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Music industry welcomes review of Canada’s copyright laws

By | Published on Friday 15 December 2017


The Canadian music industry has welcomed confirmation that the country’s parliament will conduct a review of the Copyright Act Of Canada next year. Lawmakers were actually obliged to instigate another review of the country’s copyright regime around about now by a previous round of amendments that were made in 2012.

As next year’s review kicks off, you can expect the record labels and music publishers to both have reform wish lists. Among the latter’s wishes will almost certainly be term extension, so to bring the song copyright term in Canada in line with Europe.

The European song copyright currently lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years whereas in Canada it’s still life plus 50. Representatives from the global music publishing sector recently called on lawmakers in Canada to address that anomaly, stating that “such harmonisation is key to achieve international consistency in the rules of copyright”.

Speaking for Canadian songwriters and publishers this week, the country’s performing rights organisation SOCAN welcomed news of the upcoming copyright review.

It’s CEO Eric Baptiste stated: “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. 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”.

The collecting society added that it “looks forward to working with the various parliamentary committees that will review the current law to provide expertise and bring the point of view of the songwriters, composers and music publishers”.

The bloody value gap is also likely to come up as the spotlight falls on Canadian copyright law, something confirmed by Graham Henderson, boss of the country’s record industry trade group Music Canada. He said this week: “Music creators, and all creators who depend on copyright, deserve a Copyright Act that protects their rights when their works are commercialised by others. This is our chance to address the value gap threatening the livelihood of Canadian creators and the future of Canadian culture”.

The record industry trade group also added that it “looks forward to participating in the process to ensure that creators are fairly compensated for the use of their works under the revised act”.