Copyright and the Throne Speech

While Canadian Heritage Copyright Policy may be undergoing some uncertainty, that is not stopping some copyright lobby groups from pushing the government to include copyright in next month's throne speech.  In one of the oddest releases in memory [can't seem to find it online yet], four industry groups – CRIA, Canadian Independent Record Production Association (CIRPA), Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), and Music Managers Forum (MMF) Canada, have called on the government to feature copyright, including WIPO ratification, in the forthcoming legislative agenda.

The strangest part of the release is the vision put forward by these four groups.  There are no musicians, performers, songwriters, or copyright collectives to be found (the absence of consumers is a given).  Of course, the release fails to mention that Canadian musicians stand against WIPO ratification, while CRIA is in the middle of litigation in which it opposes the collectives and is trying to reduce the amount of compensation they receive.  In other words, it is an industry view of a music industry without musicians.
Moreover, the inclusion of the Music Managers Forum Canada is curious given the position that the same group takes internationally.  Considers the words of Peter Jenner, the MMF's international secretary-general:

"The major four music labels today are 'f**ked.' Digital music pricing has been a scam where the consumer pays for manufacturing, distribution, and does all the work – and still has to pay more. Labels should outsource everything except finance and licensing."

Jenner does not support the use of DRM or anti-circumvention laws, but rather a blanket licensing scheme for P2P downloads.

Substantively, the release is full of holes and omissions including no mention of private copying, no mention that Canadian digital sales are growing faster than other countries, no mention that the European countries referenced in the release have not ratified the WIPO treaties, and no mention that some of the reforms being promoted would harm the property rights of millions of Canadians.  Moreover, the release fails to mention that there are many other groups also calling on the government for copyright reform including educators, security researchers, consumers, privacy groups, telecom companies, artists, musicians, and filmmakers.  Many of those groups are opposed to WIPO ratification and instead want the emphasis placed on fair use reform.


  1. blah
    Then I guess, should this be included, we’ll know exactly where our government stands and plans to go on the issue. Hopefully the artists’ lobbies gain some attention as well.

  2. CPCC charges $15K+ for $32 mis says:

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007
    The Vancouver Sun’s Don Cayo writes:

    “Colin Tsang admits he screwed up, to the tune of $32 over 20 months of legally copying hundreds of thousands of CDs and DVDs for a range of clients including the B.C. government.

    Auditor James Blatchford of Grant Thornton reckons Tsang’s bookkeeping errors may be more serious. Tsang’s Richmond-based company, Progress Marketing Inc., may have failed to remit a total of as much as $567.10 in levies payable on blank CDs that might, or might not, be used to record music.

    Either way, the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) — the agency empowered by federal legislation to collect those levies — is demanding a cheque for $15,197.10 if Tsang wants to avoid being hauled into court, where he could face even stiffer penalties.”

    more here

    [ link ]