Independent Music

Independent music, including unsigned musicians, musicians with independent labels, and those independent labels.

Organizations: Canadian Independent Recording Artists' Association (CIRAA), Canada music commons, Musical Artists' Global Independence Collaborative - MAGIC, Canadian Independent Record Production Association (Note: CIRPA does not appear very modern in their thinking)

Removing the C from CRIA

An article in p2pnet and an article by Michael Geist discuss the growing fallout from recent CRIA sumissions to the CRTC. These submissions have caused opposition from the largest of the independent (Read: Actually Canadian) music labels: Anthem, Acquarius, The Children's Group, Linus Entertainment, Nettwerk, and True North Records.

Guest says:

CRIA is governed by a five member board consisting of President Graham Henderson and representatives from the four major foreign labels. As CRIA increasingly battles artists and collectives on private copying as well as Canadian recording labels on approaches to promote Canadian music, it will become increasingly that CRIA does not speak for the Canadian music industry. It is time for policy makers and government leaders to see CRIA for what it is - a copyright lobby group that represents the interests of foreign corporations. The impact of the CRTC submission will linger long after the radio review hearings conclude next month.

Dispute prompts 6 indie labels to leave Cdn Recording Industry Association

This Canadian Press article by Angela Pacienza includes:

TORONTO (CP) - Six leading independent record companies, including those representing Rush and Sarah McLachlan, have left the Canadian Recording Industry Association over a disagreement about radio content rules and grant programs for emerging artists.

"It has become increasingly clear over the past few months that CRIA's position on several important music industry issues are not aligned with our best interests as independent recording companies," the group wrote in a letter to the association's president Graham Henderson.

The story lists the following independent labels: Nettwerk Records, Aquarius Records, the Children's Group, Linus Entertainment, Anthem Records and True North Records. The focus of this split is not controversial copyright proposals, but with these labels able to act more independently might come up with alternative positions that would help rather than hinder Canadian musicians.

New paradigm opened market to new music

This Toronto Star article by Christopher Hutsul includes:

While this new model may not benefit the recording industry, it spells good times ahead for the people who make music and love music. It's a better place to be than in the pre-Napster era, when alternative Canadian acts could neither sell records or draw a crowd.

Instead of bringing an end to music, file sharing has, in a sense, saved it.

Party games for the Junos

I'll be watching the Juno music awards this evening, which are only a few minutes away. A suggestion for a drinking game if you want to get really drunk: you have to finish your drink each time someone talks about "illegal" downloading of music, with is likely not illegal in Canada. Then there will be the more complex comments about illegal music "filesharing" which would be very simple to monetize like radio, but where the legacy major labels (and their supporting musicians) prefer to sue their fans.

An alternate is to put money into a hat rather than drinking, and donate that money to the Save the Music Fan (Terry McBride, CEO Nettwerk Music Group, helping to protect a music fan from the RIAA), or Patti Santangelo fights Goliath.

Authorized P2P helps artists become success

A BLOG article by Michael Calore includes:

They encouraged their fans to trade the tunes online and to post them to websites and P2P networks. Yes, they encouraged file trading. Eventually, more and more people found them on MySpace or on their website via word-of-mouth, and their reach started to widen. Fans started booking them in venues farther and farther away from their hometown. Wherever they played, everyone in the crowd knew the words to the songs. This is all before they even signed to a record label.

Save the Music Fan

The homepage of includes a letter from Terry McBride, CEO Nettwerk Music Group

The passionate message of music is in the magic of the "song." The more it's consumed, the more it nourishes. Music is ubiquitous; it's a utility like "water," it's not a pair of pants and as such we need to stop treating music like a product that needs to be controlled. My reason for agreeing to pay the legal fees of the Gruebel family is quite straightforward, to stop all litigation of music fans; Nettwerk defends online piracy(sic)

This article by Steve Lalla includes:

Nettwerk Music Group CEO Terry McBride echoed this uncertainty - "that it is still to be decided by the courts, as it's unclear" whether Canadians are allowed to download and share music via the Internet. Incredibly, McBride maintains that even though his company "has been hurt, especially in catalogue sales... the current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists' best interests."

See also: A wild ride: the digital music industry by Bryan Borzykowski for Canadian Business Magazine.

p2pnet talks to Nettwerk Music

This interview of Nettwerk's Terry McBride by p2pnet's John Newton includes:

But, "Suing music fans isn't the solution, it’s the problem,” says McBride.

He answered a few questions for p2pnet during which he said although he's behind the Greubels, "it's not about winning the case: it's about stopping all the litigation. Period. That's my focus."

The District Court of Paris in France rules in favour of P2P

This The Register article by John Oates includes:

The French courts have ruled that using peer-to-peer networks (P2P), providing you are doing so for personal rather than commercial reasons, is legal. The decision comes just as the French Parliament meets to discuss whether internet users should pay a voluntary tax or surcharge of €5 a month to use P2P networks.

Will Canada decide to monetize rather that sue fans for this non-commercial activity? There is considerable Canadian and international precedent for this type of thing, including the statutory licensing regimes which legalized the recording industry, as well as handled the far-less-complex negotiation issues involved with broadcast radio and television retransmission.

Don't do to me what I did to them: Henderson amusing quote of the week.

A CBC article titled Between rock and a hard place, talks about how artists and independent labels are opposed to the lawsuits launched by the major labels against music fans.

Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, is quoted as suggesting that statutory licensing for recorded music would mean the "Sovietization" of the industry. It is important to remember that it was statutory licensing of the sheet music that "legalized" the "piracy" of the recording industry in most countries, allowing the prerformance and recording of music without the permission of the songwriter as long as they paid a government set rate.

Funny how the legal tool used to legalize their "piracy" of the works of other is now being opposed when the next generation is suggesting it to them.

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