INDU release, https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/INDU/news-release/10581857

INDU release, https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/INDU/news-release/10581857

News

“Sole Responsibility” for the Copyright Review: Industry Committee Issues Unprecedented News Release Confirming It Was Right To Ignore the Canadian Heritage Committee Study

My series on why the Industry committee rightly chose to ignore the Canadian Heritage committee study on artist remuneration took an unexpected turn yesterday. Hours after I posted an analysis demonstrating that the Heritage committee had ignored its mandate by tabling its report in the House of Commons, the Industry committee issued an unprecedented news release confirming that it did not consider the Heritage report and that its report is the exclusive copyright review. The news release states:

Since INDU presented this report, some stakeholders who participated in INDU’s proceedings have expressed regret that the committee did not consider a report from the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC) as part of the review of the Act.

In March 2018, INDU invited CHPC to contribute to the review by conducting a study on remuneration models for artists and creative industries, and by providing INDU with a summary of its findings.

As master of its own proceedings, CHPC chose instead to present a report to the House of Commons and ask for a response from the Government of Canada.

Reviewing the Act was INDU’s sole responsibility. INDU honoured that responsibility by conducting the review in an extensive, rigorous, and transparent manner that provided anyone the opportunity to express their views on matters of their choosing.

The release continues by noting that INDU heard from a broad range of stakeholders with many also appearing before the Heritage committee. It adds that “the Statutory Review of the Copyright Act thus recognizes every perspective expressed during the statutory review, notably on the remuneration of artists and creative industries.” In an upcoming post, I will unpack this comment as INDU is correct to note that it heard from far more stakeholders – more than triple the number of witnesses and submissions – including more artists and creators than the Heritage committee.

With the Canadian Heritage study now thoroughly discredited by the House of Commons committee tasked with conducting the copyright review, chair Julie Dabrusin’s apparent bet that she could create a shadow copyright review has failed. When the Canadian Heritage study was first released, I dubbed it the “Bulte Report Redux”, a reference to the one-sided 2004 Canadian Heritage committee (chaired by MP Sarmite Bulte) copyright report that was rejected months later by the government. In this case, the Dabrusin report did not last even that long.

Interestingly, the parallels between Bulte and Dabrusin do not end there. Months after the Bulte report was released, Bulte attracted attention for a pricey fundraiser held on her behalf by the heads of the major copyright lobby groups including Graham Henderson of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada). The fundraiser became an election issue in her Toronto-area riding and Bulte lost the 2006 election. As for Dabrusin, she will be appearing next week at the Economic Club of Canada to engage in a “fireside chat” on the so-called value gap and potential reforms. The sponsor of the event and lead speaker? Music Canada and Graham Henderson.

7 Comments

  1. I wonder if it wouldn’t be more appropriate for you, a purported outside observer and “big head”, to abstain from participating in what is obviously a bureaucrats pissing contest? Some form of commentary that was not so obviously partisan would limit the damage, I at least, am experiencing to your credibility as a voice of reason and objectivity. It is not credible to completely deprecate some of the voices in this debate, particularly if they belong to the people who ostensibly fill the pipes, provide the content. Do the work rather than harvest the benefits. It’s a complicated matter and your ad hominem posts do little to clarify. (I’m assuming, of course, that I’m actually addressing the principal and not an ‘editor’ or ‘content provider’ or ‘grad assistant.’)

  2. Au contraire, it is not only appropriate that M. Geist serve the public with the public interest’s side of things since only the IP holders’ side is blessed with the money needed to access politicians and the media, but it is in fact also noble and grand.

  3. I am truly happy to read this weblog posts which contains
    tons of valuable data, thanks for providing such statistics.

  4. With so many legal scholars and law schools co-opted by industry lobbyists, Canadians like me are very grateful for voices like MG shedding some antiseptic light on the way our culture (e.g. copyright reforms) gets monetized (or americanized, see Max Bernier) to the detriment of the greater public interest. I remember attending a copyright reform session in Halifax a few years back and witnessing very troubling and disgusting chum-chummery between then Minister Clements and Super-Lobbyist Sookman, who had earlier given a so-called “academic” lecture at Dal Law, essentially insulting the Supremes for expanding fair dealing and establishing user rights, trying to indoctrinate law students rather than teach/discuss anything useful. Keep up the great work Michael!

  5. Andrew Morris says:

    The thing is, though, if the supermarket shelves, there’s nothing to steal. What other commodity can, legally, be taken without payment? I have no issue with academics and teachers creating their own materials and giving them away. But they can only do that because they are paid (often substantial) public sector salaries. In the same vein, all glory to open access, but that content also requires money at all stages of the process, including fees to fund the publication.

    Licensing, qualified by fair dealing, worked for more then 20 years. Then the SCC decided (initially ignoring the clear words of the statute) that fair dealing meant whatever the user side of the equation wanted it to mean.

    Obviously business models change. What the Heritage committee was trying to do was find a solution that restored some balance to the equation. Disagreeing with some of their recommendations is fine. Personal attacks are undignified. And universities have some obligation to ensure that their students (especially their undergraduates) are exposed to a range of opinions. Even individual faculty have, I think, a basic obligation to tell their students that there are other viewpoints.

  6. Andrew Morris says:

    WITHOUT MISSING WORDS:
    The thing is, though, if the supermarket shelves are empty, there’s nothing to steal. What other commodity can, legally, be taken without payment? I have no issue with academics and teachers creating their own materials and giving them away. But they can only do that because they are paid (often substantial) public sector salaries. In the same vein, all glory to open access, but that content also requires money at all stages of the process, including fees to fund the publication.
    Licensing, qualified by fair dealing, worked for more then 20 years. Then the SCC decided (initially ignoring the clear words of the statute) that fair dealing meant whatever the user side of the equation wanted it to mean.
    Obviously business models change. What the Heritage committee was trying to do was find a solution that restored some balance to the equation. Disagreeing with some of their recommendations is fine. Personal attacks are undignified. And universities have some obligation to ensure that their students (especially their undergraduates) are exposed to a range of opinions. Even individual faculty have, I think, a basic obligation to tell their students that there are other viewpoints.

  7. Randy Bonnettes says:

    When taking an all-inclusive measure of downtime (7+ sequential days as stated by the law), I suppose the huge measure of work is required from the Canadian Heritage study when get-away. These days, I work on https://writemyessaytoday.net/ and for the most part take a couple of copyright check days sporadically consistently (now and again, only an evening off)..which brings about less generally speaking get-away days utilized every year. I discover my get-away days and work days substantially more agreeable.

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