April 15, 2011 – Compensation to Music Creators for Private Copying Hinges on Federal Election Result
Toronto – Canada’s recording artists could potentially lose a vitally important revenue stream depending on the outcome of the federal election, warns the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC).
“The policy platforms released by the major parties present music rights holders with stark possibilities: from stable and continued compensation for private copies made of their music, to the elimination of an important part of the livelihood they earn through their art,” said Annie Morin, Chair of the CPCC.
The future of the private copying levy, currently applied to the sale of blank CDs to provide compensation to artists and other rights holders for private copies made of their music, is at risk. As Canadians increasingly turn to newer technology like MP3 players to copy music, the amount of money generated by the levy on blank CDs is rapidly declining.
“As artists and musicians, we feel that it is critically important to our futures that the Copyright Act be updated to address the reality that Canadians are increasingly using new technologies like MP3 players to copy music. We are not disputing that people should be allowed to copy music for their own personal use. But, those copies have value and as artists and music creators we must be compensated for them. It’s an issue of basic fairness and our politicians have to recognize that,” said Juno Award winning jazz artist Sophie Milman.
The position of the major parties on private copying breaks down as follows:
Conservative Party: Opposes extending the private copying levy to MP3 players; promising to re-introduce Bill C-32 (Copyright Modernization Act) which would allow private copying onto devices such as MP3 players but offers no modernization of the private copying levy to new technologies.
Liberal Party: Promises a new Private Copying Compensation Payment of $35 million, to be transferred to music creators each year through the CPCC. The party says its proposed Private Copying Compensation Payment would be written in law within the Copyright Act, and would increase at the rate of inflation and be reviewed every five years.
NDP: Promises “a bill on copyright reform to ensure that Canada complies with its international treaty obligations, while balancing consumers’ and creators’ rights.” No specifics.
Bloc Québécois: Promises to ensure that amendments to the Copyright Act will be fair to creators and consumers, including extending the private copying levy to MP 3 players and other portable digital devices to provide reasonable royalties to artists.
“The CPCC is pleased that the Liberal Party and the Bloc Québécois have recognized that copies of music made for private use have value and that rights holders should receive compensation for those copies. The CPCC also commends the NDP for their commitment to balance consumers’ and creators’ rights. We encourage all music rights holders to look carefully at the positions of the various parties on private copying before casting their ballots on May 2,” said Annie Morin. “Their ability to continue to earn a living from their music may hang in the balance.”
ABOUT THE CPCC:
Established in 1999, the CPCC is an umbrella organization whose member collectives represent songwriters, composers, music publishers, recording artists, musicians and record companies. The CPCC is the non-profit organization responsible for collecting and distributing private copying levies.
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For further information, contact:
Nancy Goldstein, Communications Officer, CPCC/SCPCP
416.486.6832, ext. 221