#GlobalNews: “Look out, the Canadian music trade desires us to pay extra for our electronics: Alan Cross – National ” #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada

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The music trade has at all times been freaked out by piracy and the lack of income that comes with individuals stealing music.

If you’re of a sure classic, you could bear in mind the hysteria manifested within the Home Taping is Killing Music marketing campaign launched within the U.Ok. in 1981 that got here full with a half-million-dollar TV advert marketing campaign. The trade blamed weak gross sales on individuals who had been wantonly recording albums onto clean cassettes and making mixtapes for the automobile or this new factor known as the Sony Walkman. It even got here with a cute punky brand.

Both artists and executives tried to persuade the general public that if we needed music on cassette, then we’d higher bloody nicely exit and purchase a authorized copy from the report store. Even making a duplicate for private use was portrayed as evil and immoral.

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A decade later, strain from the trade killed shopper use of Digital Audio Tape and the Digital Compact Cassette, two applied sciences that allowed for good duplication of copyrighted materials. A duplicate safety scheme known as the Serial Copy Management System was created particularly to hobble the skills of the brand new machines.

Meanwhile, the full-court press in opposition to the old-school cassette continued. In 1997, “private copying” was added to the Canadian Copyright Act, permitting for a levy to be assessed in opposition to clean cassettes and hidden by the producer or importer within the retail value of the tape. The concept was for this cash to be redistributed to artists as compensation for music that was illegally copied and thus disadvantaged artists of gross sales revenue. Within two years, Canadians had been paying 23 cents on every clean cassette and 60 cents on every MiniDisc.

Canadians additionally ended up paying exponentially extra for a spindle of clean CDs than our associates in America, due to a per-disc levy of 29 cents. Multiply that by 25, 50 or 100 discs on a spindle, and issues shortly bought costly. Future Shop (bear in mind them?) had packages of 50 on the shelf for greater than $30, whereas I bear in mind seeing U.S. retailers promoting the very same bundle for lower than US$10.

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It additionally didn’t matter that you simply may be utilizing cassettes, MiniDiscs and CD-Rs for non-musical, non-piracy functions, similar to audio books, books for the blind and information backups. Everyone paid the levy whatever the finish use.

By the time we bought to the late 2000s, the panorama had modified dramatically. We’d moved past copying music to cassette or burning music to CDs, and the discuss turned to “digital audio recorders,” units like iPods, cellphones, MP3 gamers, pc arduous drives — something that would retailer music in digital type. This turned often known as the “iPod tax,” which requested for a tariff positioned on MP3 gamers and different units able to storing music.

The authorities truly started gathering these tariffs — the Copyright Board assessed as a lot as $25 on an iPod with a capability greater than 15 GB with an elevated ask of as much as $75 per iPod in 2007 — however in the end needed to repay $27 million when it was dominated copyright legal guidelines governing pc gear made no provision for such charges. The iPod tax was declared lifeless and buried.

Once once more, although, the idea of levies on digital units has risen zombie-like to struggle one other day.

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A House of Commons committee begins hearings this week on a overview of Canadian copyright legislation. A gaggle known as the Canadian Music Policy Coalition, which represents 17 music associations, is circulating a doc containing ideas it wish to see enacted. The 30-page report entitled Sounding Like a Broken Record: Principled Copyright Recommendations asks for the next:

(a) New levies on shopper units like smartphones and tablets, a request far past the previous iPod tax. How a lot? That’s but to be decided.

(b) A requirement that Internet service suppliers control what content material we’re consuming and, if essential, to police its use. That means monitoring utilization, utilizing “content recognition technologies,” blocking content material after which reporting again to the music trade (“Provide feedback to the intellectual property community.”)

(c) Asking that the trade have the flexibility to cancel agreements with Internet corporations if the advantages of these corporations change into “disproportionate” — no matter which means.

(d) An extension of the time period of copyright. The group desires mental property protected for the lifetime of the creator(s) plus an extra 50 years. (This is when it might be good concept to learn up on how Mickey Mouse has been altering copyright phrases for years.)

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You can’t fault the trade for attempting to guard its mental property, for pushing for extra revenues and for attempting to attain copyright protections it sees in different territories. That’s the entire function of a foyer group like this. But it’s additionally price noting that the Canadian music trade hasn’t been on this good a form for years.

SOCAN, the Canadian performing rights assortment, has been reporting report revenues for its membership. The rise of streaming music companies, like Spotify, has lower piracy by means of file-sharing drastically. Same factor with the quantity of BitTorrent site visitors. There are robust anti-piracy measures already within the works. And we don’t “stream rip” music almost as most different international locations.

I do know copyright legislation will be dry and boring, but when we don’t preserve tabs on issues, music customers may find yourself paying extra for the issues we take with no consideration.

Alan Cross is a broadcaster with 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-04-15 10:00:59, as ‘Look out, the Canadian music trade desires us to pay extra for our electronics: Alan Cross – National

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