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Tag archive: Copyright Act (13)

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Music Canada statement on the release of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology Report

Yesterday, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology tabled its report, entitled Statutory Review of the Copyright Act, which now concludes the review of the Copyright Act undertaken by that Committee and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

Yesterday’s report from the Industry Committee includes important recommendations to narrow the radio royalty exemption, review safe harbour provisions, extend the term of copyright for musical works and review the private copying regime.

These recommendations, together with the recommendations made in the report from the Heritage Committee on artist and creative sector remuneration, have set the stage for legislative change which will help restore Canada’s middle class of artists and close the Value Gap for the broader cultural industries.

“It is unfortunate that the Industry Committee chose not to take into account the May 15th report from the Heritage Committee or the testimony from creators that contributed to the Heritage Report,” says Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson.“If they had, they would have found the Heritage Committee’s Shifting Paradigms report provides clear answers to their outstanding questions.”

“We look forward to working with the Government to reform the Copyright Act as soon as possible to ensure the framework allows creators to be fairly remunerated for their work when it’s commercialized by others.”

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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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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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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 applauds Ministers Bains and Joly for initiating the statutory review of Copyright Act

Toronto, Dec 13, 2017: Music Canada applauds today’s announcement by The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, in conjunction with The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, regarding the review of the Copyright Act, to be conducted by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

“I applaud Minister Bains and Minister Joly for initiating this review of the Copyright Act,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Music creators, and all creators who depend on copyright, deserve a Copyright Act that protects their rights when their works are commercialized by others. This is our chance to address the Value Gap threatening the livelihood of Canadian creators and the future of Canadian culture.”

Music Canada recently examined the significant changes in business models that are impacting the value chains for copyrighted content in our report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach.

“A modern copyright framework containing strong IP and copyright provisions is essential for an effective marketplace for music creators,” says Artist Advocate Miranda Mulholland. “This Copyright Act review is an important first step in ensuring artists and labels are able to earn a fair market value for their work. Canadian creators have been eagerly awaiting this review.”

Music Canada looks forward to participating in the process to ensure that creators are fairly compensated for the use of their works under the revised Act.

Adds Henderson, “We must ensure this review yields meaningful results.”

-30-


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

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Miranda Mulholland and 100 fellow creators call for real and meaningful reform to the Copyright Board of Canada

In August of 2017, Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister, Navdeep Bains, in conjunction with Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced the launch of consultations on reforming the Copyright Board of Canada. According to the government’s release, the goal of Copyright Board reform is to “enable creators to get paid properly and on time.”

Miranda Mulholland is a violinist, singer, label owner, and the recipient of Music Canada’s inaugural Artist Advocate Award for her outstanding achievements in advocating for the rights and livelihoods of music creators. One of those achievements is becoming the first creator to deliver a keynote address to the Economic Club of Canada. Another is rallying her fellow musicians on the importance of reforming the Copyright Board and her submission of two letters to the Canadian government.

The first letter was submitted on behalf of “Canadian musicians, independent label owners and creative entrepreneurs – at all stages of their careers” 100 of whom added their names. The letter states “While only part of our income comes from royalties collected by collective societies, the rates set by the Board directly impact the value of our music, and our ability to earn a living from it.” The letter specifically supports three options outlined in the consultation’s Discussion Paper and points out that while the role of the Board has evolved, “at the end of the day, the Board is valuing our work, and setting rates that affect our livelihoods.”

The second letter was submitted to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and in addition to the list of supporting names, is signed directly by Mulholland, Jim Cuddy, Alan Doyle and Joel Plaskett. It stresses the need for real and meaningful change at the Board, calling for tariffs to be set faster and more in line with market values, and also thanks the government for embarking on the long overdue reform process.

You can read Miranda’s letters below, which are also available on the advocacy section of her website.

