Canada Upsets the American Music Industry for the second time in 110 Years

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(Our previous article
was the first upset.)

 

This time, Canadians
have made the top ten list of countries that are “out to get” the content industries.

 

They share this
dubious honour with the following countries.

Priority Watch List

(Links retrieve
country specific pdf reports.)

       
Argentina

       
Canada

       
Chile

       
Costa Rica

       
India

       
Indonesia

       
Mexico

       
People’s Republic of
China

       
Philippines
(OCR)

       
Russian Federation

 



In
an Article
last month, Nate Anderson at ARS Technica said

 

US copyright industries have declared war on Canada, and they want the US government's help in fighting the battles.

 

We, that is I,
was/were under the impression that only a sovereign nation could commit to a
declaration of an act of war.

 

Yet, I am forced to
agree with Ars Technica. In an article
last year we defined war as;

 

War throughout
the ages has been traditionally declared for the acquisition by one sovereign
state (or Warlord) of another’s (sovereign state or Warlords') possessions.
The legitimacy of the process is provided for by the Charters and Constitutions
of nearly all of the World Governments.
 
Definition (US site)DECLARATION
OF WAR – An act of the national legislature, in which a state of war is
declared to exist between a nation and some other nation. This power is vested
in Congress by the Constitution, There is no form or ceremony necessary, except
the passage of the act. The public proclamation of the government of a state,
by which it declares itself to be at war with a foreign power, and which
forbids all and every one to aid or assist the common enemy. A manifesto
stating the causes of the war is usually published, but war exists as soon as
the act takes effect. It was formerly usual to precede hostilities by a public
declaration communicated to the enemy, and to send a herald to demand
satisfaction, but that is not the practice of modern times.

 

If the content
Industry with its own peculiar accounting systems, offshore bank accounts for
the receipt of licensing and royalty fees, international lobbyists (Content
Industry Ambassadors) to all Governments isn’t a recognized Independent State,
it should be
.”

 

Nate Anderson's article was in
reference to the Intellectual Property Rights Alliance (IIPA) report (All Countries TOC)
released earlier this year that recommended that Canada remain on the 302”
watch-list for failing to bring to update it’s legislation in line with other
countries (the USA).

 

The (Canadian)
IIPA
report stated
that;

“IIPA
regrets to report that its statement in the 2007 Special 301 report – submitted
three years ago –

remains,
disappointingly, true today: “
Canada remains
far behind virtually all its peers in the industrialized world with respect to
its efforts to bring its copyright laws up to date with the realities of the
global digital networked environment. Indeed, even most of the major developing
countries have progressed further and faster than
Canada in
meeting this challenge.”

 

Last year
I blogged about Canadians buying more music per capita than the Americans:

In an
article “
The
Music Industry DB the Nice Way or the Facist Way
”, we said;

 

Despite a 47%
sales decrease to 172.000 copies, Madonna's best of compilation 'Celebration'
holds the top spot of the global album chart for a second week. In 3 weeks on
the tally the album moved nearly 700.000 units. Michael Bubl's new set 'Crazy
Love' follows close behind at no.2 with 169.000 copies. After only 3 days at
retail in
North
America
the
album sold 132.000 in the
USA and 37.000 in Canada.

Sales

Country

Population

Percentage of
Pop

132000

USA

330,000,000

0.040%

37000

Canada

31,000,000

0.119%

 

Difference  Canada wins by                298.39%

 

So 298.3% more
sales per capita of population than the
USA which we would guess isn’t on President
Obama’s Black List. [sic: The 301 watch-list]

 

(This
result is not exclusive to those statistics. Overall according to Michael
Geist’s blog article,

Canadian Digital Music
Sales Growth Beats The U.S. For the 4th Straight Year
                     

 

 

Michael
said;

“Nielsen
Soundscan has just released the Canadian
music sales figures
for 2009.  Notwithstanding the regular claims that
the Canadian digital music market cannot develop without copyright reform, the
Canadian market grew faster than the U.S.
market
for the fourth consecutive year.  As the chart below
demonstrates, digital music sales have grown faster in
Canada than in the U.S. in every year since 2006:”

Year

Canada

United States

2009

38%

8%

2008

58%

27%

2007

73%

45%

2006

122%

65%

 

So if
Canadians are buying more  music per
capita than US natives, what exactly is the problem?

 

Is it
possibly that the Canadians have decided to let the content companies duke it
out amongst themselves?

 

In The P2P Liberation Tax, we said;

 

In Canada, the Government has elected to ignore the
industry infighting. Their distribution of collected blank media royalties is
simple…..

