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Government's Delay In Introducing Copyright Reforms Concerns Canadian Music Industry
By Mi2N
(more articles from this author)
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A broad coalition of Canadian music industry organizations expressed growing concern with the federal government's postponement of copyright reform legislation.

The coalition includes an association of approximately 15,000 musicians in Canada, Canadian artist managers, music publishers, music retailers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers of musical instruments, and record labels of all sizes. They are united in seeking legislative measures that will build a framework for new digital music businesses in accordance with the 1997 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties, to which Canada is a signatory.

Organizations representing these groups are anxious to see an end to repeated delays in the introduction and passage of long-promised WIPO-compliant legislation. The government had promised copyright reforms in its Oct. 16, 2007 Throne Speech and committed to introduce legislation in the fall.

Over the past year, Canadian music organizations have communicated the following in support of new legislation:

* Artists and other rights holders deserve choice: it should be up to them whether to give their music away or sell it, and whether or not to employ digital technologies that protect their work from piracy.
* Artists, the thousands of Canadians employed in the music industry and the organizations behind them deserve better protection of their online rights.
* Creators have the right to earn a living from sales of their work, and to be protected from theft and unauthorized use of their property over the Internet.
* The development and success of new digital music models require a modern and robust legal framework.
* Canadian consumers deserve a wider array of choices to obtain and enjoy digital music; stronger copyright rules will act as an incentive for investment in those services.
* Canada should fulfill its obligations under the 1997 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) internet treaties.
* It's time Canada is placed on a level playing field with our major international trading partners, most of which long ago updated their copyright rules for today's digital world.
* Canadians are fundamentally fair-minded: we anticipate that they will respond positively to clear rules about what constitutes acceptable behaviour on the Internet.

Due to the importance of intellectual property as the cornerstone of the knowledge economy, there is an emerging global consensus that national governments must protect IP rights to promote innovation and secure long term prosperity. Ratifying the WIPO Internet Treaties is seen as a critical first step in this regard. Without such critical protection, Canada's competitiveness, productivity and innovative performance will continue to suffer.

The organizations supporting these principles include the American Federation of Musicians of United States and Canada (AFM Canada), Canadian Independent Record Production Association (CIRPA), Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), Music Industries Association of Canada (MIAC), Music Managers Forum Canada (MMF), and the Retail Music Association of Canada (RMAC).

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