.

Photo: Serene Stevenson

Auckland Council, one of the key partners in the initiative, was well represented with several elected councillors and key staff in the room and remarks by Mayor Phil Goff. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, unable to be there in person, expressed her support through a video message. PM Ardern recalled the first time she was “pitched” on the idea of Auckland as a UNESCO City of Music, and congratulated the industry and civic leaders who worked on the effort over the last two years.

Photo: Serene Stevenson

Photo: Serene Stevenson

The leading proponents of the initiative, Recorded Music NZ and APRA AMCOS, were represented in remarks by Anthony Healey.  The strategy cites Music Canada’s groundbreaking report, The Mastering of a Music City, and Healey noted the importance of this research in the steering committee’s efforts.

In her keynote remarks, Terrill congratulated Auckland on joining “the growing number of cities who are deliberately looking at ways to grow their music economy – many, like Auckland, recognizing a strong music community that has already been built organically.”

Photo: Serene Stevenson

She pointed to the value of the “network of cities, of music industry professionals, artists and academics – all who are sharing experience and wisdom to support these intentional efforts to grow the local music economy.”  

Throughout her remarks, Terrill provided concrete examples of strategies and tactics that have been deployed successfully in other parts of the world, some of which might be helpful for Auckland.  However, she was careful to point out that there is no “cookie cutter approach” and that the way the Auckland strategy is “rooted in what makes your city unique – the diversity of voices and sounds – your unique cultural identity, heritage and position in Australasia,” is very important.

“I see that the City of Auckland values the integration of arts and culture in everyday lives and is working to stimulate the participation of Aucklanders in the arts and employment in the creative sector.  I understand you aspire to be a city where “talent wants to live.” The development of this strategy and inclusion in the UNESCO Creative Cities network is a great first step,” Terrill said in closing. “Ngā mihi nui,” meaning I wish you well.

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Passenger presented with Diamond plaque in Vancouver

From left to right: Ric Arboit (Founder/President – Nettwerk), Mark Jowett (Founder/VP International A&R | Publishing – Nettwerk), Mike Rosenberg (Passenger), Terry McBride (Founder/CEO – Nettwerk)

Prior to his sold-out show at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre, English singer-songwriter Passenger was surprised with a custom Canadian Diamond award plaque by Nettwerk Music Group for his 2012 hit single “Let Her Go.” The hit song can be found on Passenger’s debut studio album All The Little Lights, which reached Platinum status in Canada in 2014.

“Let Her Go” is the 16th song to reach Diamond status in Canada, and 15th in the streaming era.

The video for “Let Her Go” can be viewed below.

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Playback 2018: Keynote Address from Debora Spar, Professor and Author

On Tuesday, October 16, Music Canada hosted Playback 2018, our annual industry dialogue and celebration. The event featured an  annual review from Music Canada Executive Vice President Amy Terrill, a panel discussion on how to help music creators living in the Value Gap, followed by a ‘fireside’ chat with Cary Sherman, the Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

One of the highlights of the event was the keynote address delivered by Debora Spar, who first spoke at Music Canada’s Global Forum event ten years ago about her book Ruling the Waves: From the Compass to the Internet, a History of Business and Politics along the Technological Frontier.

In her remarks at Playback 2018, Spar took a look back at how predictive her groundbreaking 2001 book was – particularly when applied to the evolution of the recorded music industry. The central theme of the speech was a reflection on what progress has been made in applying rules to the wave of commerce and chaos that the internet has brought.

As Spar describes,

“My thesis was that the Internet – despite all the hoopla surrounding it; despite the vast fortunes already being made and the even greater fortunes being foretold – was part of a long chain of communications technologies that began with the printing press; and a technology whose development needed to be seen as part of this broader historical evolution… I argued that the Internet, like the printing press and the telegraph and the radio, was destined to go through four major stages of political and commercial evolution.”