 

66%

to eligible
authors and publishers

18.90%

to eligible
performers

15.10%

 to
eligible record companies.

 

There-in lies the
rub. The Canadian Government has set a value of only 15.10% on the
non-performing and non-publishing Music Industry’s input.

 

From the
FAQ of Re-sound Canada (
the
Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to obtaining fair
compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights.)

 

Q3: What is equitable
remuneration?

A: For many years Canadian composers and authors have received royalties from
the broadcast or public performance of their songs. These royalties are
collected by SOCAN. In 1997 the Copyright Act of
Canada was amended to acknowledge the essential
contribution of artists and record companies in the creation of recorded music
and to add a right to equitable remuneration for artists and record companies,
which is in line with similar rights in the rest of the world. This right to
equitable remuneration is sometimes also called a “neighbouring right”.

The rights to
equitable remuneration are the rights of artists (including feature performers,
background musicians etc) and record companies to be paid fairly for the
broadcast and public performance of their works.

 

And we
already established above that the maximum was:

 

15.10%

 to
eligible record companies.

 

So now we
know why the industry is so hot under the collar.

 

When you
are used to having it all it’s hard to understand a Government that favours
Artists and Publishers over distributing record companies.

 

Howard Knopf  (well known Canadian Copyright lawyer) on his
blog, Excess Copyright, said
in
an article
on Feb 16th 2010 (in
reference to
Canada being
listed on the 301 watch-list);

  • Canada already has much stronger copyright
    laws in many ways than the
    USA;
  • These stronger laws result in significant dollar outflows that
    greatly favour
    U.S. interests with little or insufficient
    benefit for Canadians;
  • There is no verified and reliable evidence of piracy or
    counterfeiting problems in
    Canada that are any worse than in other
    comparable countries. In fact, the largest and most accessible market in
    North American for pirated and counterfeit consumer products remains the
    streets of mid-town and lower
    Manhattan;
  • The alleged deficiencies in Canada's laws regarding file sharing
    have not been proven in any Canadian court and the music and film
    industries have taken no serious initiative to do so, despite having been
    given a green light to proceed by the Federal Court of Appeal in 2005.
    Instead, they lobby for US DMCA+ type laws. Indeed, much of the alleged
    copyright problem that the music industry complains about in Canada is a
    direct result of its own successful wish for a rich private copying levy,
    the result of which has included the effective legalization of music
    downloading in this country, according to comments by both the Copyright
    Board and the Federal Court. The music industry has proven only that it
    ought to be careful what it wishes for, not that there is any need to
    change Canadian law

He then
gives 21 examples of how Canadian Copyright law is tougher and different than
it’s
US
equivalent.

(Worth
reading…..
http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/2010/02/annual-301-parade-ustr-calls-for.html halfway
down the page).

 

Is there
a problem in
Canada that
warrants the attention of the IIPA and inclusion of
Canada on the
Global watch-list?

 

Yep…
the Canadian Government intervened and made sure that Canadian Artists and
Producers were taken care of in advance of overseas interest, whilst
protecting, in same cases more thoroughly the interests of artists and content
creators.

 

It’s a
shame that other Governments are not as patriotic towards their own local
talent.

 

Readers are by now saying, “So what
Koltai, that’s a Canadian problem, not an Australian one.

 

Howard’s closing words are a fitting
response to that question….

 

The
danger from the “301″ process…

 

The
real danger is that well meaning but non-expert officials and politicians on
both sides of the border and even in other countries may be influenced by
inaccurate and/or misleading findings by the USTR resulting yet again from the
incessant spin, propaganda and lobbying at any cost by certain U.S. dominated
industries.

 

Further, the 301 watch list is compiled by
an industry body.

Not a Government.

For industry to so blatantly be in charge
of international diplomatic relationships between countries, almost falls into the
category of
corporatism or corporativism (Italian corporativismo) which is a political
system in which legislative representation is given to industries.

 

That’s not what is happening here Koltai.

 

No?

 

Hmm.

 

That’s interesting, because outside of those
industry bodies, I don’t see one single voter who wants ACTA or the resulting
loss of personal rights and privacy that the 301 watch-list propaganda is
designed to instill into the ACTA negotiators.

 

Canada is a
responsible copyright country.

Canada has
elected to place her citizens interests ahead of the those of the
USA.

 

That is the job of any responsible
Government.



References:

 

Care about “balanced copyright”? Let the US
government know

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/02/care-about-balanced-copyright-let-the-us-government-know.ars

 

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