Music Creators Applaud Songwriters' P2P Proposal

Songwriters Association of Canada proposes inexpensive,
legal access to P2P for Canadians

Montreal, December 6, 2007: The Canadian Music Creators Coalition (CMCC) applauded the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) today for its innovative, forward-thinking proposal to provide Canadians with legal and affordable access to file-sharing services.

"This is the first progressive proposal we've seen in Canada to address file-sharing," said Andrew Cash, CMCC spokesperson. "It's telling that creators, the people who actually make the music being shared, are the people showing leadership and pushing for a made-in-Canada approach to file-sharing. We can only hope that the Canadian government will follow the Songwriters' lead and begin exploring alternatives to the failed 'locks, lawsuits and lobbying' strategy of the major labels."

The publication of the Songwriters' proposal comes just days before the Government of Canada is expected to introduce copyright legislation, modeled on strict American laws. It's anticipated that the new legislation will give rights-holders new rights over both music recordings and the digital tools, such as digital rights management (DRM), used to lock up that music.

"We don't know if the Songwriters have all the answers," states CMCC member Steven Page, "but we do know that this proposal moves in the right direction. The Songwriters' proposal offers tremendous value to both consumers and rights-holders. The Songwriters have given us the framework to come together to talk about digital music. The CMCC wholeheartedly endorses the Songwriters' efforts, and looks forward to joining all Canadian stakeholders in considering the merits of this proposal."

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Text of CMCC endorsement of the SAC proposal:

"The CMCC wishes to congratulate and endorse the Songwriters Association of Canada in pushing this proposal forward. We think the Canadian government should be facilitating discussion over the merits of this forward thinking approach to file-sharing rather than introducing legislation that looks backwards to approaches that have already failed."

The full text of the SAC proposal may be found on the SAC website at http://www.songwriters.ca/studio/proposal.php.

For Further Information Contact Andrew Cash or Steven Page c/o CMCC Communications: (514) 867-8337 or press at musiccreators.ca.

About the Canadian Music Creators Coalition

Our membership rolls boast dozens of household names including Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Broken Social Scene, Matthew Good, Metric, Randy Bachman, Billy Talent, Sloan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sum 41, Stars, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), The New Pornographers, Bill Henderson (Chilliwack), Ronnie King (The Stampeders), Dave Bidini (Rheostatics), Billy Talent, John K. Samson (Weakerthans), Three Days Grace, Andrew Cash and Sam Roberts. We are the people who actually create Canadian music. Without us, there would be no music for copyright laws to protect.

Until recently, a group of multinational record labels has done most of the talking about what Canadian artists need out of copyright and cultural policy. Record companies and music publishers are not our enemies, but let's be clear: lobbyists for major labels are looking out for their shareholders, and seldom speak for Canadian artists. Legislative proposals that would facilitate lawsuits against our fans or increase the labels' control over the enjoyment of music are made not in our names, but on behalf of the labels' foreign parent companies.

The CMCC is united under three key principles:

Suing Our Fans is Destructive and Hypocritical
Artists do not want to sue music fans. The labels have been suing our fans against artists' will, and laws enabling these suits cannot be justified in artists' names

Digital Locks are Risky and Counterproductive
Artists do not support using digital locks to increase the labels' control over the distribution, use and enjoyment of music or laws that prohibit circumvention of such technological measures. Consumers should be able to transfer the music they buy to other formats under a right of fair use, without having to pay twice.

Cultural Policy Should Support Actual Canadian Artists
The vast majority of new Canadian music is not promoted by major labels, which focus mostly on foreign artists. The government should use other policy tools to support actual Canadian artists and a thriving musical and cultural scene.

More information about the CMCC (including a more detailed policy statement) is available at www.musiccreators.ca.