Category Archives: News & Events

Election 2011: CMPA asks the important questons

A survey is being sent to the federal parties by the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA) in order to gauge where each stands on issues related to Canada’s music publishing industry. The results of the survey will be used to inform CMPA members, prior to Election Day, on the views of each of the parties on the issues set forth in the questionnaire.

There are five questions in the survey:

Does your party believe that music is an essential part of expressing and enhancing Canadian identity, values and culture?

Does your party believe Canada needs strong, effective, forward-thinking copyright legislation that addresses future as well as current challenges?

Is your party committed to maintaining copyright protection for commercial uses of music and protecting creator’s rights and rights holders’ right to be compensated for such uses?

Would your party commit to extending this protection to digital audio recorders?

Is your party committed to renewing the Canada Music Fund, at least at its current level, when the current three-year funding commitment expires?

“This is a really important election for rights issues and the future of copyright,” states CMPA Executive Director Catharine Saxberg. “Although copyright isn’t a public election issue, the future of copyright really hangs in the balance in this election. We want people to vote and to be engaged with their candidates. These are the questions that we are sending to the campaigns. If you get the chance to ask the candidates in your riding how they would respond to these questions, it might help you to decide how to vote.”

If you need more information about who the candidates are in your riding or CMPA’s position on C-32, you can contact Catharine Saxberg directly at (416) 926-7952. There is additional information on the CMPA website and in the current issue of the CMPA magazine, Music Publisher Canada.

As the oldest trade association in Canada, CMPA has ensured the views of music publishers working in Canada, and its members, are heard. It is the organization’s mission to promote the interests of music publishers and their songwriting partners through advocacy, communication and education. CMPA advocates for publishers on copyright reforms for a digital world, Canadian Content policies for broadcasters and new music delivery systems, public investment in songwriting and music publishing, and protecting the private copying tariff.

 

Eminem Lawsuit May Affect How Digital Revenues Get Shared

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear Universal’s appeal of a lower court ruling, which ruled in Eminem’s favor.  The court in this case said that downloads, such as those from iTunes, are music “licenses,” not sales.

The contract Eminem signed in 1995 entitles him to 50% of license revenue, but only 12% to 20% of sales.  Under their original deal with Universal Music Group’s Aftermath Records, FBT Productions and Em2M had been receiving 12%-20% of digital sales, the same cut as they did from sales of CDs — but argued they were actually due a 50-50 split, since the songs in question were being “licensed” to the iTunes Store.

Even though Universal emphasized this is a narrow ruling that only applies to Eminem’s contract, other artists may well have similarly-constructed deals entered before the current technology.

 

Alarming P2P French “3-Strikes” Survey

A recent survey of French file-sharers show that nearly 75% of file-share users still illegally download copyrighted material. According to a survey conducted by ZDNet.fr, only 4% of Internet users admitted that they have stopped downloading completely because they feel identifiable.” 15% of those surveyed said they continue to download unabated, 9% of which claimed to be “more vigilant then before,” and the remaining 6% taking no new precautions at all, “convinced they will not be identified.” 80% were found to never legally download content. The second phase, or “strike,” of the new system is set to take effect in the near future.

Pirate Bay Announces The Music Bay

The Pirate Bay is set to make a comeback with their new venture. The Music Bay, a domain purchased by the company as a way to look into different methods of distributing music online under the radar. “The music industry can’t even imagine what we’re planning to roll out in the coming months,” a Pirate Bay insider said. “For years they’ve complained bitterly about piracy, but if they ever had a reason to be scared it is now. It will be a special surprise for IFPI’s (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) 78th birthday, and we’re thinking of organizing a huge festival in Rome where IFPI was founded.” The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) has long been one of the most active anti-piracy outfits and a regular adversary of The Pirate Bay.

Liberals propose amendments to Conservatives’ copyright bill to protect the rights of artists

