Canadian Music Creators Coalition

Rogers and Clear Channel: Wards of the State

I saw an interview with Steven Page of the Barnaked Ladies and spokesperson for the Canadian Music Creators Coalition on Global Television this evening. While I don't normally watch Global as I find their "news" reporting poor, I watched this as I knew they were going to cover the fact that CMCC was in Ottawa today.

The interviewer, as expected, simply didn't get it. He thought that if the musicians weren't making money from the sales of CDs then they would somehow be "wards of the state". What nonsense. What I heard on Monday was a recommendation to use the same system that legalized and monetized the unauthorized distribution of music on radio and the unauthorized distribution of television on cable. In these cases there is no requirement for permission from the copyright holder, just a requirement of payment via a levy system. Why is it that this reporter would never consider Rogers (or any other cable company) or Clear Channel (or any other radio station) to be "wards of the state", and yet would claim that what musicians want is somehow different?

Not singing from the same songbook

Replying to: Not singing from the same songbook (Toronto Star, May 8, 2006, Page: A18).

This article contains a common myth that has been perpetrated by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), and that is that it is not possible for them to sue those who are sharing music without authorization. What the 2004 federal court cases said is that the labels needed to provide adequate evidence of infringing activity before they could disclose the names of those alleged to be infringing. It is not lax copyright laws that are the issue, but the fact that Canada has stronger privacy legislation (PIPEDA). In the court case the labels failed to even download a song and listen to it to verify what was being shared, and indicate proof of authorship so that there would be evidence that the music had not been authorized to be shared.

CMCC Comes to Ottawa

Micheal Geist writes:

The Canadian Press is reporting that several musicians from the Canadian Music Creators Coalition, including Steven Page, Andrew Cash, and Brendan Canning, are in Ottawa today meeting with senior government officials.  The report says the musicians met with Industry Minister Maxime Bernier and Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda and were also to meet with NDP Heritage Critic Charlie Angus, Bloc Quebecois Heritage Critic Maka Kotto and Liberal Heritage Critic Mauril Belanger.

The Wild West lawlessness of the digital marketplace: who wears the white and black hats?

An article by Greg Sandoval, Staff Writer, CNET News.com includes:

Warner Music Group reported on Friday soaring digital music sales, even as the company continues to lose money and faces numerous lawsuits related to alleged price fixing of music downloads.

In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Warner Music said the company has been named in 14 class-action lawsuits, most of which allege a "conspiracy among record companies to fix prices for downloads."

I have to admit that I agree with Graham Henderson that there is currently a "wild west" feel to the digital music marketplace. We seem to both agree that we need to move into the "rule making" phase to create laws to deal with the current lawlessness. Where we greatly disagree is who are the "white hats" and who are the "black hats" in this western.

The bare naked truth on music file sharing

This PCWorld Canada article by Jim Ducharme includes:

I understand the need to protect copyrights. I often have to engage in this kind of policing myself when some other website lifts one of our stories without first asking for permission. However, because of the way they've dealt with the issue, even folks like me, who used to share CIRA's concerns, have changed our tunes.

This is important to remember: People don't disagree with CRIA because they want to get music for free. Many of us are copyright holders who believe that we would be making less money, not more, if governments followed the extremist policy proposals that are advocated by CRIA.

Graham Henderson sees Deadwood...

"I see dead people. ... They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead." (The Sixth Sense)

Michael Geist contrasts the message from CMCC and CRIA, offering a link to a DRM-free MP3 version of Henderson's Monday speech and a National Post masthead article.

Canadian Music Creators Coalition Gets Busy

This ChartAttack article by Steve McLean includes:

"The multinational record labels are vocal in their desire for changes to copyright laws that would facilitate lawsuits against our fans and increase their control over the enjoyment of music," says the letter.

"To our alarm, the labels' advance these demands not merely on their own behalf, but in our names as necessary for the well-being of individual Canadian musicians in the digital age. Let us be clear: the labels speak for their own interests. We come forward to do the same."

A Barenaked guide to music copyright reform

A National Post article by Steven Page includes:

Much of their lobbying, however, is not about protecting artists or promoting Canadian culture. It is about propping up business models in the recording industry that are quickly becoming obsolete and unsustainable. It is about preserving foreign-based power structures and further entrenching the labels' role as industry gatekeepers. Their lobbying efforts are focused on passing laws that restrict artists' ability to take control of their own music, reach their fans in more direct ways and earn a decent living from music without sacrificing their autonomy.

See also: BoingBoing , Michael Geist.

Our Lady Peace frontman and his unselfish nature indulge in a few selfish acts

This Jam Showbiz Music article by Mike Bell (Calgary Sun) includes:

Another thing people respect about Maida is his decidedly unselfish acts when it comes to offering his name and time to causes he cares about.

The latest is his involvement in the Canadian Music Creators Coalition, a group of artists, such as Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan, as well as smaller labels, who are attempting to have a say in policies such as copyright law, digital music and Canadian cultural decisions.

Canadian Music Creators Coalition: media attention.

It has been great to watch all the media attention given to this important story! I also look forward to other groups of creators beyond musicians speaking out against the policies of the various industry associations. These industry associations represent their own special interests which are often quite opposed to those of us creators.

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