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back to article Canuck record labels accuse tunesmiths of smoking opium

Canadian songwriters want to give the entire country unfettered access to any and all online music for a flat monthly fee. Meanwhile, the major Canadian record labels want the songwriters to quit smoking opium. The Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) has proposed a plan that would charge every Canuck internet user a flat …

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CRIA

Consists of, essentially, the four international majors. All the actual Canadian labels who, you know, promote Canadian content, left to for CIRPA.

So the only people who don't like the idea are the cartel. Surprise!

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Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Buck 65. . .

that's it. They're going to be a whole lot richer.

Oh crap, I forgot Avril Levigne - somebody needs to deal with her, Leonard deserves a full $333 million.

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worst night mare

actually letting the artist decided how , when and were their work will be distributed.

This will truly make the big labels shit all over them selfs

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Sigh

A figure of speech != an analogy, no matter how desperate you were to find a compelling angle for your story.

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Sharpen you pencil, mate!

In case you haven't noticed, the loonie is at par with the greenback. Even a rough estimate would reveal a US amount of, oh, about $5.

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Unhappy

It's not about a fair way to distribute music

This is a typical scheme of the pseudo-communist Canadian arts community to get a steady paycheque for mediocre musicians, whether they sell there music or not.

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Already legal.

Actually, current law in Canada says that it already IS legal in Canada for people to download music for personal use. At least until Canada's bought-and-paid-for-by-American-business "Tory" government and their front-man Steve Harper can change the copyright laws. They tried once already, and were driven back by howls of outrage.

So yes, I'd say that letting ARTISTS decide how and when their music should be heard is definitely causing a case of panic in the big labels who will see their empire crumble as people realize that no, nobody needs them. At all.

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Coat

@semTake

It is humor ... Poking fun at the fact that the greenback is down against every other world currency.

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Inequity

So people who never download music (yes, they exist) have to pay a levy to subsidise those who do? Doesn't sound very fair to me.

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Already a commercial example?

I've was a happy Napster customer for over a year, paying a penny under a tenner to download pretty much unlimited amounts of music. Sure, it was DRM'ed (tunes worked on 3 PCs and 2 MP3 players, hardly over-restrictive), but what convinced me was the flat-fee. I doubt a country level levy would be as much as Napster, but with substantially more 'subscribers', I'm sure the maths would work out to a few dollars a month.

Of course, what's proposed would totally screw over services like Napster...

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The reason the big labels don't like it.

Is they lose alot of market control. The big labels love to pick an artist that will appeal to a common denominator and then pour all their marketing dollars into that, and because the Joe Bloggs is so subseptable to marketing the artist gets success well above there level of talent which then breeds more exposure and further success even further above their ability.

Its alot more economical for them to take this approach than to diverify and have lots of artist. A flat license would make monopolistic practices like this very difficult

@It's not about a fair way to distribute music

There is a lot of talented musicans out there that get nothing because they are squeezed out by these practices, the big labels only want room for a couple of over-hyped artist, their over hyped artists.

Monopolistic practices no matter what industry stifle development and are ultimately bad for the consumer, sure just look at the price they expect u to pay for just a track. I make music and I can tell u it doesn't cost anywhere near that much anymore, all you, i don't purchase anymore, are paying for is the marketing dollars to ensure the aforementioned position is maintained oh and the big fat director paychecks.

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How to split the money?

Until someone can tell me how to split the money fairly, all these levy/tax/mugging plans are just COMMUNIST.

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I only want uncompressed CDs

I'm not interested in paying a tax for shabby downloads I don't want.

I buy more DVDs than CDs too.

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@How to split the money?

How about splitting the money according to what was downloaded? And have 'captchas' to avoid bots attempting 'download fraud' to pump-up the download figures?

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Paris Hilton

They truly are

They truly are smoking or snorting some illegal substance just like Paris's friend Nicole , for if you read the finer print it would appear guess who gets to keep the bulk of the earnings and it ain't the recording artists either as the delivery mechanism has numerous flaws and dangerous fallacies too as it does not take into account whom and what is being shared either !

The other negative is not all 20 million plus Canadians on the intertubes are on the p2p list thus it becomes an unfair impost or tax without representation for the non users (obviously these wankers have forgotten about certain tea party in response to such an unfair taxation without representation several centuries ago !)

For swift boot justice I would ship these wowsers off to a place called Bagram Air Base Kabul , Afghanistan for life without parole , or alternatively put them in permanent exile in the twin islands of the continuous fog bank in the South Pacific to reside with the existing white brain challenge residents for giving birth to what is a truly dumb and very stupid idea !

