Music Industry

Government Fails. Bill C-32 is Dead

The Copyright Modernization Act has died because of today’s non-confidence vote.

Bill C-32 had been proposed by Tony Clement, the Minister of Industry, and had referred to a Legislative Committee headed by Gordon Brown, MP for Leeds—Grenville (Ontario).

Hopefully it will be re-introduced minus some of the more questionable Digital Lock restrictions.

Songwriters Propose Another Flat Rate

The Songwriters Association Of Canada have proposed a flat monthly fee of $10 in response to music piracy on the internet.

This fee, which would be charged to consumers via their internet providers, would enable Canadians to download an unlimited amount of music downloads and would compensate Canadian songwriters.

This all you can eat buffet may appeal to some peer to peer users. But unfortunately this fee would likely result in additional fees, as it does not compensate copyright holders. And at the moment there are music services that offer unlimited streaming for $5 that pay royalties that are forwarded to songwriters and copyright holders via the appropriate rights agencies.

I believe that a royalty scheme for peer to peer services is preferable, as it would enable the current rights agencies to collect funds from the peer to peer services and distribute these funds to songwriters and copyright holders.

Peer to peer services could obtain funds from advertisements and premium subscription sales, as well as affiliations, to pay these royalties.

As a consumer I would prefer a choice in regards to what services I subscribe to and pay for. And at the moment I purchase music via the legal services listed on this site. I also use free, advertiser funded services.

My current internet provider also throttles peer to peer services so I see no point in paying upwards from $10 to compensate songwriters and copyright holders for transfers I am unable to perform.

Yes, I am aware that some of these measures can be bypassed. But I am simply not interested in downloading music via the peer to peer services. And the majority of peer to peer users download porn and films according to an Envisional Study published in January of this year.

I suspect the internet providers will resist this fee, in respect to a 2004 Supreme Court rulling that found they were not legally responsible for the file transfers on their networks. The internet providers would likely oppose having to pay to administer the collection of the fee, or subsequent levies or fees.

No Pandora For Canada

It appears that Pandora will not be comming into Canada for quite some time.

In a letter to the Financial Post, Pandora founder Tim Westergren stated that the music streaming service has shelved their plans to expand into Canada because “the rates that have been proposed by the Canadian music rights societies are simply uneconomic”.

The Financial Post had previously published a story about the viability of web radio, resulting in this response by Pandora, a service that features over 80,000 artists, many of which are independent.

One of the few services that have made it’s way north is Rdio and Slacker, services from which music can be streamed from the web to personal computers for $4.99 a month.

P2P Majority Agrees with Avenue Q ?

Appearently a recent Envisional study has found that the majority of Peer To Peer users believe that “The Internet Is For Porn“.

In attempting to discover how much copyrighted material is being pirated, the NBC Universal commissioned study found that out of the 10,000 transfered files they examined, 35.8% were porn, followed closely by film at 35.2% and television programing at 12.5%.

Of those 10,000 PublicBT files, only 2.9% were illegal music downloads. But of course the study also found that “23.76% of traffic was estimated to be infringing“, meaning that almost a quarter of all internet traffic involved copyright violations of some sort, excluding porn.

When concentrating on American transfers Envisional found that 17.53% of the transfers were infringing. And that 20% of the transfers were conducted on Peer To Peer networks, 13.8% of which were copyright violations.

The vast majority of streaming on the net was either legal or porn according to the study, video streaming accounting for 27% to 30% of the transfers. Only an estimated 1.56% of this streaming material was deemed infinging.

The study also establishes that 93.4% of Usenet posts contain copyrighted material, which is rather interesting. I had thought most people had given up on this antiquated distribution method.

Citigroup / EMI Update

EMI has been taken over by Citigroup and now people are wondering if a merger with Warner Music Group is possible because of EMI‘s dept.

According to Billboard, Warner Music Group has a debt of $2.4 Billion whilst EMI‘s debt is $1.9 Billion.

EMI had been $5.5 Billion dollars in debt before Citigroup “recapitalized EMI through a debt-for-equity swap”.

The Other Major Political Parties on UBB

Here are the links to their press releases :