The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, which represents television and radio broadcasters across the country, has jumped into the copyright reform debate. In an op-ed in this week's Hill Times, CAB President Glenn O'Farrell warns that radio broadcasters are at the breaking point on copyright, pointing to escalating tariffs that could grow to $200 million per year if Industry Minister Jim Prentice introduces his Canadian DMCA. O'Farrell argues that:
"If a new fee proposed by the record labels is approved, additional payments from Canadian broadcasters to the labels – many based outside Canada – are expected to total approximately $50 million per year. In claiming this fee, these labels are looking to take advantage of a provision in Canada's Copyright Act to compensate themselves for losses they say they have incurred via Internet downloading. Rather than adapting their business models to the opportunities presented by evolving digital media, the labels are engaging in what is essentially an abuse of the principles of the Copyright Act."
The editorial concludes by arguing that "the government needs to restore a true balance between the rights of creators and users." With the powerful Canadian broadcasting community speaking out against Prentice's plans, the list of opponents and concerned parties gets longer every week as it now includes consumers, education groups, retailers such as Best Buy, telecommunications companies such as Telus, musician groups, artists groups, privacy groups, and more than 40,000 Canadians on the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group.