Oh well Mike Judge coined the right term for these wannabe wowsers calling it "Idiocracy"

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Been there, done that, eh?

We Canadians used to pay a tax on blank cassettes, and even iPods. The assumption was that "everybody" was copying music anyway, so everybody paid a tax. And we all copied music knowing we'd paid for the right to do so.

The biggest problem is, like with royalties for radio airplay, who decides where the money goes. The major (read American) labels used to grab all of the radio royalty money, and nobody looked at the playlists from campus radio stations, so independent musicians got nothing from the pot.

I'm not up on what goes on these days. Hell, I'm old enough to remember what cassettes are.

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Anonymous Coward

@I only want uncompressed CDs

I agree with you 100% -- we need high quality music, not low bit-rate MP3s which sound OK on an MP3 player, but not on a high quality hi-fi system. I wrote quite a bit about this here: http://breden.org.uk/2007/09/26/flat-rate-music-for-all/

Of course, my article contains many references to that fine establishment affectionately known as El Reg :)

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@How to split the money

None issue really it would be similar to the process they do to split up public broadcasting licensing collection for the likes of radio and shops and bars and anywhere that broadcasts copyrighted music.

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Linux

Good news for ISPs

"But even if the labels do join the songwriters in pushing the flat-fee plan, someone would have to convince Canadian ISPs that this proposal is a good idea. And as much as we'd like to see it, that's not likely to happen."

As I see it the ISPs will be laughing all the way to the bank. If their customers who can legally download can be identified, these customers would then have no reason to obtain the content using P2P and every reason to use a media server provided by the ISP. The cost of the media server within the ISP's network centre is peanuts compared to the cost of the external bandwidth saved. The internal bandwidth within the ISPs network which this would generate is presumably mostly or completely already paid for, and there probably would only be a marginal increase here anyway, the rest will be compensated by a drop in P2P traffic.

Also the ISP will be those best able to collect the flat fees, from which they will no doubt earn a healthy commission.

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Stop

@heystoopid

The Boston Tea Party was actually a protest by the local tea smugglers at the abolition of a tax paid by tea importers (a UK Govt sponsored monopoly) because the smuggling business was booming due to the high price of legally imported tea. The legal price came down and the smugglers couldn't sell their tea. Funny that one of the flash points for the Revolution was that the UK pissed off a bunch of smugglers by cutting taxes.

There is a lesson in it for RIAA - stop messing around and work out how to deliver the service your customers want at a decent price or the smugglers will thrive.

And no - it should not be a function of government to look after the commercial interests of the entertainment business. It is their problem to work out with their customers.

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Flood Gates....

This is a terrible idea that would never get approved. I think that ISPs know that if the music industry were allowed to do this, every other content industry would jump on the band wagon and depend for their monthly fee as well.

$19.99 Internet Access

$5.00 Music Industry Fee

$5.00 Movie Industry Fee

$5.00 Book Industry Fee

$5.00 Software Industry Fee

$5.00 Game Industry Fee

.... x10

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RW
Unhappy

Inequity

Canucks still pay a tax on CD blanks (also DVD blanks, I believe). It's easy to circumvent by buying from the US, a tactic which also offers substantially lower prices anyway.

The galling thing is the assumption that *all* these blanks are used for storing downloaded copyright music, that everyone with a PC and an internet connection is using it mainly for this purpose. Such statistics as I have seen suggest a small minority of internetters download huge amounts of p2p music (most of which they never listen to!), some download modest amounts, and a very large proportion download no music at all.

One's guilt as a downloader is assumed, in other words. The possibility that blanks are used to store data is blithely ignored.

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Coat

@heystoopid

"For swift boot justice I would ship these wowsers off to a place called Bagram Air Base Kabul , Afghanistan for life without parole , or alternatively put them in permanent exile in the twin islands of the continuous fog bank in the South Pacific to reside with the existing white brain challenge residents for giving birth to what is a truly dumb and very stupid idea !"

Actually, since they are Canadian they would go to Kandahar, but I take your point.

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Black Helicopters

@don

@don Bagram is home to a closed and hidden and even more evil version of Guantanamo Bay mark 3B another is hidden somewhere deep in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania and the other known variants where Geneva is denied access to the unfortunate detainees is in Egypt , Ethiopia and gee what a surprise Syria too as well !

Enduring Freedom it ain't , hence the suggestion for these wowsers to be permanently exiled too !

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Anonymous Coward

@RW

If you buy an "audio cd" in Canada, you pay the levy. The vast majority of Canadians, like everyone else, buy bulk cd's and dvd's and pay no levy.

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