Canadian Musician - March/April 2023 | Page 9


CANADIAN MUSIC CREATORS ARE FEELING THE SQUEEZE : Why the Copyright Act Needs to be Updated Now .

Despite live music ’ s triumphant return to Canada after the pandemic , Canadian music creators are feeling the squeeze as the cost-of-living crisis worsens and they have no reprieve as the Canadian Copyright Act continues to leave them behind .

One of the purposes of the Copyright Act is to ensure that creators are fairly compensated for the use of their work . However , the current legislation leaves out thousands of music creators and denies them performance royalties .
Re : Sound , along with its member organizations , have officially launched the Fairness for Music Creators ( FFMC ) campaign , which urges the Government of Canada to update the Copyright Act now to ensure that creators can make a living in the Canadian music industry .
Re : Sound is calling for the Copyright Act to be amended in three areas to ensure that all Canadian music creators receive fair and equitable compensation :
2 . Remove the unfair $ 1.25M exemption from the Canadian Copyright Act so radio stations can fairly compensate Canadian performers and record labels for their work .
Performance royalties for performers and record labels were introduced in 1997 . At the time , commercial radio was struggling , and in response a special and transitional $ 1.25 million exemption was created to provide temporary relief for commercial radio . Twenty-five years later , this subsidy still exists despite radio industry consolidations and extraordinary profits over this time . This loophole continues to be exploited at the expense of music creators . Commercial radio is the sole music user to receive this privileged treatment and performers and record labels are the only rights holders being penalized by this exemption in Canada .
Canada is the only country in the entire world with this unfair and inequitable subsidy for commercial radio .
1 . Amend the definition of a sound recording to allow performers and record labels to be fairly and equitably compensated when their music is performed in movies , television , and other audio-visual content .
Currently , Canadian performers and record labels don ’ t get paid performance royalties when their sound recording is used in a television show , movie , video streaming platform or other audio-visual content , which has become one of the primary ways Canadians consume music , as our lives shift to an increasingly digital world . Authors and composers , both in Canada and abroad , have this right , as do performers and record labels in many countries around the world . Songwriters / composers are the only music creators who receive performance royalties when a song is performed on the big and small screen .
3 . Update the Private Copying regime to be technologically neutral in support of the Canadian Private Copying Collective .
“ We believe that all Canadian music creators deserve a sustainable and thriving industry to make a living ,” said Lou Ragagnin , President and CEO of Re : Sound , “ By strengthening copyright legislation , we are providing for the music creators of today and beyond and safeguarding one of Canada ’ s creative industries .”
The Copyright Act needs to be amended now to create a sustainable and thriving music industry for all Canadian music creators . To find out more , including how you can help , check out our website at resound . ca / ffmc .
Canadian performers and record labels are being left behind , with many struggling to make a living .
Article courtesy of Re : Sound Music Licensing Company . https :// www . resound . ca