Billboard Article Changes Tune on Canadian Copyright Reform

Last week, Billboard ran an article on what the Conservative majority government might mean for copyright reform. The article placed the spotlight on the sharp divide between the Canadian Recording Industry Association on one side and much of the remainder of the music industry on the other.  While CRIA was one of Bill C-32’s most vocal supporters (aided by its Balanced Copyright for Canada site), many other music associations including collectives, songwriters, and publishers were sharply critical.  This divide came through in the original article, noting that CRIA’s Graham Henderson told that “he believes 90 percent of C-32 was agreed upon by members of the music industry ‘with just a difference of opinions on a couple of things'”.

That comment led to a sharp rebuke from Catherine Saxberg of the Canadian Music Publishers Association:

“Certainly Graham, as CRIA, represents the multi-national labels and they’re the biggest driving sector of our business and Graham speaks for them and he does an excellent job, but he doesn’t speak for the [whole] music industry. I guess I’m baffled how he could say that the music industry believes in 90 percent of the bill. I don’t know how to respond to that. I speak to a lot of people who work in music who don’t like this bill.”

I posted a brief reference to the article on Friday, but Billboard has now changed the article. While it does not reference the fact that the article was edited after posting, it rephrases Henderson’s comment as “most members of the music industry agreed on 90% of what was wrong with C-32 ‘with just a difference of opinions on a couple of things'” and it deletes the Saxberg comments about Henderson altogether. The change is interesting as it seeks to paper over the obvious divide that exists within the industry on issues such as the private copying levy, format shifting and other consumer exceptions, as well as the role of Internet service providers.


  1. More
    So what are their objections? and why haven’t they been heard before?

  2. Anarchist Philathrapist says:

    So sick of all this BS!

  3. Bill MacEachern says:

    Who would have thunk that a lobby group pushing the commercial interests of its masters would resort to scummy, underhanded tricks to manipulate opinion? Certainly not me.

  4. Crockett says:

    The Great Divide …
    I am coming to the sad conclusion that there cannot be a group consensus on these issues as there are so many opposing interests and an unwillingness to compromise …

    On one side there are calls for stronger and longer copy’right’s and on the other calls for fairer user ‘rights’.

    One side sees media as something to be rented out and the other as something to be purchased.

    One sees infringement as a major crime entailing loss of modern communication access and fines leading to personal bankruptcy. The other see this as a minor issue that has pros as well as cons.

    Some say this is the end of the media industry, others it is the future.

    Any copyright legislation is going to be very difficult to craft. The huge self interest pressure from the USA as revealed in the wiki-leaks; the lobbying of creator and performance groups; and the backlash from consumers being dinged to fund media ‘mangers’ and their litigation/lobby funds (Artists see pennies on the dollar), all create a dilemma that has no clear answer.

    In the end it will of course come down to a political decision. What choices will best benefit the Conservative party, I would like to say the people of Canada but it is naive to believe this is how modern governments work. Our choice is to elect the party that we think will act in our best interests as it works to improve it’s own hold on power. Not the best system, but it’s the one we got.

    Now the question is how will the government lead out on this issue? With Quebec no longer a factor the voice of prominent creators has diminished. Big business now can more comfortably recline on the governments shoulder, yet if the cons want to hold onto the ‘blue liberals’ who gave them a majority they will need to govern more to the center.

    Copyright and internet related issues such as UBB and Netflix regulation have become more prominent in the public’s consciousness. All these factors together leaves me with little way to predict which way things will go. But I can say with certainty it is not going to be an easy or risk free path for the legislators.

  5. Cable broadband providers virtually have a monopoly in rural Canada. Telcos like Bell have trouble even pushing 5 megs in rural Canada. Cable and DOCSIS 3 is the future not DSL. We should stop picking on Bell. They have it hard enough competing with lightning speed coaxial cable.

  6. Crockett says:

    We should stop picking on Bell …
    Then perhaps they should try to offer outstanding customer service and value to consumers to win some greater market share & customer loyalty.

    I know, a radical idea but not too extreme.

  7. I invite all viewers to take a look at this website regarding legal business information and intellectual property law. I consider that it completes perfectly this article. It gives a clear legal persperctive of the debate.