[Pictured above: (L-R) Canada's Chrystia Freeland, Mexico's Luis Videgaray Caso & the United States' Rex Tillerson. Photo: Flickr/U.S. Department of State]
The Canadian Independent Music Association says its applaueding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, Pablo Rodriguez and the Minister who preceded him, Mélanie Joly, for the protections and gains provided to the music industry in the new United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The renegotiation of the new NAFTA agreement was a potential cause of great concern for the cultural sector. However, CIMA says it acknowledges the tenacity of the Canadian negotiators, political leaders, and the significant mobilization of the Canadian cultural sector that lead to the continued protection of cultural industries in the new agreement.
The continuation of Canada's Cultural Exemption in the trade deal means, according to CIMA, that Canada was able to maintain its cultural sovereignty, which is essential for the future of the sector in the digital age. It will, among other things, allow Canada to maintain music support mechanisms such as Canadian Content regulations and the Canada Music Fund, without challenges from its trading partners.
The new agreement also extends the term of copyright for performances and sound recordings to 75 years, from the minimum standard of 70 years after the release date of the recording. It also extends protections for musical works from the life of the author plus 50 years to 70 years, bringing Canada's copyright terms in line with those in the U.S. and Europe.
“We are thankful that the Canadian government values the professional and diverse cultural content produced in our country,” says Stuart Johnston, CIMA president. “Existing government measures, which are protected by the cultural exemption, support and strengthen the Canadian independent music industry and allows the industry to continue to succeed both at home and on the global stage. Extending copyright protections will only serve to enhance the value of our sector and will rightfully protect the music of our talented artists, songwriters and composers. “
The draft USMCA must still be approved by the federal governments in Canada, the United States and Mexico, which is expected to be completed by the end of November.