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No downloading lawsuits, say Canadian musicians
May 1, 2006. 08:13 PM
ANGELA PACIENZA
CANADIAN PRESS


Don't even think about suing music fans.

That's the message a group of musicians — from veterans Blue Rodeo to international superstars Barenaked Ladies and newcomers Broken Social Scene — sent Monday to federal politicians who wield the power to toughen copyright legislation.

Some of the proposals being floated could make it illegal to share music online, leading to lawsuits which the musicians called ``destructive and hypocritical."

"For a very long time we, as artists, have allowed industry groups to speak on our behalf. We want that time to stop," Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies said at a news conference Monday, flanked by members of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition.

"We need a seat at the table. We need to be part of this copyright legislation when it is drafted."

The coalition — first announced last week — is a lobby group that includes a who's who of Canadian celebrities such as Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Sam Roberts, Randy Bachman and Sum 41.

The group also rejects the idea of digital locks that would restrict how a digital song is used. For example, some locks prevent a song from being copied onto multiple music players.

Lobby groups have been calling for new Heritage Minister Bev Oda to revamp copyright legislation to account for the online world, where trading music has become commonplace.

While the musicians' coalition may not mind if people download music for free, the president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association insisted Monday that creative people must be compensated for their intellectual property.

"For six years, Canadians have freely downloaded movies, books and music using web-based peer-to-peer software programs," said Graham Henderson in a speech at a Canadian Club luncheon attended by the Bay Street crowd as well as representatives from the major labels.

He estimated the industry has lost close to $6 million in retail sales since the advent of music trading site Napster.

"There is another road and there are other artists that want to go down it," he said following his formal presentation.

In other countries where governments have toughened digital music rules, the public has openly turned to legal downloading sites such as iTunes, said Henderson.

He pointed to a recent study showing digital music sales account for only one per cent of revenue in Canada compared to six per cent in other countries such as the U.S.

For several years now, the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which represents major labels such as Sony-BMG Canada and Universal Music Canada, have been demanding the federal government sign international digital music treaties which would make it illegal to swap or burn music files.

The major labels want the power to go after high-volume digital music sharers through the courts like their counterparts in the United States who've filed dozens of lawsuits in the past two years.

Canadian legislation doesn't allow similar lawsuits.

Page said it should stay that way because "we would rather see our fans in concert than in court."

Instead, he advocated working with fans and finding other ways of being compensated for the music his band creates such as collecting levies from blank media — something Canada already adds to the price of blank CDs.

"We cannot afford to have an adversarial relationship with our fans. New technology affords fans new ways to listen to music. We as artists . . . must adapt to that," he said.

Broken Social Scene member Jason Collett credited his band's international success to the Internet.

"The time and place of a band like Broken Social Scene historically could not have happened without being facilitated by this radical new technology," he said.

The federal government has not indicated a timeline for revising the legislation.
 

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It will be interesting to see how many get good offers the next time it comes to signing. There are other labels but some of these ppl owe their success to they mainstream labels. I just don't see big labels wanting artists who advocate downloading.
 

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torrentspy.com ! the greatest of all time !!!!!!!

* this is by no means me trying to sell anything for them or advertise for them I just love it, okay?! :)
 

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nah. i've downloaded things before from torrentspy that have been infected with spyware. best to download from private invite only sites as far as torrents go :) i'm all about oink, every artist/album you could ever want at your finger tips.
 

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^^^^^seriously, I wish more US bans had the stones to stand up.....I mean I love the Music exec above claiming he is protecting the interests of the creative types.....what a bunch of shit....do you think he actually believles it???

My fav canandian band ......tragically hip
 

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No Downloading Lawsuits, Say Canadian Musicians
Good, this debate is a joke, the only real reason any recording companies/artists have any problems with file sharing programs is because it is a convinient excuse to blame their falling record sales on.

The music industry lately has been producing almost nothing but noise pollution, so how easy is it to blame something like file sharing, instead of the real reason....

Another terrible argument from the recodring industries has been that file sharing services are "destroying" music....as if, the only thing file sharing services are destroying are the recording CEO's profits :) but dont you just feel sorry for them, only 1 private jet instead of two :cry: Music sharing has enabled word of new groups to be reached by the hundreds of millions of internet users, meaning an INCREASE of knowledge of music, artists, etc....

If you truly want to support your artist, go ahead buy their music, but at nearly 25$ an album for a new release, who wants to buy that.....a better way to support your artist is to introduce them to your friends, go to a concert.....

If recording companies want their record sales back up, they need some serious re-thinking to do..
 

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Artists make most of their money from touring and merchandising/advertisments <<< someone find me the word... you know when let's say David Beckham does a commercial... wow blank mind.

Its the record companies, producers and people involved in making the CD losing out.

I think they need to attack retailers for charging outrageous prices. Limit should be $10 for a regular album. I remember being a teenager with very limited income, how could we afford all of our favourite albums??
 

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^^Completely agree with this post
 

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Kudos to those musicians! I hate how commercial the music industry is. I know a lot of people in Toronto that make music just for the sake of making it. To them piracy is a compliment: it means people actually like their work and it gets around, even if it knocked off a couple percent of their final paycheque.
 
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