Quebec National Assembly Passes Motion Criticizing C-32

The Quebec National Assembly yesterday unanimously passed a motion criticizing Bill C-32 and calling for the application of the private copying levy.  The motion reads:

THAT the National Assembly recognize the crucial role of content creators and the importance of intellectual property in the economic model of Québec arts and culture;

THAT it concur in the concerns of the artistic milieu, particularly of music and literary publishing, and ask the Federal Government to modify as often as necessary current Bill C-32 on copyright, to ensure Québec creators the full recognition of their rights, adequate protection against illegal copying of their work, the application of the private copying principle, and income in accordance with the value of their intellectual property.


  1. I fully agree. I propose to extend the levy to painting materials, sculptor’s tools and cameras too. You never know when some kids might break into my home, take pictures of my paintings and share them on internet. GRAND THEFT! And my insurance company refuses to acknowledge it as such!

    Nap. 🙂

  2. …and income in accordance with the value of their intellectual property.
    And Income tax in accordance with the value of their imaginary property. Just like Property tax.

  3. correction
    “And Income tax in accordance..”
    Should be:
    “And Property tax in accordance…

  4. RE: btrussell
    “imaginary property”

    Very well spoken. The fact that the Quebec National Assembly uses this term at all shows how ignorant of reality they really are. So apparently artists have trademarks and patents as well? Maybe they should actually learn what the terms mean.

    And we DO have adequate protection against “illegal copying of their work” already, which is why Canada copyright laws have been stated to be stronger in many regards compared to the rest of the world. I guess by adequate protection they mean anti-circumvention, which runs counter to that private copying comment they made. Welcome to the world of broken-record debating.

  5. Cont’d
    And another thing, are they talking about Quebec artists only?

  6. Value?
    To who? “Value” is very subjective. For me, an artist whose work I am not a fan of is of no value; that is I am not willing to pay anything for it. To the artist it is worth something; to their fans the value to them is what they would be willing to pay for it.

    Where can I find the original french version of the motion? I want to read it myself rather than a translated version… after all, some things change meaning a bit in translation.

  7. @btrussell: “Should be: “And Property tax in accordance… “”

    Agree. Giving the extent to which they want the society to got in order to protect their property, they should pay a property tax on it.

    On which value? I’d say former court decisions like in Jammie Thomson ($1.92 million for 24 songs) should be a good start.

    As for helping the artists, creators should be exempt if they retain the copyright for themselves and don’t license the rights.

    But as soon as the copyright/license gets sold, the new proprietor (which is not its creator) should be subjected to property tax. If they want to hold Mickey Mouse cartoons for 99 years in their vaults then so be it but it will cost them to do so.

    And a huge penalty if at the end of the term they don’t release the materials to public domain. Lost or degraded? Pay up your nose.

    And lets not discriminate between arts. Visual arts like painting, sculpting and so on are in no way lesser arts than singing or acting. They should benefit of exactly the same protections.

    Otherwise we’ll hear that only catholic french speaking white male singers can benefit from levies??? nah, let’s not go there.


  8. Well this is interesting
    The motion appears to say: “C-32 should be modified until it protects IP”.

    It is my opinion(as a Quebecois) that the gouvernement does not really know what they are talking about and are just becoming the mouth piece of the ADISQ in this case… how unfortunate.

  9. Mathieu-Gilles says:

    Why all the negative comments?
    The only thing the Quebec government is asking, is that the committee makes sure this is the right law for creators and consumers. There is nothing wrong with that. We all agree that there are some very problematic issues with this law as written now.

  10. “Agree. Giving the extent to which they want the society to got in order to protect their property, they should pay a property tax on it.”
    Exactly. Owning property gives you the right to deprive. I pay property tax and in turn have protection and can call police for violations. Trespassing etc…
    Three years without paying “Property” tax, into the public domain it goes. Sounds fair to me.

    “On which value? I’d say former court decisions like in Jammie Thomson ($1.92 million for 24 songs) should be a good start.”
    I’d go the other way. Let them value it themselves and pay tax on that, but base infringement penalties against their evaluation. This will also be all they can sell the copyrighted work for.

  11. @Mathieu-Gilles:

    The problem is that they are asking for levies for private copying.

    Private copying / format shifting occurs because “the industry” is delivering the media in the wrong format in the first place.

    How many people have you seen lately carrying a portable CD-player?

    I can assure you that lately the biggest use for blank CDs and DVDs is for creating “Windows recovery disks” and other bootable media. These days people store music and video on Network Attached Storage and portable flash memory based devices.

    So why would blank CD/DVDs subjected to levies. They are not used for music/video anymore. And it’s the industry’s fault that they deliver in obsolete formats.

    Looks pretty much like delivering new cars with square wheels then charging the customers for replacing them with round ones, even if they do this themselves. Let’s have a levy on round wheels.


  12. Oops! Did it again
    “This will also be all they can sell the copyrighted work for.”
    Should be:
    …all they can sell the copyright on the work for.

    I also agree with exempting original artist if they retain the copy/distribution rights themselves.

  13. “Looks pretty much like delivering new cars with square wheels then charging the customers for replacing them with round ones, even if they do this themselves. Let’s have a levy on round wheels.”
    I already came up with an idea for a car that uses square wheels. The problem I am having is that, in all of my tests, erosion makes the square wheels round after a while and I am afraid I will violate someones IP.

  14. @btrussell: “Owning property gives you the right to deprive.”

    It’s more than that, they are actually granted a monopoly.

    Which is quite an extreme way of doing things and the society should get something back in exchange of such.

    Remember the telecoms? They were granted a (limited in time) monopoly in exchange of getting the infrastructure done, and there were conditions such as covering remote rural areas too.