After outlining each of the four phases (innovation, commercialization, creative anarchy, rule-making), Spar drew a parallel to the evolution of the music industry, with the ‘innovation’ stage occurring in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. 

Spar went on to trace how the major developments of the music industry corresponded to the four phases described in her 2001 book – pointing to government initiatives like Canada’s ongoing Copyright Act Review as evidence we are in the final ‘rule-making’ stage.

To watch Debora Spar’s full remarks below, check out the video below.

To view more moments from Playback 2018, a photo gallery can be found on Music Canada’s Facebook page.

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George Canyon receives Platinum plaques at tour kick-off concert in Nova Scotia

(L to R) Jay Buettner (Guitar), Rick Bazuin (Tour Manager), Karen Corbin Hughes (Executive Assistant), Adam Dowling (Drums), Mike Little (Keyboards) and Michael Lent (Bass) Photo Credit: Len Cheverie

Canadian country singer George Canyon began his Made In Canada Tour last Thursday at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre in Pictou, Nova Scotia. During the show, Louis O’Reilly of Invictus Entertainment Group, George Canyon’s Management & Booking Agency, and George’s son Kale presented the band and crew with Platinum Award plaques for his 2004 JUNO Award winning album, One Good Friend. 

George’s tour will roll through Western Canada in November before wrapping up in Sherbrooke, QC on December 4. Tickets are available here.

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Music Canada Applauds Government of Canada for Moving Forward on Copyright Board Reform

Oct. 30, 2018, Toronto: Music Canada is pleased to see the Government of Canada has taken concrete action to support Canadian creators and the labels that invest in them through reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada. The changes, which were tabled yesterday in the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, will make the Board’s processes faster, more efficient, and more predictable.

“Music Canada thanks the Hon. Navdeep Bains for his vision on these changes, and for his leadership throughout the Copyright Board reform process,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “A modernized Copyright Board will mean a more predictable and transparent process for all participants, which will support royalty rate-setting that better reflects the true value of music in a functioning marketplace. By ensuring a more efficient regulatory environment, these changes will help put more money in creators’ pockets and strengthen Canada’s economic competitiveness.”

Copyright Board reform has long been a priority for the music sector, as the rates set by the Board directly impact the value of music and the amount that artists and labels receive for their music and investments. Music Canada has been a leading advocate for reform, having participated in the Senate hearings on the Copyright Board, the government consultation on reforming the Board, and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Review of the Canadian Music Industry, each time appearing as a key stakeholder in favour of full and meaningful reforms.

By implementing these changes, the Government is following through on their commitment made in the 2018 federal budget, which proposed a new Intellectual Property Strategy that enables economic growth. A reformed Copyright Board will create a more competitive and predictable business environment that supports investment in the creative industries, fostering innovation in the cultural sector.

Music Canada looks forward to seeing the final details on the implementation of these changes and working with the government to implement this innovative agenda for the Copyright Board of Canada.

̶   Ends  ̶


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.

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ADISQ Gala celebrates 40 years in Montreal

Music Canada would like to congratulate all of the nominees at the 40th ADISQ Gala, which took place Sunday night at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal’s Place des Arts. 11 Félix trophies were handed out at the Gala, which was hosted by comedian Louis-José Houde, while 20 more were awarded on Wednesday, October 24 at the ADISQ Industry Gala.

The evening featured performances by 2Frères, Andréanne A. Malette, Isabelle Boulay, Ludovick Bourgeois, Roxane Bruneau, Galaxie, Lydia Képinski, Pierre Lapointe, Hubert Lenoir, Loud and Tire le coyote. To celebrate the 40th edition of the Gala, Mario Pelchat, Martine St. Clair, Guylaine Tanguay and Maxime Landry performed a medley of the top songs from the previous 39 years. As well, multi-Platinum rock band Harmonium were honoured with a star-studded musical tribute by by Marie-Pierre Arthur, Philippe Brach, Catherine Major, Patrice Michaud, Ariane Moffatt and Yann Perreau, accompanied by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

Hubert Lenoir, the 24-year-old breakthrough artist from Quebec City, took home a leading three awards from Sunday’s Gala. Lenoir was also nominated for the country’s top album at the 2018 Polaris Music Prize for his Félix-winning debut album Darlène.

