CMCC Congratulates Industry on Unparalleled Growth in Electronic Music Sales
Impressive sales numbers leave Canadian musicians asking: “Why sue our fans?”
Media Advisory – For Immediate Release
Attention National/Arts and Entertainment Editors
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Montreal, January 30, 2007
Nielsen SoundScan numbers released January 17th show that Canada’s digital download market grew more than any major market in 2006. This exciting news has the Canadian Music Creators Coalition asking: “Why are the record labels still pushing for ways to sue Canadian music fans?”
According to Nielsen, Canadian sales of music downloads grew an eye-popping 120% in 2006, well ahead of the 80% growth in Europe and 65% growth in the United States. Overall music sales grew 10%.
Despite this growth, recent Canadian Press reports indicate that the major foreign music labels continue to pressure the federal government to move forward with radical changes to Canada’s Copyright Act.
Major label representatives have consistently said that the only way the industry can survive is by making it easier to sue music downloaders and by providing legal protection to so-called “digital locks.” The member artists of the CMCC — the very artists copyright laws are designed to protect — aren’t convinced.
“The CMCC sees the 2006 sales numbers – and the continuing success of the private copying scheme – as a sign that there’s no need to change Canada’s copyright laws to enable record companies to sue our fans,” explained Barenaked Ladies front man and CMCC co-founder Steven Page. “Our music download market is growing faster than those in the US and Europe. To us, that seems like evidence that the Canadian government should focus on empowering Canadian musicians and protecting Canadian consumers from potentially harmful technology.”
Page recently presented some of the CMCC’s views on the future of the music business to the Midem Conference in Cannes, France where several alternatives to the current music industry business model were on display.
“The industry seems to say that if you don’t support suing downloaders you support giving music away for free,” Page continued. “That’s simply not true. In fact, there are numerous third-way alternatives out there. Changes to Canada’s copyright laws should reflect where our music business is going rather than looking back to where it has come from. Propping up old business models that favour multinational record companies’ interests ahead of those of Canadian artists just doesn’t make sense.”
For comment from the Canadian Music Creators Coalition, please contact Steven Page via CMCC Communications (514) 867-8337.
About the Canadian Music Creators Coalition
The CMCC is a coalition of nearly 200 Canadian acts who share the common goal of having our voices heard about the laws and policies that affect our livelihoods. Our membership rolls boast dozens of household names including Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Broken Social Scene, Matthew Good, Metric, Randy Bachman, Billy Talent, Sloan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sum 41, Stars, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), The New Pornographers, Bill Henderson (Chilliwack), Ronnie King (The Stampeders), Dave Bidini (Rheostatics), Billy Talent, John K. Samson (Weakerthans), Three Days Grace, Andrew Cash and Sam Roberts. We are the people who actually create Canadian music. Without us, there would be no music for copyright laws to protect.
Until recently, a group of multinational record labels has done most of the talking about what Canadian artists need out of copyright and cultural policy. Record companies and music publishers are not our enemies, but let’s be clear: lobbyists for major labels are looking out for their shareholders, and seldom speak for Canadian artists. Legislative proposals that would facilitate lawsuits against our fans or increase the labels’ control over the enjoyment of music are made not in our names, but on behalf of the labels’ foreign parent companies.
The CMCC is united under three key principles:
Suing Our Fans is Destructive and Hypocritical
Artists do not want to sue music fans. The labels have been suing our fans against artists’ will, and laws enabling these suits cannot be justified in artists’ names
Digital Locks are Risky and Counterproductive
Artists do not support using digital locks to increase the labels’ control over the distribution, use and enjoyment of music or laws that prohibit circumvention of such technological measures. Consumers should be able to transfer the music they buy to other formats under a right of fair use, without having to pay twice.
Cultural Policy Should Support Actual Canadian Artists
The vast majority of new Canadian music is not promoted by major labels, which focus mostly on foreign artists. The government should use other policy tools to support actual Canadian artists and a thriving musical and cultural scene.
More information about the CMCC (including a more detailed policy statement) is available at www.musiccreators.ca.