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Music Canada calls on the Government of Canada to take steps to address the Value Gap in new, first-of-its-kind report

At its annual general meeting, Playback 2017, Music Canada today released The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, the first comprehensive collection of information about the Value Gap, and the solutions available to Canadian policy makers.

The Value Gap is defined 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.

“The Value Gap challenges the livelihood and sustainability of an entire global social class, and threatens the future of Canadian culture,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Our creative industries and the Government of Canada need to come together to acknowledge that the problem facing our creators is real, that the landscape has dramatically changed, and that we need to adapt our rules and regulations before full-time creativity becomes a thing of the past.”

At the heart of the Value Gap for music is misapplied and outdated “safe harbour” provisions in copyright law, which result in creators having to forego copyright royalty payments to which they should be entitled, and amount to a system of subsidies to other industries.

Creators and governments around the world are taking notice, and taking action. The European Commission has pinpointed the Value Gap as the cause of a marketplace that isn’t functioning properly, and acknowledged that a legislative fix is needed. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. music creators have agreed that the safe harbour provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act need to be changed.

In Canada, thousands of musicians, authors, poets, visual artists, playwrights and other members of the creative class, have urged The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, to put creators at the heart of future policy in a campaign called Focus On Creators.

The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach provides important insights into how policy makers can reverse the Value Gap. For instance, the Canadian Copyright Act contains provisions that allow and, in some cases, even encourage the commercialization of creators’ work without the need for proper remuneration, undercutting one of its overarching principles: to ensure that creators receive a just reward for the use of their works.

To address these inequities, the federal government should take the following actions:

  1. Focus on the Effects of Safe Harbour Laws and Exceptions

The Canadian government should, like its international counterparts, review and address safe harbour laws and exceptions, and their subsequent misapplication by some technology companies, as well as the cross-subsidies that have been added to the Copyright Act.

  1. Canada’s Creative Industries are Asking for Meaningful Reforms

During the mandated five-year review of the Copyright Act slated to begin in late 2017, the government should review the Act for instances that allow others to commercialize creative works without properly remunerating artists, and end these cross-subsidies.

  1. Remove the $1.25 Million Radio Royalty Exemption

Since 1997, commercial radio stations have only been required to pay $100 in performance royalties on their first $1.25 million advertising revenue. This exemption should be eliminated. It amounts to a subsidy being paid by artists to large vertically-integrated media companies.

  1. Amend the Definition of Sound Recording

In the Copyright Act, recorded music is actually not considered a ‘sound recording’ (and thus not entitled to royalties) when it is included in a TV or film soundtrack. The definition should be changed to allow performers and creators of recorded music to collect royalties when music is part of a TV/film soundtrack.

The full report can be downloaded at this link.

 

 

Music Canada demande au gouvernement du Canada de prendre des mesures pour remédier à l’écart de valeur dans un nouveau rapport pas comme les autres

Dans le cadre de son assemblée générale annuelle intitulée Playback 2017, Music Canada a annoncé aujourd’hui le lancement de L’Écart de valeur : ses origines, ses impacts et une démarche faite au Canada, le premier recueil de renseignements exhaustifs sur l’écart de valeur et les solutions qui sont à la portée des décideurs politiques canadiens pour y remédier.

L’écart de valeur se définit comme l’importante disparité qui existe entre la valeur du contenu créatif que les consommateurs consultent et apprécient, et les revenus qui sont réacheminés vers les personnes et les entreprises qui l’ont créé.

« L’écart de valeur menace le gagne-pain et la durabilité de toute une classe sociale à travers le monde et met en péril l’avenir de la culture canadienne », soutient Graham Henderson, président et chef de la direction de Music Canada. « Nos industries créatives et le gouvernement du Canada doivent s’unir pour reconnaître que le problème auquel sont confrontés nos créateurs est bien réel, que le paysage a profondément évolué et que nous devons adapter nos règles et règlements avant que la créativité à temps plein ne devienne chose du passé. »

L’écart de valeur tient essentiellement à l’application erronée de dispositions dépassées de la législation sur le droit d’auteur en matière d’exemptions de responsabilité (les safe harbours de la loi américaine) qui forcent les créateurs à sacrifier des redevances auxquelles ils devraient avoir droit, ce qui revient à un système de subventions accordées à d’autres industries.

