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Access Copyright Responds: So Much For Getting the Facts Straight

Access Copyright has posted a two-page response to my recent series of blog postings (transactional licensing, economics of the collective, future reforms, all three posts in single PDF) titled "Let's Get the Facts Straight on Access Copyright." Unfortunately, as has become typical for an organization that based its advocacy strategy on Bill C-32 on misleading claims about fair dealing in an effort to "break through" beyond talk of digital locks and levies, the document contains very few facts to address its transparency and financial concerns.

The key post in my series involved a look at the economics of Access Copyright with the goal of ascertaining how much of the revenue collected in 2010 was distributed to Canadian authors. Those numbers should be easy to find, but they are not. Access Copyright points to its total distribution in 2010, which was $23.3 million. Yet this does not set the record straight. First, this global amount was distributed to all publishers and authors, both Canadian and foreign. Second, this figure draws from both the 2010 revenues and the balance entering the year, which stood at $29.5 million. How much of the 2010 distribution came from 2010 revenues? How much went to Canadian authors? Access Copyright still isn't saying.

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Massive Copyright Class Action Settlement Approved: Record Labels to Pay $50 Million

The largest copyright class action in Canadian history received court approval yesterday, with the four major record labels that comprise the Canadian Recording Industry Association - EMI Music Canada Inc., Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. - agreeing to pay over $50 million to settle claims involving hundreds of thousands of copyright infringements. The labels admit no liability, though the $50 million settlement speaks for itself. The industry practices, which involved profiting from thousands of sound recordings without paying royalties, was described in the lawsuit as "exploit now, pay later if at all." The settlement includes a new system for payment of royalties that should ensure that the situation does not repeat itself. I wrote about the class action here and here.
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Australia Releases National Digital Economy Strategy

As new Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis prepares to provide an update on the delayed Canadian digital economy strategy later today, Australia has released its digital economy strategy with a foundation of a national broadband network and eight goals that focus on issues such as health, education, telework, and the environment.
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