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Music Canada Applauds the Federal Government for Initiating Consultations on Copyright Board of Canada reform

August 9th, 2017

Graham Henderson ECCMusic Canada has issued the following statement, which commends the federal government for launching a consultation process to reform the Copyright Board of Canada. The Copyright Board of Canada’s purpose is to establishe royalties for the use of copyrighted content in a broad range of areas where the administration of such copyright is entrusted to a collective management organization. This includes music streaming, the public performance of music, educational copying, and the re-transmission of television signals.

In the government’s announcement, Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly said, “The Government of Canada recognizes the invaluable contribution of Canadian creators to our economy and society and is committed to ensuring fair remuneration for artists. Through these consultations, we seek concrete improvements to the Copyright Board that enable creators to efficiently access new, diverse and stable streams of revenue. I invite anyone concerned with these issues to engage in this important consultation.”

From Music Canada: 

Music Canada applauds today’s announcement by The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, in conjunction with The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, that the government has launched a consultation process to reform the Copyright Board of Canada. The consultations will run until September 29, and will seek public feedback on ideas to make the Copyright Board’s processes more transparent and more efficient.

“Music Canada applauds Minister Bains and Minister Joly for beginning these consultations on Copyright Board reform,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “The time is right to modernize the Board, which will better support music creators and advance Canada’s innovation agenda. A more efficient and predictable regulatory environment will help spur growth for Canada’s cultural industries and the creative class.”

Music Canada has been a lead advocate for change at the Copyright Board. Music Canada participated in both the Senate hearings on the Copyright Board, and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Review of the Canadian Music Industry, appearing as a key stakeholder witness in favour of full and meaningful reforms. Graham Henderson also raised the issue in a recent Policy Options op-ed, and cited the repair of the Copyright Board as first priority for government to modernize in a speech before the Economic Club of Canada.

Today’s announcement follows the release of a 2016 report by the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce titled Copyright Board: A Rationale for Urgent Review. The thorough and comprehensive report concluded that the Board is “dated, dysfunctional and in dire need of reform.”
During the Senate committee hearings that led to the report, stakeholder and expert witnesses all identified the lack of timely decision-making as the biggest challenge in relation to the Board, and there was wide-spread consensus on the need for urgent, meaningful reform. The Senate report notes that, “On average, the Board may take between 3.5 and 7 years to make a final decision, the result of which is uncertainty and diminished economic activity within Canada’s cultural sector.”
Music Canada looks forward to continuing to work with government on this timely file to develop a regulatory framework for the Board that fosters innovation so that our cultural industries can thrive.

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