Les créateurs et les gouvernements du monde entier réagissent et passent à l’action. La Commission européenne a identifié l’écart de valeur comme étant la cause du dysfonctionnement du marché, et elle a reconnu qu’une correction législative s’impose. Des centaines de milliers de créateurs de musique américains s’entendent pour réclamer la modification des exemptions de responsabilité de la loi américaine sur le droit d’auteur, le Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Au Canada, des milliers de musiciens, auteurs, poètes, artistes visuels, dramaturges et autres membres de la classe créative ont instamment prié l’honorable Mélanie Joly, ministre du Patrimoine canadien, de mettre les créateurs au cœur de la future politique culturelle dans le cadre d’une campagne nommée Pleins feux sur les créateurs.

L’Écart de valeur : ses origines, ses impacts et une démarche faite au Canada apporte un éclairage important sur les mesures que les décideurs politiques peuvent  prendre pour inverser l’écart de valeur. La Loi sur le droit d’auteur du Canada, par exemple, contient des dispositions qui permettent, et même encouragent dans certains cas, la commercialisation des œuvres des créateurs sans l’obligation de leur accorder une rémunération équitable, ce qui va à l’encontre d’un de ses principes fondamentaux : assurer que les créateurs reçoivent une juste récompense pour l’utilisation de leurs œuvres.

Le gouvernement fédéral devrait prendre les mesures suivantes pour remédier à ces inégalités :

  1. Se concentrer sur les effets des lois et des exceptions en matière d’exemption de responsabilité

À l’instar de ses homologues internationaux, le gouvernement du Canada devrait examiner et réviser les lois et exceptions en matière d’exonération de responsabilité, leur application erronée par certaines entreprises spécialisées dans la technologue et les pratiques d’interfinancement qui ont été ajoutées à la Loi sur le droit d’auteur.

  1. Les industries créatives canadiennes réclament des réformes authentiques

Lors de l’examen quinquennal de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur qui doit débuter à la fin de 2017, le gouvernement devrait étudier l’ensemble des dispositions permettant à des tiers de commercialiser des œuvres créatives sans rémunérer équitablement les artistes, et ce, en plus de mettre fin à l’interfinancement.

  1. Éliminer l’exemption de redevances de 1,25 million $ de la radio commerciale

Depuis 1997, les stations de radio commerciales ne versent qu’une redevance nominale de 100 $ sur la partie de leurs recettes publicitaires annuelles qui ne dépasse pas 1,25 million $. Cette exemption devrait être éliminée. Elle revient à une subvention faite par les artistes à de vastes entreprises médiatiques verticalement intégrées.

  1. Modifier la définition d’« enregistrement sonore »

Dans la Loi sur le droit d’auteur, la musique enregistrée n’est pas reconnue comme étant un « enregistrement sonore » (et n’ouvre donc pas droit à rémunération) lorsqu’elle fait partie de la bande sonore d’une œuvre télévisuelle ou cinématographique. La définition devrait être modifiée pour permettre aux artistes-interprètes et aux créateurs de musique enregistrée de toucher des redevances lorsque leur musique fait partie de la bande sonore d’une œuvre télévisuelle ou cinématographique.

On peut télécharger le rapport intégral à ce lien.

 

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Department of Canadian Heritage releases #DigiCanCon consultation report

On February 21, the Department of Canadian Heritage released its Canadian Content in a Digital World consultation report. The government commissioned the independent data analysis firm Ipsos to synthesize the information gathered from the DigiCanCon consultations. The results contained in the report are described as a thematic overview of submissions received.

