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Music Canada & SOCAN Welcome Government Review of the Copyright Act

copyright iamgeLast week, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, in conjunction with Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, launched the federal government’s review of the Copyright Act with a motion asking the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to conduct a study on the issue. The review of the Copyright Act was expected as the 2012 reforms to the law mandated a five-year review in order to assess the effectiveness of the regulations.

For a detailed explanation of the Copyright Act and the mandated review, Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and an expert on digital copyright and e-commerce law, provides it HERE.

“I applaud Minister Bains and Minister Joly for initiating this review of the Copyright Act,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Music creators, and all creators who depend on copyright, deserve a Copyright Act that protects their rights when their works are commercialized by others. This is our chance to address the Value Gap threatening the livelihood of Canadian creators and the future of Canadian culture.”

Music Canada recently examined the significant changes in business models that are impacting the value chains for copyrighted content in its report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach.

“A modern copyright framework containing strong IP and copyright provisions is essential for an effective marketplace for music creators,” says Artist Advocate Miranda Mulholland. “This Copyright Act review is an important first step in ensuring artists and labels are able to earn a fair market value for their work. Canadian creators have been eagerly awaiting this review.”

Music Canada says it will be participating in the process to “ensure that creators are fairly compensated for the use of their works under the revised Act.” Adds Henderson, “We must ensure this review yields meaningful results.”

Additionally, in a statement, SOCAN says it welcomes the House of Commons motion triggering the parliamentary review and says it comes at a pivotal moment for authors, composers, and music publishers.

“Canadian copyright legislation is lagging behind those of other G7 countries, and I hope that, through this review, Canada will want to assume a world leadership position on copyright, as it does on other issues,” says Eric Baptiste, SOCAN’s CEO. “In a sector in turmoil, especially with the arrival of new ways to consume and listen to music, more than ever we need strong copyright protection to ensure that music creators and publishers are fairly compensated for their work.”

SOCAN is also Canada’s largest copyright collection organization, connecting more than four-million music creators worldwide as well as more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada.it will work with the various parliamentary committees that will review the current law to provide expertise and bring the point of view of its member songwriters, composers, and music publishers.

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Mike Raine is the Senior editor of Canadian Musician.