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Tag archive: Copyright (14)

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It’s Official! Copyright in Canada Extended to 70 Years for Sound Recordings

Music Canada is pleased to announce that the Budget, the Economic Action Plan 2015, has received royal assent and is now law. We applaud the Government of Canada for the inclusion of copyright term extension. With the passing of this bill, the term of copyright for sound recordings has been extended from 50 to 70 years. This brings Canada’s copyright term for sound recordings in line with the international standard, protecting works of vital importance to many Canadian artists.

A copyright term of 70 years will mean that artists and other rights holders retain control of their sound recordings and can profit from them into their elder years. Without term extension for sound recordings, the early works of Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and Anne Murray would have been in public domain over the next five years.

“I’m still releasing albums but my fans love my older songs. Thanks to the federal government for the recent legislation. Its passage will make sure the sun doesn’t go down on my early songs,” says Gordon Lightfoot.

For younger artists, additional profits derived by rights holders from older recordings will be reinvested in developing artists. The music industry is second to none in terms of reinvestment in new talent, with over 28% of revenue reinvested in 2014.

“In extending the term of copyright in recorded music, Prime Minister Harper and the Government of Canada have demonstrated a real understanding of music’s importance to the Canadian economy. Thank you. We are thrilled to see Canada brought in line with the international standard of 70 years.” says Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada.

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Update: Artists react to proposal to extend the term for copyright of sound recordings in Canada to 70 years

Budget 2015, announced on April 21, 2015, committed to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings in Canada to 70 years from 50 years. This is what some artists have had to say in reaction to the news:

“I applaud the efforts of our Government to extend the copyright protection term for our recording artists. It is only fair that they continue to reap the rewards of their creative works well into their dotage, when they need it most.”
– Anne Murray

 

“Thank you for recognizing all that the performers and producers put into creating music and their continued need to be recognized for that effort 70 years later. The government’s Budget 2015 amending the term of copyright is very much appreciated in the music community.”
– Alex Lifeson (Rush)

 

“As a Canadian band, we appreciate that our government recognizes the cultural and economic value in musical recordings, and has protected that value by extending the copyright term of those involved in producing these records.”
– Arkells

 

“The extension of the copyright protection for sound recordings has been long overdue in Canada. I beseech the Canadian government to do the right thing by their recording artists and bring our country up to the seventy year rule that most of the world has adopted. Why should Canada be the only country among our trading partners to lag behind? Our music has enriched the cultural landscape both here and abroad, and we the copyright holders of our albums should be fairly compensated. Thank you!”
– Liona Boyd

 

“I’ve been making music since the early 1970s. Term extension is a huge relief – in just a few short years I thought I would start to see copies of my work and no revenue. Not anymore, thank you PM Harper.”
– Myles Goodwyn

 

“It’s great that Canada has extended the copyright term to align with our international trading partners. This will allow labels to continue to invest in new Canadian artists.”
– Ladies of the Canyon

 

“Thank you PM Harper for recognizing the importance of extending copyright protection to recordings to 70 years, which will allow continued re-investment in the next generation of artists.”
– Brett Kissel


“Term extension is music to my ears and the ears of so many creators in Canada. Thank you.”

– Kim Mitchell

 

“By extending the term of copyright to match our major trading partners, the Canadian government is adding incentive for companies to invest in more Canadian recordings, which will help artists, and everyone in the recording ecosystem.”
– Miranda Mulholland


“Thank you to the federal government for encouraging more investment in Canadian artists and recordings by extending our term of copyright.”

– Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies)

 

“We’re glad to see Canada extend our length of copyright protection to terms consistent with other artists in other countries.”
– The Sheepdogs


“Canadian artists create music that is world-renowned and stacks up next to our counterparts from around the world – I’m thankful to the government that our Copyright laws now also stack up to our global counterparts.”

– The Tenors

 

“It is great to see Canada extend our copyright term to match our international counterparts, thank you for caring about the economic contribution music makes to Canada.”
– Tom Cochrane


“I’m still releasing albums but my fans love my older songs. Thanks to the federal government for the recent legislation. Its passage will make sure the sun doesn’t go down on my early songs.”

