CRIA's appearance on May 15th before the CRTC this week featured some remarkable changes in position from its filing on March 15th. After emphasizing that CRIA was only representing the interests of the big four major labels at the hearing, CRIA President Graham Henderson showed just how much difference three months can make in discussing CRIA contributions, Cancon, and FACTOR funding.
"CRIA members invest in excess of $50 million annually in the careers of Canadian artists and in the creation, production, and distribution of their music."
"Last year alone major labels invested in excess of $10 million in the production of masters recorded by Canadian artists."
"If the Commission is, however, persuaded to increase the overall Canadian content requirements, we would ask that the Commission give serious consideration to some form of credit or bonusing scheme that would allow broadcasters to lower their overall Canadian content levels to what we conceive to be a normative level of 35%."
"I think it was a misunderstanding. Our original proposition never envisaged going below 35. I have to apologize everyone who formed the opinion based on reading those paragraphs that we were proposing something that started at 35 and would allow people to go. I read this in the newspaper today, and it is just not what we said. In the aftermath, when you look at it and you realize that it is 56 tracks, 56 new spins, while it's significant, it's not onerous. Forty percent seems to be a reasonable number; 35 percent we deem to be an optimal number that the system seems to be able to support with new and emerging acts in the mix."
"CRIA submits that there is no longer a rationale for concentrating additional CTD contributions within FACTOR. While CRIA supports the prospect of a reasonable minimum base funding being maintained for FACTOR in the context of licence transfers or licence renewals, we submit that any funding over and above this base amount will not help us move the yardsticks, as it is unlikely that 'radio ready' artists will emerge from funding in this sector of the ecosystem."
"We do not support any capping of FACTOR's CTD funding. In fact, we support an increase in such funding from any new CTD requirements subject, of course, to the appropriate rules regarding accountability, transparency and monitoring."