Responds to proposals by songwriters and music creators for a $5 monthly tax on internet connections in exchange for allowing users to share music for free on P2P and file-sharing networks.
A little over a month ago now the Songwriters Association of Canada announced a new proposal calling for a $5.00 "licensing fee" to be added to every internet subscription bill each month, and in return, legalizing the sharing of music on P2P and file-sharing networks.
In "A Proposal for the Monetization of the File-Sharing of Music," as they refer to it as, the songwriters argue that the revenue generated by legalizing both the uploading and downloading of music will help offset the current losses associated with illegal file-sharing and in fact lead to a significant new source of income for music creators and the record industry.
Soon after the Canadian Music Creators Coalition (CMCC) also endorsed the proposal.
“This is the first progressive proposal we’ve seen in Canada to address file-sharing,” said Andrew Cash, CMCC spokesperson. “It’s telling that creators, the people who actually make the music being shared, are the people showing leadership and pushing for a made- in-Canada approach to file-sharing. We can only hope that the Canadian government will follow the Songwriters’ lead and begin exploring alternatives to the failed ‘locks, lawsuits and lobbying’ strategy of the major labels.”
Well, now it seems the Canadian Record Industry Assn. (CRIA) has chimed in and it’s unsurprisingly not a big fan of the proposal. I don’t think anybody would imagine that an association whose primary business is the DISTRIBUTION of music would support a proposal that essentially upends their business model. As usual, it’s the ARTISTS, those who write and create the music that are willing to explore new opportunities to reach their fans.
CRIA president Graham Henderson said he has discussed the plan with SAC Pres Eddie Schwartz, but his organization is reluctant to become involved. "We don’t want to pursue what amounts to a pipe dream that is presented as a quick fix," he said. "We’ll lose focus on the real issues that will help us resolve the industry’s problems."
Schwartz said he has received positive feedback from consumer groups. But he noted that the plan would require clearance from the Copyright Board of Canada, and the SAC has not yet taken the concept to the regulatory body.
The SAC also has yet to present its proposal to Canadian Internet service providers, although some are dismissive of the plan.
"It appears (the SAC) would ask wireless carriers and ISPs to collect this surcharge on their behalf," said a spokesman for Bell Canada, one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies and the majority owner of Puretracks. "(That) would not go over well with our client base, especially with the large number already signed up for our (legal) mobile and online music services."
Music subscription services are also not too happy with the proposal because they know it would also mean the end for them as well. The SAC proposal "would signal the death of paid music services in Canada," said Alistair Mitchell, CEO of Canadian music service Puretracks. "It would be saying we’re just giving up on developing new models. The concept is so flawed, I don’t know where to start."
As usual, the only people with objections are those who have the most to lose, and it’s sadly those with the most to gain – actual music artists – that get forgotten in the process.
Looking for more stuff to watch or download?
Canadian Music Creators Also Support Legalized P2P
Canadian Songwriters Want to Legalize P2P
Download Music From Last.Fm, Pandora, MySpace, and More with FreeMusicZilla
TVLinks Alternatives for Free TV Shows & Movies
Tips on how to not get busted for file-sharing
3 Quick Ways to Watch Movies for FREE!
3 quick ways to watch TV shows for FREE
BitTorrent torrent sites & search engines
uTorrent – A Beginner’s guide to BitTorrent downloading
News Tip? Comment? Suggestion? [email protected]