The Day the Music Died. "Bill C-32: New Copyright Legislation Leaves Songwriters and Artists Out in the Cold", Says Canada's Largest Music Publisher.
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2010) - As Bill C-32, the legislation to amend Canada's outdated Copyright Act, moves toward further study by a Parliamentary Committee in the coming weeks, Michael McCarty, President of ole, Canada's largest music publisher, warns that the legislation, as it stands, leaves songwriters and artists out of the value chain without any effective tools to defend their rights and get paid.
"The vast majority of music consumed on the Internet - over 90 percent - is pirated," observes McCarty, who oversees the day-to-day operations of ole, a Canadian music publishing success story, which has offices in Toronto, Nashville and Los Angeles. "When music is pirated, the artists don't get paid, but the ISPs, search engines, advertisers, websites and device manufacturers do. They all profit from enabling this pirate activity, while denying any responsibility to pay the people who create the music in the first place. Not only will Bill C-32 fail to fix this, it will actually ensure that these companies never have to pay."
McCarty suggests that the music industry needs a dual-pronged policy framework that, over the longer term, will truly foster a marketplace in the digital age and, in the short term, will preserve and extend current remedies until the marketplace exists. In particular, the Private Copying right, which provides at least some compensation to artists for works copied on to blank CDs, should be extended to MP3 players, the media that is now being used instead of blank CDs to copy music.
"A marketplace exists when a willing seller and a willing buyer are free to negotiate the sale of goods or services," McCarty explains. "When the buyer can take the product without paying, there is no negotiation - it is a failed marketplace. For the creators of music, the Internet is largely a failed marketplace and nothing in Bill C-32 will change this. The only thing that will enable a true market is to make the companies that profit from their role in piracy liable for their actions. The follow-on negotiations will lead to everyone in the value chain, including artists, being financially rewarded while still delivering great value to consumers."
McCarty notes that this will be the third attempt to modernize the Copyright Act and states emphatically that, like the first two bills which died on the House of Commons order paper, Bill C-32 will fail to secure the digital future for music creators. "It will not tame piracy; it will not foster a robust digital music economy; and it will not result in fair compensation to artists," he says.
To make matters worse, Bill C-32 guts the two most digital-savvy provisions in the current Copyright Act - the Broadcast Mechanical Tariff and the Private Copying provision, McCarty points out. The result is that over the short and medium term, music creators and rights holders will lose about $30 million per year, with no new market mechanism to replace it. "It is difficult to understand how the government can claim to support fair compensation to artists when it is taking money out of their pockets," McCarty wonders.
Robert Ott, ole CEO, comments: "This is about all of us in the creative business: our families, the taxes we pay and the GDP driven by songs and Intellectual Property. We proudly showcase these creators at the Olympics as what embodies and symbolizes the best of Canada, but we aren't willing to ensure that creators and their industry can make a living."
"The anti-piracy measures Bill C-32 contains, with obscure names such as 'Notice and Notice' and 'TPM,' have mostly failed in other countries, are not relevant to music, and attack problems that no longer exist," states McCarty. "The government mimics certain U.S. copyright concepts which encourage copyright owners to sue in an attempt to stop illicit downloading." He further observes that the resulting thousands of lawsuits against consumers have failed to drive meaningful numbers of them "above ground" and into using legitimate music services, despite the large variety of such services in the U.S. "There is no reason to believe similar legislation in Canada will be anything but a failure as well - except for those who profit from piracy," he says.
Concludes McCarty: "Surely it is time to stop protecting those who profit from piracy at the expense of the artists by fostering a marketplace for music in the digital age. Is it too much to hope that the Parliamentary Committee will find a way to correct this fundamental flaw in Bill C-32? If they don't, it will be a giant step backward for artists and songwriters and a giant leap forward for those who use and distribute music without paying for it."
ole is one of the world's largest independent music publishers. Founded in 2004 and with offices in Toronto, Nashville and Los Angeles, ole boasts a team of over 30 experienced industry professionals focused on acquisitions, creative development and worldwide administration. ole has been named Canadian Country Music Association's Music Publishing Company of the Year for the past four years and earned its first Grammy Award in 2009 for Best Country Song, "White Horse".
The ole catalog includes over 40,000 songs and 35,000 hours of TV music across all genres. ole has completed over $100MM USD in acquisitions, including purchases of music catalogs: Blacktop, Jody Williams Music, Chris Wallin, Rick Giles, Balmur, Keith Follese, Lighthouse, Frank Myers, Dream Warriors, Encore, David Tyson, and Marsfilm Music. ole has also purchased the worldwide music rights for TV catalogs such as WGBH, Cookie Jar, Cineflix, and recently, "The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That".
ole is committed to the creative development of its 60+ staff songwriters, legacy writers and composers and the cultivation of our catalogs and client catalogs. ole has ongoing co-ventures with Last Gang Publishing (Alt Rock), Roots Three Music (Country) and tanjola (Pop/Rock/Urban).
ole is an expert in administrating and sub-publishing music copyrights and has concluded worldwide publishing administration agreements with some of the world's leading songwriters, publishers and film and television producers. adminow, ole's online portal delivering leading edge client account transparency, was launched recently and demonstrates ole's commitment to world-class client service and being on the leading edge of IT.
Notable copyrights for ole include Taylor Swift singles "Fearless", "White Horse", "Tim McGraw," "Picture To Burn", "Teardrops On My Guitar"; Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent"; "Can't Hold Us Down" by Christina Aguilera featuring Lil' Kim; "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles; Craig Morgan's "That's What I Love About Sunday"; "Something Like That", Tim McGraw; "S.O.S (Let The Music Play)" performed by Jordin Sparks; "Why Wait", Rascal Flatts.
ole is committed to being the best and most innovative global destination for world-class songwriters, composers, and management talent, and the first choice music source for creators in all media.
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