The Songwriters Association of Canada has released an important new proposal calling for the legalization of peer-to-peer file sharing. The SAC has proposed the creation of a new right – the Right to Equitable Remuneration for Music File Sharing. The new right would make it legal to share music on peer-to-peer networks. In return, the SAC is proposing a license fee of $5.00 per Internet subscription per month. The songwriters argue that this approach would legalize peer-to-peer file sharing (both uploading and downloading), while generating significant new revenue for creators and the music industry. Distributions of the revenue generated through this new fee would be allocated by sampling file sharing activities. The SAC addresses digital rights management and the legal protection for digital locks, noting that it is not opposed to legal protection (as distinguished from the Canadian Music Creators Coalition) but that it believes its proposal renders DRM "obsolete." Moreover, "given the consumer aversion to TPMs, we believe their use will inhibit the success of recordings in which they are embedded, and that they will simply fall out of use."
While the SAC could have taken a stronger stand against DRM, this proposal should (though likely won't) cause the government to rethink its decision to import the DMCA into Canada. Even if you disagree with portions of this proposal, it is great to see Canadian songwriters, musicians, and music labels now singing the same song, promoting ways to make money from P2P rather than engage in failed attempt to stop it.