– Gordon Lightfoot


“As a member of the vast community of Canadian recording artists and labels, I am deeply grateful to this government for taking the initiative to bring even more of our copyright regulations in line with the rest of the world and other cultural industries such as publishing. The creativity which goes into a given performance and the recording process and arrangements should not be undervalued in the ultimate success of a composition. The copyright principle is an essential ingredient in a business model which should allow all creative participants to see a fair return on their investment of time, money, experience and education in the development of their career and product.”

– Loreena McKennitt


“PM Harper – you’ve made Canada’s music, and music industry, competitive with the rest of the world, thank you.”

– Toronto Symphony Orchestra

 

“As artists, ownership of our music is almost like a retirement plan. It is great to see that by extending Canada’s copyright term, the government is protecting that investment”
– Triumph


“Thanks for term extension PM Harper, you really are taking care of business.”

– Randy Bachman

 

“The world has changed since our original copyright laws were drafted. Every piece of music is, at least theoretically, with us forever. Extending the copyright term is an eminently sensible response to this new situation, and a welcome one!”
– Bruce Cockburn

 

“In just a few short years, songs we recorded in the late 1960s will no longer have copyright protection in Canada. Many of us in our 70’s and 80’s depend on income from these songs for our livelihood. We would deeply appreciate any adjustment that would avert a financial disaster in our lives.”
– Leonard Cohen

 

“We are thankful to the government for extending the commercial life of our music.”
– Cowboy Junkies

 

“I support extending the length of copyright for sound recordings in Canada to 70 years.  The copyright of a creative work should not expire in the lifetime of an author.”
– Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo)

 

“I’m glad that Canada has extended our copyright term, so we can continue to use the proceeds from classic Canadian recordings to invest in great Canadian talent.”
– Kardinal Offishall


“It is great to hear that Canada has extended our length of copyright for music recordings, which will help our songs maintain their value for years to come.”

– Serena Ryder

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Backgrounder: Term Extension for Sound Recordings

How Copyright Works & Canadian Copyright Law

Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection provided to a creator who expresses an idea in a creative work such as a sound recording. The owner of copyright in the creative work has the exclusive right to copy, use, distribute, and receive compensation for such uses of the work for a defined period of time. The copyright owner uses the time during which the creative work is protected by copyright to extract value from it and earn a living.

The Canadian Copyright Act sets out the time limitations for exclusive uses of compositions, written works, films, and sound recordings. Section 23 of the Copyright Act currently states that performers and producers of sound recordings are provided a term of protection of 50 years. In comparison, other copyrighted works such as books, films, and musical compositions are protected for 50 years after the creator’s death. When the term of copyright has expired, the works are commonly said to be in the public domain, meaning that they may be freely used, distributed and copied without knowledge of, or compensation to, the creator or other rights holder.

International Comparisons

Over 60 countries worldwide protect copyright in sound recordings for a term of 70 years or longer from the time of the recording (see list attached). Until today, Canada, with only 50 years of copyright protection, has been an outlier amongst developed countries.

Implications for Artists

A term of 70 years will mean that artists and other rights holders retain control of their sound recordings and can profit from them into their elder years. Without term extension for sound recordings, the early works of Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and Anne Murray would be in public domain over the next five years.

For younger artists, additional profits derived by rights holders from older recordings will be reinvested in developing artists. The music industry is second to none in terms of reinvestment in new talent, with over 28% of revenue reinvested in 2014. As IFPI’s latest Investing in Music report illustrates, this is a greater percentage of revenue than the pharmaceutical, biotech, computer software or high tech hardware industries each invest in R&D.

Implications for Consumers

Public domain works, instead of being cheaper for the consumer, simply shift the value between different parties in the value chain. In the case of copyright-protected recordings, the performers continue to get paid for their work and profits are reinvested in new artists. Whereas for a public domain recording, the performer receives nothing; the additional value is instead taken as increased profit for the company distributing the public domain music. Consumers further benefit from copyright-protected works as businesses are incentivized to digitize and reissue classic recordings, often with remastering and additional and enhanced features and previously unreleased recordings. Studies have shown that there was no significant difference in the average price of recordings still under copyright compared to those in the public domain.   This is further demonstrated through a comparison of the price of recordings in the public and copyright-protected recordings of a similar quality: 1950s recordings in the public domain on iTunes are priced no differently than protected 1960s or 1970s recordings. In countries that have extended the term of copyright in sound recordings, as Europe did in 2012, term extension has not resulted in an increase to consumer pricing.

