I want Cabinet to stand up for Canada, not "broadcasting"

The following letter was sent to a number of key MPs, as well as to the editor of the Hill Times. It was published under "Newsmakers" in the October 14, 2005 issue of Canadian New Media.

ACTRA, CIRPA, SOCAN and the "Friends of Canadian Broadcasting" have taken out a full page advertisement in the September 5 issue of the Hill Times promoting government intervention into a recent CRTC decision on satellite radio.

I was pleased that the CRTC decision recognized that subscription satellite radio is not the same as broadcast radio. I support a full spectrum of production, distribution and funding models for creativity, and believe that the greatest threat to Canadian creativity comes from those who wish to impose past models onto all creativity.

I support Canadian Content (CANCON) rules where an intermediary can limit the choices of Canadians, such as traditional broadcast radio. This is a highly concentrated market where play-lists are decided by a DJ, the station, or increasingly the owners of a network of stations.

A market where CANCON rules shouldn't be needed is retail. While dedicated music retail stores stock far more titles than high-volume stores such as Walmart, the reality is that the vast majority of recorded music is not available at any price. The extremely limited stock with Walmart suggests that CANCON rules should be applied to that market.

XM radio provides more choice to Canadians than many of the retail options, which is why true independent musicians are excited about this option. As a subscription service XM radio should be less regulated than broadcast radio.

Those who paid for the poll and advertisement are not protecting Canadian culture. These are primarily the same organization lobbying for ratification of the 1996 WIPO treaties, now Bill C-60, which promotes the US industry interests who are the primary authors and beneficiaries of the treaties. Ratification of the 1996 WIPO treaties will have a greater harmful impact on Canadian music than if we abolished CANCON rules entirely. This is before the possibility we may see something worse than C-60 based on the lobbying from US/EU major label controlled CRIA.


Links:

Kill Bill C-60, the primarily US-interest authored copyright bill.
KillBillC60.ca

Petition for Users' Rights (and thus follow-on creators' rights)
http://digital-copyright.ca/petition/

Canadian Independent Recording Artists Association
http://www.ciraa.ca

Independents Support Satellite Radio
http://www.indiepool.com/main/csr/

Canada Music Commons.
http://www.canadamusiccommons.net/