    So what do we get here with “the industry”? Nothing. Not even the obligation to preserve or publish the original materials they have in their custody. And the time limit? 99 years? Are you kidding me?


  15. What’s stopping Quebec from extending the levy in that province?
    The motion specifically talks about ensuring *Quebec* creators receive full recognition blah blah. Here’s a suggestion: how about Quebec go it alone (it has no problem doing that in other areas) and apply a *provincial* levy as broadly and as costly it seems to want? That would “protect” Quebec artists, and leave the rest of Canada to do as it sees fit.

    So, Quebec MLAs (or is it MNAs?), you talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

  16. @Jim R
    Well since Quebec’s media is controlled by Quebecor Media and Power Corp, quebecers don’t even know about the copyrigth problems unless they read it on R.o.C. blogs… Therefore they swallow everything the 2 propaganda corporation say about piracy…

    I bet that include the bozos we have at the assembly(i’m including all 4 parties present there…)

  17. @Jim R: “The motion specifically talks about ensuring *Quebec* creators receive full recognition blah blah”

    So we’re talking about some special rights for “catholic french speaking white artists”?



  18. A simple solution
    Levies can only work if applied fairly. That means no levies on multi use devices such as CD/DVD media, memory sticks, hard drives etc. On stand alone media players, again if all the media is bought and paid for then what right to be charged twice? Not an easily applied concept.

    I think the solution is to include the rights of format shifting and backup in the initial price of the media. Do away with TPM (it does not deter piracy anyways) and let people use their media as they wish. No unfairly collected levies to manage, no lawsuits to bother with, compensated artists and happy customers.

    Why wouldn’t this work? Comments?

  19. PLEASE stop assuming that these people “the concerns of the artistic milieu” have anything to do with artists at all.

  20. @Crockett
    “Why wouldn’t this work?”

    Great idea in theory, except that there is a general feeling, at least among those I know, that media is already too expensive. So raising the prices again, would almost surely result in lower sales. It’s not like gas or power where they can pretty much dictate the price and we HAVE to pay it. Media is an optional “luxury” that is already perceved by many as too expensive…especially when it comes to movies, ESPECIALLY BluRay.

  21. Un Québécois says:

    Let me second you, Anon. Québec’s media are mostly in the hands of two or three conglomerates, and it is my experience that those interests don’t want any copyright news item to go anywhere else than good ol’ “think about the artists!” territory. All the rage a few years ago over another Conservative bill, with the massive public outcry resulting in the bill being scrapped, made next to no impression in Québec’s news environment.

    In short, for this particular public debate, the RoC will have to take up the slack.

  22. Un Québécois says:

    And the comment about “white catholic males” being (I guess?) predominant among Québec’s artists is simply ignorant, but par for the course in inter-solitude discourse.

  23. All reatial, sexist, religous slurs aside, Quebec is no different than anywhere else…the recording industry is the recording industry. The business of exploiting and fleecing artist is a universal language…greed!!! It just happens that the Quebec industry is better at spinning their position to the public.

  24. whoops
    ratial not reatial

    racial even!!! Man is it time to get away from the computer!!!

  26. IamMe
    “exploiting and fleecing artist ” please, do not buy the sentimental line .There is a fine line between ‘exploiting’ artists and ‘paying’ artists for their work. A lot of artists are their own worse enemies , when it comes to being a professional. There is a lot of ‘value adding’ in these industries – quite a lot of bands are simply constructs of the industry and many do not pay off for anybody.

    Have no Idea about Quebec’s ‘artist societies’ but if they are anything like the Australian ones they would not be particularly sectarian , gender or racially, skewed but they would be strongly skewed towards an age group = 60 +.
    These levies groups were mostly formed and recruited in the 80s and most have stayed frozen it time ever sinse.

  27. @john walker
    In Canada, I’m reasonably certain, that aside from the levies, we follow a fairly American RIAA-style model for our recording industry. Perhaps Quebec is different from the rest of Canada and actually respects it’s artists more. Back in the mid 90’s music producer Steve Albini wrote an artical about how artists are scr3w3d by the labels. Granted these numbers are 15ish years old, but business practise haven’t changed that much.

    This quote says it all…”The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month.”

    This is not an uncommon scenario in the music industry. I read an interview with Fred Schneider of the B-52s and he said they made no money from their record sales until “Cosmic Thing”…their 5th album. This is the definition of exploitation.

  28. @IanME:

    Fresh figures for a well established band:


  29. @Un Québécois:

    So you stopped by just to post a personal attack? How genuinely fleur de lis…..


  30. @Nap
    Metallica is, and has been for a long time, an exception to the rule. It is commonly known that for much of their career (I believe, from the album “…and Justice for All” forward to 2008), they had one of the sweetest deals in the history of the recording industry. This put them in a privelidged position woth more freedom and an actual constant cash flow.

    Bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash (RIP), Ozzy Ozborne, U2, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, Kiss, etc…The best way to describe such bands are as music royalty. Regular rules don’t apply when you’re the king since you can dictate much of your own contract…within reason of course. For less commercially sucessful bands, I think Steve Albini’s scenario is much more common.

  31. @IanME:

    My understanding was that album sales was a very small part of their income. They could definitely live without. Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails actually did it and they didn’t exactly “starve”.

    So this bring me to the question. Where are those artists that will starve without album sales and badly need a levy on iPods?

    Or is it “the industry” that will be starving and they want the levy to fatten up themselves?

    If so then please stop using the “starving artist” cliche when talking about levies.


  32. ….
    Ahhh, I get ya. Definately the industry will be hurting more than the artist.

  33. IamMe

    Glad you have got it; it is all about the payment of big fat management fees.
    Copyright and collective management were much of the reason that so many went indie.