 

Appendix A:

Countries with copyright protection for sound recordings over 50 years

  1. United States (95)
  2. Mexico (75)
  3. United Kingdom (70)
  4. France (70)
  5. ermany (70)
  6. South Korea (70)
  7. Australia (70)
  8. Argentina (70)
  9. Austria (70)
  10. Netherlands (70)
  11. Spain (70)
  12. Italy (70)
  13. Norway (70)
  14. Slovenia (70)
  15. Sweden (70)
  16. Slovakia (70)
  17. Romania (70)
  18. Portugal (70)
  19. Poland (70)
  20. Lithuania (70)
  21. Latvia (70)
  22. Ireland (70)
  23. Bahamas (70/100)
  24. Saint Vincent (75)
  25. Samoa (75)
  26. Bahrain (70)
  27. Brazil (70)
  28. Burkina Faso (70)
  29. Chile (70)
  30. Costa Rica (70)
  31. Cote d’Ivoire (99)
  32. Micronesia (75/100)
  33. Morocco (70)
  34. Nicaragua (70)
  35. Oman (95/120)
  36. Palau (75/100)
  37. Colombia (80/50)
  38. Panama (70)
  39. Paraguay (70)
  40. Dominican Republic (70)
  41. Ecuador (70)
  42. El Salvador (70)
  43. Ghana (70)
  44. Grenadine (75)
  45. Guatemala (75)
  46. Honduras (75)
  47. Hungary (70)
  48. Greece (70)
  49. Finland (70)
  50. Estonia (70)
  51. Denmark(70)
  52. Czech Republic (70)
  53. Cyprus (70)
  54. Croatia (70)
  55. Bulgaria (70)
  56. Belgium (70)
  57. Peru (70)
  58. Singapore (70)
  59. Turkey (70)
  60. Iceland (70)
  61. Liechtenstein (70)
  62. Malta (70)
  63. Luxembourg (70)
  64. India (60)
  65. Venezuela (60)
  66. Bangladesh (60)
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Term Extension Benefits Canadian Artists, Music Companies and the Economy: Music Canada

Ottawa/Toronto, April 21, 2015 – Music Canada applauds the Government of Canada’s 2015 Budget for announcing the intention to amend the term of copyright for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years.

“By proposing to extend the term of copyright in recorded music, Prime Minister Harper and the Government of Canada have demonstrated a real understanding of music’s importance to the Canadian economy. Thank you. We look forward to seeing the full details when the Budget Implementation Act is tabled,” says Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada.

“With each passing day, Canadian treasures like Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie are lost to the public domain. This is not in the public interest. It does not benefit the creator or their investors and it will have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy,” adds Henderson.

Leonard Cohen reinforces the urgency of the problem, “In just a few short years, songs we recorded in the late 1960s will no longer have copyright protection in Canada. Many of us in our 70’s and 80’s depend on income from these songs for our livelihood. We would deeply appreciate any adjustment that would avert a financial disaster in our lives.”

This change will rectify the long-standing competitive disadvantage that Canadian artists and Canadian music has had by not being aligned with our international trading partners. A 70 year term of copyright has become the norm internationally. More than 60 countries worldwide protect copyright in sound recordings for a term of 70 years or longer, including all of Europe, the U.S., and Australia. Across Europe, Canadian artists are denied the full 70 year term of protection due to Canada’s shorter term of protection.

“The world has changed since our original copyright laws were drafted,” says Bruce Cockburn. “Every piece of music is, at least theoretically, with us forever. Extending the copyright term is an eminently sensible response to this new situation, and a welcome one!”

“I support extending the length of copyright for sound recordings in Canada to 70+ years,” adds Jim Cuddy.  “The copyright of a creative work should not expire in the lifetime of an author.”

Term extension fosters increased investment in new artists. With a significant average annual investment by music companies of over 28% of revenues in developing talent, the next generation of performing artists will benefit from this copyright amendment now and well into the future.

“I’m glad that Canada has extended our copyright term, so we can continue to use the proceeds from classic Canadian recordings to invest in great Canadian talent,” said Kardinal Offishall.

– 30 –

For more information:
Quentin Burgess – Manager of Digital Media, Music Canada
qburgess@musiccanada.com 647-981-8410

Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada, namely 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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