Congratulations to ADISQ on 40 dynamic years of supporting, promoting, and celebrating Quebec’s music industry. The full list of winners from Sunday’s Gala can be viewed below.

Album of the Year – Adult Contemporary 
La science du coeur – Pierre Lapointe

Album of the Year – Hip-Hop 
Une année record – Loud

Album of the Year – Pop 
Darlène – Hubert Lenoir

New Artist of the Year
Hubert Lenoir

Concert of the Year – Singer-songwriter 
Le silence des troupeaux – Philippe Brach

Concert of the Year – Performer 
Demain matin, Montréal m’attend – Artistes variés

Composer of the Year
Philippe Brach/Philippe Brach, La Controverse pour Le silence des troupeaux, Philippe Brach

Group or duo of the Year
2Frères

Female Artist of the Year
Klô Pelgag

Male Artist of the Year
Patrice Michaud

Song of the Year 
Fille de personne II – Hubert Lenoir

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Playback 2018: Loreena McKennitt receives the Music Canada Artist Advocate Award

At Playback 2018, Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, renowned Canadian musician and record label owner Loreena McKennitt was honoured with the Artist Advocate Award in recognition of her long-time advocacy for musicians’ rights.

The Artist Advocate Award was introduced at Playback 2017. Now in its second year, the award recognizes musicians and songwriters for their outstanding advocacy efforts to improve the livelihoods of music creators.

Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson presented McKennitt with the award, remarking:

“Loreena, as everyone in this room knows, is an internationally successful artist entrepreneur.  She founded her record label Quinlan Road in 1985, and since then, her music has received critical acclaim worldwide with sales of 14 million records globally.

Throughout her illustrious career, and from the day she chose to retain her master rights, and do it her own way, she has been a passionate, devoted advocate for musicians’ rights.

Her testimonies and submissions to parliamentary hearings have, over the years, demonstrated her deep business and political acumen, and has influenced real change making her a force to be reckoned with.

She is also a dedicated human rights advocate, a generous philanthropist, she established the Cook-Rees Memorial Fund in 1998.

I had the privilege of working for Loreena for almost 10 years and we have remained friends ever since. So in recognition of her unwavering public support for the rights of music creators, we are proud to present Loreena McKennitt with our 2018 Music Canada Artist Advocate Award.”

 

McKennitt graciously accepted the award, remarking on her career path and the impact that music has had on people across the globe. In her acceptance speech, she stated:

“Well, thank you very much Graham for this, as well as Music Canada. It is unexpected but also, I feel there are others who are equally, if not more, deserving.

It is true that my career path began in earnest around 1990 and it was at that time that I found Graham and he helped mastermind what became to some, a famous Warner deal. And he was an educator for me and an advocate as well as someone who really showed me a lot of the path forward.

I grew up in Southern Manitoba in a German Mennonite community and music was central to our lives. Not so much in a professional sense, but in terms of a living, breathing medium that means so much to us as a species. The fact that I set out to be a veterinarian and ended up in the music industry certainly speaks to the fact that you can set out on a journey and not know where you will end up.

But it is my sincere hope that through gatherings, such as today, and the minds of people who are really leaning against the wheel, that we can change for the better. All those who enjoy music are enriched by it, healed by it, entertained by it. And to protect that realm of music in their lives, we have as an industry, it’s not all about us, it’s all about other people and people we sometimes call the consumer. But when I meet them I hear people who have been genuinely changed through the medium of music.

So, I thank you all once again for being here this afternoon and thank you very much for this recognition. I will continue to be whatever support I can until I hang up my shoes. Thank you.”

Video of the award presentation and McKennitt’s acceptance speech is embedded below.

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