The television and film industries are thoroughly discussed, and while the report doesn’t contain many direct mentions of music, some sections have a strong focus on creators and the need to showcase Canada’s cultural sector at home and abroad, as well as “a need to ensure that Canadian creators share in the financial rewards resulting from increased dissemination of cultural content via digital channels.”

The report identifies three main principles that arose during the consultations, and positives for the creative community can be drawn from the feedback the government received related to each of these principles:

  1. Focusing on citizens and creators

This principle involves supporting creators through skills development and ownership protection, investing in creators with a re-evaluated funding model to allow broader access, and respecting citizen choice to afford all Canadians with access to a diverse body of cultural content.

  1. Reflecting Canadian identities and promoting sound democracy

A sentiment expressed by many during the consultations was that “the Canadian ‘brand’ should reflect the diversity of both Canada’s cultural and ethnic populations and also Canada’s geography and landscape.” Per the report, “there was general agreement that a robust Canadian cultural offering contributes to a strong Canadian identity which in turn breeds engaged citizens.” This is how many participants felt that culture can promote a sound democracy.

  1. Catalyzing economic and social innovation

How to create a cultural ecosystem that fuels growth of the middle class was one of the questions the government sought to answer. While participants reportedly had difficulty expressing how a thriving cultural sector would benefit the middle class, it’s important to remember that many members of the creative class earn an income below the poverty line from their creative work. Independent musicians earned an average of $7,228 per year from music-related activities in 2011. In many respects, a strong creative class contributes directly to a strong middle class. This is one of the main reasons the Focus On Creators coalition exists – to ask the government to put creators at the heart of future policy so they can earn a reasonable living from their work, and BE part of the middle class.

We were very encouraged by one of the “next steps” identified by the government to “through both public policy and perception, reposition the cultural sector as an engine of economic growth and innovation in Canada.” We firmly believe that music has incredible potential as a driver of economic growth and job creation and we’re committed to spreading this message.

One of the key themes of the consultations, identified on page 10, is “Modernizing Canada’s legislative framework and national cultural institutions.” According to the report, the Copyright Act was one of the institutions that participants said has “not kept pace with the shifting digital environment and should be examined.” The upcoming government-mandated Copyright Act review in 2017 was identified as a vital opportunity for Canada to stand up for creators, noting that “most agreed that changes to IP legislation that divert the flow of revenue back to the hands of the idea generators is essential to the future of the cultural ecosystem in Canada.” The Copyright Act is also included as a legislative framework in the government’s “federal cultural policy toolkit.” We hope that the opportunity presented by the 2017 Copyright Act review is used to its full potential to benefit Canada’s cultural industries.

Although it was not mentioned in the Ipsos report, The Copyright Board of Canada also has enormous potential to act as a business development force for our cultural industries. In a report released in December of 2016, The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce stated “The Copyright Board of Canada plays a pivotal role in Canada’s cultural sector. Yet, from what the committee heard, the Board is dated, dysfunctional and in dire need of reform.” The Senate committee report recommended that an “in-depth examination of the Copyright Board of Canada’s mandate, practices and resources” be included as part of the 2017 Copyright Act review.

Music Canada would like to commend Minister Joly and the Department of Canadian Heritage for undertaking such a thorough consultation at this crucial moment in time for Canada’s cultural industries. We are very encouraged by the commitment to creators displayed by both the government and participants in the consultation, and we are hopeful that these consultations will result in new policies to better support our creative industries in the digital age.

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Canada’s creative industries to host Thought-Leadership Event on 2017 Copyright Act review in Ottawa

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UPDATE – NOV 30, 12:54PM: Due to extreme weather, this event had been postponed to a future date.  Further updates will be provided when available.

Ottawa, ON – November 30, 2016:  Creative industries that rely on the Copyright Act are holding a thought leadership event today in Ottawa in preparation for the upcoming government-mandated review of the Act in 2017.

