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Music Canada Applauds Changes the Copyright Board

Music Canada is applauding the changes to the Copyright Board of Canada that the federal government announced yesterday n the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2. The changes are meant to improve the speed, efficiency, and predictability of the Copyright Board’s.

The Copyright Board of Canada establishes royalties for the use of copyrighted content in a broad range of areas where the administration of copyrights is entrusted to a collective management organization. This includes music streaming, the public performance of music, educational copying, and the retransmission of television signals.

Building on recent consultations on reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada, the proposed changes to the Copyright Board are designed to improve the timeliness, predictability, and clarity of Board proceedings and to increase efficiency by allowing more direct negotiations between users and collective societies. According to the government, these changes would promote business investments and provide faster payments to musicians, writers, and other content creators, in addition to reducing the cost of proceedings for all participants.

“Music Canada thanks the Hon. Navdeep Bains for his vision on these changes, and for his leadership throughout the Copyright Board reform process,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “A modernized Copyright Board will mean a more predictable and transparent process for all participants, which will support royalty rate-setting that better reflects the true value of music in a functioning marketplace. By ensuring a more efficient regulatory environment, these changes will help put more money in creators’ pockets and strengthen Canada’s economic competitiveness.”

"Supporting Canadian cultural content, compensating our artists in a fair and timely manner, and ensuring greater access for Canadians are all key to a strong creative industry,” says Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. “Over the last year, significant progress has been made to reform the Copyright Board. I am confident the proposals put forward will better serve our creators."

In its 2018 budget, the federal government had proposed a new Intellectual Property Strategy that enables economic growth. Music Canada says a reformed Copyright Board will create a more competitive and predictable business environment that supports investment in the creative industries, fostering innovation in the cultural sector.

Music Canada has been advocating for reform for a few years, having participated in the Senate hearings on the Copyright Board, the government consultation on reforming the Board, and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Review of the Canadian Music Industry by appearing as a key stakeholder.

There are still details to be announced on the implementation of the announced changes.

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Mike Raine is the Senior editor of Canadian Musician.