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff today outlined several amendments the Liberal Party will be seeking to the Conservatives’ new copyright bill C-32 to protect the rights of artists. “Bill C-32 is flawed and does not strike a proper balance, particularly in ensuring Canadian artists and creators are fairly compensated for their work,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “Our amendments seek fair compensation for artists that would be predictable, stable and shielded from government whims, without imposing new fiscal burdens on consumers.” The Liberal Party consulted thoroughly with artists across the country before coming up with this balanced solution. Specifically, the Liberal Party will seek to introduce a new Private Copying Compensation Payment of $35 million to be transferred to Canadian artists each year, through the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC). Liberals are proposing a new statutory program, written in law within the Copyright Act, which will increase at the rate of inflation and be reviewed every five years. “The Liberal Party does not support the iPod levy. It is not sustainable in a world of changing technology, and is unpopular with consumers,” said Marc Garneau, Liberal Industry, Science and Technology Critic. “Canadians are already using multipurpose media devices to listen to music, like Blackberries, iPhones, iPads and computer livestreaming, on which the levy would not apply.” “Today, some 95% of music on people’s devices are uncompensated downloads,” added Pablo Rodriquez, Liberal Heritage Critic. “What we are proposing is a long-term, technologically neutral and sustainable solution to ensure artists are properly compensated for their work.” “We will continue to work in committee to improve C-32 to achieve a proper balance of Canada’s copyright laws in the digital age,” said Liberal Consumer Affairs Critic Dan McTeague. “Although the legislation passed by the previous Liberal government in 1997 served the arts community well at the time, technology has changed how culture is consumed.” The Liberal Party will also seek to amend C-32 in order to: • Restrict the education exemption by clearly defining “education” and inserting a clear and strict test for “fair” use for education purposes; • Re-insert the right of ephemeral recordings; • Restrict and tighten the language for “mash-ups”; • Remove the arbitrary 1988 statute on public expositions; • Introduce a new resale right on art, similar to European laws; • Ensure the rights of Canadian photographers are comparable to those shared by photographers around the world; and • Address the overly-restrictive digital lock provisions for personal uses. The Liberal Party has long supported the Canadian arts community. Earlier this year, Liberals committed to doubling the Canada Council for the Arts and restoring programs like PromArt and Trade Routes with approximately $200 million more in annual funding.

Canadian Merge for Sirius and XM

XM Canada and Sirius Canada have announced plans to merge. The news follows longtime speculation about the two radio operators combining their operations to save costs and the result could be an audience of 1.7 million listeners. “As a combined entity, XM Canada and Sirius Canada will deliver exceptional value to subscribers, and enhance the long-term success of satellite radio in Canada,” John Bitove, chairman of Canadian Satellite Radio, said in a statement. “The benefits of a merger are clear, and together we’ll be better able to create more growth and opportunity for shareholders, accelerate technological innovation and ensure that satellite radio is able to compete in the rapidly evolving audio entertainment industry,” said Mark Redmond, CEO of Sirius Canada.

The Return of Audiogalaxy

Music sharing pioneer and Napster competitor Audiogalaxy returned this week without any file-sharing capability. The site currently allows users to stream their personal music library to their iPhone or Android handset. Originally envisioned as a service much like the old Audiogalaxy, founder Michael Merhej (who is partnered with Jim Griffin of the Warner Music-backed Choruss project) acknowledged this week that “unfortunately, nobody can offer this experience today because it is next to impossible in the current copyright environment,” Jim Griffin was quoted as saying that “We couldn’t even find half of the rights holders. I think it’s gonna take the rest of my lifetime just to get this right.” He also stated that “there needs to be a compulsory or statutory licensing environment” explaining the difficulty of negotiations with individual rights holders.

ECJ Decision – No Private Copying Levy on Sales to Businesses

The European Court of Justice decided that Private copying levies on blank CDs, MP3 players and other digital media are allowed under EU copyright law but only when charged on goods sold to individuals because it can reasonably be assumed those media will be used for copying.    The Court ruled that when businesses bought the media no levy should be paid because the assumption that the media will be used for copying cannot be made.  The ECJ said that private individuals were likely to use material to copy and that a levy was a reasonable mechanism for getting those individuals to pay for the harm caused to authors. The European Commission said last year that it wanted to end the situation where private copying was legal in some EU countries and not in others.  The Commission said in a statement that it wanted to give “consumers certainty about what they can and cannot do with copyrighted songs, videos and films they download, by ending the current fragmentation of laws on ‘private copying'”.

US Senate to Crack Down On Online Piracy

The U.S. Senate introduced a bill this week that would give US law enforcement authorities more tools to crack down on websites engaged in the piracy of movies, television shows and music. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act would give the Justice Department the “tools to track and shut down websites devoted to providing access to unauthorized downloads, streaming or sale of copyrighted content and counterfeit goods,” stated Senator Patrick Leahy, one of those who introduced the bill. The websites that are targeted by the Senate and House of Representatives include China’s Baidu, Canada’s isoHunt, Ukraine’s MP3fiesta, Sweden’s Pirate Bay, Germany’s Rapidshare and Luxembourg’s RMX4U.

Copyswede Seeks New Levy on Hard Drives and Mobile Phones

In Sweden, income generated from a copy fee built in to the price of recordable CDs and DVDs has almost halved in the past two years. I n 2007, sales of blank discs generated 200 million kronor ($28 million USD) for artists, compared to just 113 million kronor ($15 million USD) in 2009. Copyswede, the umbrella organization for copyright groups that administers that fee, believes the plunge in revenue can be attributed to a shift in the way music and films are now consumed. Copyswede distributes the funds generated from fees that are included in the prices of recordable hard drives, mp3 players, and blank discs. The organization is pushing for legislation that will extend the fees to other technologies such as hard drive. Copyswede’s proposed fee would add around 100 kronor to the cost of a mobile phone with 32 gigabytes of memory.