Copyright (royalty) Collective Societies

While copyright royalty Collective Societies often claim to represent creator and non-creator copyright holders, they are simply administrative bodies for one narrow business model option. Some of the most well known (and controversial) Canadian collectives include Access Copyright (previously CANCOPY), Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), and Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC).

The inappropriate levy proposal that just won't die.

Seems the Copyright Board is still listening to the CPCC that wants to apply a recorded music compulsory license to devices capable of storing recorded music.

Michael Geist correctly notes that this type of levy would make more sense if it clearly authorized sharing and non-commercial use of music and other multimedia, and the levy had a closer tie to the beneficiaries (IE: the voluntary licensing system proposed by the EFF paid by those who wish to share or mashup music).

A commentor from the USA properly points out that "Canadian officials have apparently been brainstorming clever and efficient ways to increase privacy among their constituencies" given this levy will can only increase infringement of music copyright.

See also: Ars Technica, and republishing of Geist article by p2pnet

How the Record Industry Committed Suicide

Failure to embrace collective licensing in 2000 led to the industry's decline, says an article in Rolling Stone article by Brian Hiatt and Evan Serpick. Lacking is any mention of the massive harm that DRM has caused to the music industry.

Figuring out the Music Industry...

The following is a comment to a discussion in the latest This Week In Tech podcast.

I wanted to help the group better understand what is happening in the music industry. In the conversation you were speaking as if it was one big happy industry, when in fact you need to divide it into at least 3 warring factions to make sense out of things: composers (and their publishers), performers, and "makers" of sound recordings.

Barenaked Ladies: If I had a compulsory blanket music license

An Ars Technica article by Nate Anderson talks about the most widely supported alternatives to lawsuits and DRM. Unlike lawsuits which just upsets the customer base (you can't sue someone into being your customer), and DRM which infringes the basic property rights of technology owners and breaks interoperability, compulsory licensing would vastly increase the revenues being returned to artists.

Internet Radio in Canada: Tariff 22 Opening remarks

With all the talk of US Internet Radio tariffs, and the US SaveNetRadio coalition<.A>, it is important for Canadians to realize that a similar process is underway in Canada. SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada), the composer/publisher arm of the Canadian music industry is proposing tariffs and Sara Bannerman is providing details on her BLOG.

It is important to note that this is royalties only for the composer/publisher arm. If Canada follows the same legal theory as the USA there will be royalties (or permission required) by the record companies (Labels) and recording artists.

Alanis Morissette "My Humps" video: $2K for video?

Interesting article and comments on the Leftsetz Letter about the Alanis Morissette "My Humps" video that just started showing up on video sharing sites. A comment says that it only costs $2K to make, but I think we should remember that this is her costs -- there is still going to be royalties owed to the composer/publisher who has the rights to that song for all the communications to the public -- more money that Google will be said to owe even though it appears Morissette authorized the video to be shared.

Clear as mud? -- as with everything else in the music industry these days.

Piracy didn’t kill the major label business model, choice did.

A BLOG article by Bob Lefsetz documents what most of us recognize, but policy makers seem to largely be unaware of.

At some point in the future, earlier rather than later if the majors capitulate and agree to live in the present as opposed to the 1990s, music acquisition on the Net will be monetized. A great deal of revenue will be generated, but it will be distributed amongst a plethora of providers/acts.
But the point is you no longer need the major label as a bank, as a marketer, you don’t need that much money and your fans do so much of the work for you. How do the majors compete in this new landscape? Good question.

Making sense out of the music industry and a recent Copyright Board decision.

Reading the comments in reply to Michael Geist's BLOG article indicating that the Copyright Board has made a decision on music download royalties indicates common confusion over copyright and royalty issues with the larger music industry. While I Am Not A Lawyer (IANAL), I have spent many hours talking about this with musicians. It is yet another example where "clarification and simplification" is needed not only of the Copyright act, but also of a legacy arrangement between industries.

(US) Internet Radio has been sentenced to death.

The most recent SuitWatch newsletter by Doc Searls (Senior Editor of Linux Journal) discusses the recent decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board, the US equivalent of our Copyright Board. The issue is "Internet radio", and how rather than the flat-fee that regular radio needs to pay, Internet radio is being treated as a "performance" that demands large per-listener fees.

While I believe that fees should be paid (for multimedia entertainment I favour levies over lawsuits), I don't believe they should be per-listener, nor do I believe that everyone streaming or otherwise sending music should be treated as a wealthy commercial enterprise.

Discussing the proposed levy on portable audio devices.

I suspect most people have read that the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) has applied for a tariff on portable media playing hardware. I am curious to see feedback on this from our community. Unlike our clear opposition to DRM, this tariff is one where there has been a variety of different opinions expressed.

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