The Canadian Private Copying Collective
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April 28, 2011 – Four out of Five Federal Parties Support Fair Compensation to Music Rights Holders

(Toronto) – The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) today released the results of a survey sent to all five major federal political parties, asking each party for their views on issues related to Canada’s private copying regime. These results will be provided to music rights holders, to help them in their decision-making process when they vote on May 2nd.

The CPCC received responses from four of the five political parties, with only the Conservative Party failing to participate. The responses submitted by each party can be found below.

“The Canadian Private Copying Collective believes that music rights holders deserve fair compensation for private copies made of the music that they create, and that the best way to achieve this is through the preservation and extension of the private copying levy,” said the CPCC Chair Annie Morin. “I am pleased to note that the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Quebecois, the Green Party and the Liberal Party have all expressed support for fair compensation to music rights holders. The commitment of the NDP, Bloc and Green Party to extend the private copying levy to MP3 players like the iPod, as well as the proposal by the Liberal Party to create a Private Copying Compensation Fund, are especially welcomed by the CPCC.”

“Although the Conservative Party failed to respond to our survey, they have been clear during this election campaign that they do not favour extending the private copying levy to MP3 players. Moreover, the recent legislative changes proposed by the Conservative government in Bill C-32, did not include the much needed extension of the levy to MP3 players. In fact, the format shifting provisions proposed in Bill C-32 would have allowed individuals to copy music onto devices without providing compensation to creators. In the absence of a response by the Conservatives to our survey, there is no reason to believe their position has changed,” concluded Morin.

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 more information, contact:
Nancy Goldstein, Communications Officer CPCC/SCPCP
416.486.6832, ext. 221
ngoldstein@cpcc.ca
www.cpcc.ca

CPCC Federal Election Survey Questions

1. Would your party maintain the private copying provisions in Part VIII of the Copyright Act, which make it legal to copy music, while providing for a levy to compensate music creators?

Bloc Quebecois – Yes.
Conservative Party – No response received.
Green Party – Yes.
Liberal Party – Offered combined response to all questions.
New Democratic Party – Yes.

2. Would your party extend Part VIII to MP3 players, making it legal to copy recorded music onto such players?

Bloc Quebecois – Yes.
Conservative Party – No response received.
Green Party – Yes.
Liberal Party – Offered combined response to all questions.
New Democratic Party – Yes.

3. Would your party also extend the levy under Part VIII to MP3 players, so that copyright owners receive compensation for copies made on MP3 players? If not, how would your party provide for fair compensation to rights holders for this use of their work?

Bloc Quebecois – Yes.
Conservative Party – No response received.
Green Party – Yes.
Liberal Party – Offered combined response to all questions.
New Democratic Party – Yes.

4. How would your party proceed with copyright reform?

Bloc Quebecois – The Law on copyright does not take into account the impact of new technologies, including the creation of the Internet, and must be changed as quickly as possible. As with any work worthy of being paid a salary, it is necessary for creators to receive their due, while ensuring that consumers benefit from this new way to access the artists’ creation.

Currently, illegal downloading is wrong for artists, who receive nothing from their creations, while Internet service providers are the only ones to receive the fruit of others’ work.

Bill C-32, introduced in June 2010 by the Conservatives, not only empowers the industry and is limited to addressing the consumers who pay for it, however, their access to the Internet.

The Bloc Québécois will ensure that the new law on copyright is equitable and does not disadvantage the creators nor consumers. This balance needs to be done, especially by modernizing the system for private copying and applying it to MP3 players and other portable digital devices, allowing for reasonable royalties to artists in redistribution. In addition, the Bloc would reject the exemption of the education community about the payment of the rights of author and recognizing the resale right for visual artists.

The Bloc Québécois is committed to creating a formula requiring ISPs to pay royalties to a fund used to pay for Quebec artists affected by the download of their work.

Conservative Party – No response received.

Green Party – The Green Party of Canada would improve the existing copyright bill, Bill C-32, which attempted to strike a delicate balance between consumer and industry interests. However the bill’s digital lock provision tilts the balance too far in favor of industry. Current legislation allows for certain groups such as students and journalists to use works without copyright permission or payment. By enshrining digital locks, this bill would effectively eliminate these special exemptions when the information is digitally encrypted.

While some of the bill’s provisions are positive, such as the “YouTube” remix exception and allowing for everyday activities such as recording television shows or moving music files from one platform to another, all of these exceptions are trumped if the original content is digitally encrypted. This digital lock provision is straight from the US’s draconian Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Green Party asserts that this section of Bill C-32 should be revised.

