Re:Sound Calls for Copyright Act Reforms to Better Protect Musicians

Michael Raine
July 12, 2022

Ahead of the National Summit on the Future of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sectors on May 2-4, Re:Sound released a statement on behalf of its member performers and record companiee urging the Government of Canada to fulfill its 2021 commitment to amend the Copyright Act in a way that it says would better support Canadian music creators. "The Fairness for Music Creators" initiative calls on both Minister Rodriguez, Canadian Heritage and Minister Champagne, Innovation, Science and Industry "to build on the progress to date and further strengthen Canada’s copyright legislation to ensure a fair and equitable system for music creators that fosters continued growth and prosperity of the creative industry in Canada."

“Strong copyright legislation is vital to the Canadian music landscape,” said Lou Ragagnin (pictured above), president and CEO of Re:Sound, the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company representing music performers and labels. “The current Copyright Act contains several provisions that are outdated and fundamentally unfair to performers and makers. These unfair provisions need to be amended now.”  

The changes to the Copyright Act that Re:Sound is advocating for are:

·        Remove the “temporary” $1.25M exemption provided to commercial radio: Since 1997, this exemption has lost performers and makers in Canada more than $160 million while at the same time commercial radio has seen massive growth and profitability. This subsidy for commercial radio comes only at the expense of performers and makers in Canada. This exemption is unfair and must be removed.

·        Update definition of sound recording: Since 1997, the definition of sound recording has excluded performers and makers from television and film royalties. All rights-holders contributing to a sound recording deserve equitable treatment. The current definition leaves Canadian performers and makers behind in the digital age.

“Canada is home to world class performers and makers, yet many continue to struggle because of outdated provisions that leave them without fair compensation for their work,” adds Annie Morin, executive director of ARTISTI.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated an already struggling sector of our music industry in Canada,” adds Ragagnin. “We are encouraged by some of the work the government has done to date and urge policymakers to ensure copyright reform is prioritized on an urgent basis to provide music creators with timely support and to put Canadian performers and makers on a level playing field with their peers in Canada and around the world.”

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Michael Raine

Michael Raine is the Editor-In-Chief at NWC, publisher of Canadian Musician, Professional Sound, Professional Lighting & Production, and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Podcast. Michael has extensively covered nearly all aspects of the Canadian music business, as well as the pro audio, musical products, and the lighting and production industries.