The Hill Times features a special op-ed this week (HT version (sub required), homepage version) that I wrote on the recent Statistics Canada and Industry Canada studies on the music industry. With independent data now confirming that the Canadian music industry is enjoying healthy profits and that Internet file sharing is not responsible for the declining sales at some record companies, these studies highlight the government's mounting challenge as it works to fulfill its Speech from the Throne commitment to introduce copyright reform in the current Parliamentary session.
Simply stated, prioritizing reforms that target the music industry in a bill that is expected within weeks will run counter to the government's own research analysis and open the door to a lengthy list of angry stakeholders. Indeed, sandwiched between the two reports, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters openly declared war last week against CRIA, characterizing its latest demands as "egregious and abusive." They join many other groups frustrated with a copyright reform process that seemingly places politics before policy and fiction above fact. With opposition likely to come from broadcasters, education groups, consumers, privacy commissioners, and the technology community, copyright could emerge as an issue where the Liberals and Conservatives sing a different tune.