Liberal Party – Offered combined response to all questions.

New Democratic Party – Canada lags far behind most developed countries with regard to copyright and intellectual property. With this in mind, if elected, Jack Layton and the New Democrat team are committed to introduce comprehensive new legislation to modernize Canada’s copyright regime within 12 months of taking office.

The Conservatives ignored the findings of their own copyright consultations in 2009 and as a result, arrived at Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act – a flawed piece of legislation that would likely end up doing more harm than good, if enacted.

New Democrats will review the measures in Bill C-32. We will closely examine a number of key issues contained in the proposed legislation, including (but not limited to) Internet Service Provider (ISP) liability, Technological Protection Measures (TPMs, or so-called “digital locks”), statutory damages, private copying and reproduction for private purposes, broadcast mechanical licensing, and fair dealing.

New Democrats do not support the creation of powerful anti-circumvention rights as contained in the government’s copyright legislation. In fact, we believe they pose a very real danger that Canadian consumers could be prohibited from using content for which they have already paid. We also oppose digital locks because we believe they override not only consumers’ rights, but also creators’ and artists’ rights.

Removing these measures from Bill C-32 would not render the bill non-compliant with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties, as the government has suggested, since WIPO requires that the TPM regime be “adequate and effective” and not necessarily approved by the powerful U.S. entertainment lobby, as Bill C-32 currently is.
In order to arrive at a balance between the interests of rights-holders and those of consumers, New Democrats would develop new copyright legislation. We will begin by consulting widely with stakeholders in the arts, education, technology and business communities, as well as other Canadians who want to contribute to the policy-making process, with the aim of creating legislation that is – unlike Bill C-32 – truly technology-neutral, balanced, and flexible enough to ensure its adaptability to new platforms and technologies in the years to come. We will also seek to determine definitively Canada’s obligations as a signatory to various international treaties governing copyright and intellectual property.

New Democrats support effective and representative collective licensing and we believe that a well-ordered collective approach to licensing can serve both rights-holders and consumers well, and be an efficient way to ensure that creators and rights-holders receive fair compensation for their work – while maintaining Canadian consumers’ ability to access copyrighted material.

With careful consideration of innovative mechanisms to modernize collective licensing – whether through the existing Copyright Board, new legislation, or other instrument – we believe that it can strike a balance between fair access and remuneration in the future.

Ultimately, Jack Layton and the New Democrat team will seek to apply the NDP’s collaborative approach to the process of modernizing copyright legislation in Canada, eschewing the divisive and misleading approach adopted by Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

5. The extension of the private copying levy to MP3 players was not included in C-32, although it was one of the most discussed issues related to copyright reform at the legislative committee. Would you support addressing this issue as part of any legislation put forward on copyright reform?

Bloc Quebecois – Yes.
Conservative Party – No response received.
Green Party – Yes.
Liberal Party – Offered combined response to all questions.
New Democratic Party – Yes.

Liberal party response:
Digital technology offers many new opportunities, but enjoying content without compensating its creators shouldn’t be among them. A new Liberal government will introduce technology neutral copyright legislation that balances the needs of creators and consumers and reflects the principle that our artists and musicians should be paid for their work. We will stand with Canadian creators as they navigate both the opportunities and challenges of the new digital society.

Bill C-32, the latest Conservative attempt to modernize copyright, was unbalanced and unfair; a Liberal government will work with all stakeholders to ensure creators rights and their sources of revenues are protected under the Copyright act.

During the debate on Bill C-32, it was the Liberal Party that developed a practical solution to provide musicians with compensation through a new private copying compensation fund rather than a levy. A Liberal government will look to develop similarly innovative solutions to ensure that the Copyright Act protects creators’ existing and future rights and revenue streams in a digital age. For example, a Liberal government will be open to allocating a portion of the upcoming wireless spectrum auction proceeds to fund artists and creators.

More broadly, the Liberal Party recognizes that the Canada Council for the Arts is a major force in supporting working musicians. A Liberal government will double the annual budget of the Canada Council for the Arts, from $180 million to $360 million over the next four years. A Liberal government will also restore the PromArt and Trade Routes cultural promotion programs, increasing their funding to $25 million starting in year one of a Liberal government.

These programs play an important role in bringing Canadian culture to the world and promoting the Canadian brand abroad. New annual funding will help to create a domestic tours program as well.

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