Creators and rights holders in the music, book-writing and newspaper sectors will convene with Members of Parliament and decision-makers in Ottawa. The event is intended to unite Canada’s major cultural sectors as they discuss how legislative, program and policy improvements can help their industries grow and prosper in the digital age.

The rules governing the digital environment were established twenty years ago, with the intent of supercharging the digital marketplace – to be a boon to both creators and the public. But the reality is that within the span of a single generation, the creative middle class has virtually ceased to exist.

Independent artists earned an average of $7,228 per year from music-related activities in 2011; not nearly enough to allow them to pursue a music career full-time. Taking inflation into account, writers made 27 percent less in 2015 than they did in 1998 from their writing. With average writers’ revenues that fall below the poverty line, the Writers’ Union of Canada says that writers will increasingly abandon their craft for other employment. The average income of a playwright in Canada, in 2004, was less than $10,000.

On November 29th, a joint letter addressed to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, urged the government to put Canada’s creators at the heart of our cultural policy. The letter was signed by nearly 1,100 Canadian musicians, songwriters, composers, music producers, authors, poets, playwrights, film composers, actors, directors, visual artists and other members of the creative class.

The letter is sure to be a topic of discussion at the event, as Canada’s cultural industries further unite to ensure our creators can continue to tell Canadian stories to the world and global stories to Canadians. Music Canada will be live-streaming the event, so please look out for the video link on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Canada’s creative industries join together to form Focus On Creators coalition, release joint letter to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly

focus-social-facebookA growing list of nearly 1,100 musicians, authors, songwriters, composers, music producers, poets, playwrights, film composers, actors, directors and other members of the creative class have signed a joint letter addressed to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, urging the Canadian Government to put creators at the heart of our cultural policy.

The impressive list of signatories on the letter includes Alanis Morissette, Brett Kissel, Blue Rodeo, Gord Downie, Gordon Lightfoot, Grimes, Metric, The Sheepdogs, Marie Claire Blais, Rudy Wiebe, Guy Gavriel Kay, Sharon Pollock, Daniel David Moses, Mary Vingoe, Garth Richardson, Gary Barwin, Alice Major, Maureen Hynes and many more.

The following is a passage from the joint letter:

The carefully designed laws and regulations of the 1990s were intended to ensure that both Canadian creators and technological innovators would benefit from digital developments. We hoped that new technology would enrich the cultural experiences for artists and consumers alike. Unfortunately, this has not happened. Instead, our work is increasingly used to monetize technology without adequately remunerating its creators. Income and profit from digital use of our work flow away from the creative class to a concentrated technology industry.  Allowing this trend to continue will result in dramatically fewer Canadians being able to afford to “tell Canadian stories,” much less earn a reasonable living from doing so.

Canadian creators are encouraged to add their names to the letter on the initiative’s website, www.focusoncreators.ca, to help send this important message to policymakers in Ottawa.

The Focus On Creators coalition was formed to bring focus to the artists’ perspective in light of some major federal cultural policy activities, including the Canadian heritage review, and the upcoming Copyright Act review in 2017. These activities present a timely opportunity to re-establish a fair working environment for creators.

Focus On Creators has widespread support from Canada’s creative industries. The initiative’s supporting partners are:

  • Music Canada
  • The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA)
  • The Writers’ Union of Canada
  • The League of Canadian Poets
  • The Canadian Music Publishers Association
  • The Playwrights Guild of Canada
  • The Canadian Country Music Association

On November 30, 2016, creators and rights holders in the music, book-writing and newspaper sectors will convene with Members of Parliament and decision-makers in Ottawa for a Thought Leadership Event hosted by industries that rely on the Copyright Act. The event is intended to unite Canada’s major cultural sectors as they discuss how legislative, program and policy improvements can help their industries grow and prosper in the digital age. Music Canada will be live-streaming the event. Look out for the link on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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