2021: Artisti’s major projects to defend the interests of performers
The pandemic has shaken the entire music sector, hitting our members hard, who have been deprived of their main source of income. With the entire community still on hold and the recovery promises to be slow, a political shift may well be underway.
In fact, important cases concerning the rights of performers will be the subject of claims and representations by Artisti this year before government bodies: Revision of the copyright law, Bill C-10 on broadcasting or the reform of the regulatory framework relating to commercial radio.
Specifically, what will be the impacts on artists?
1- Revision of the copyright law
Artisti’s showpiece the process of revision of the Copyright Act jointly carried out by the Department of Innovation, Science and Industry and the Department of Canadian Heritage, began few years ago. After submitting a memorandum in 2016 and making representations before the standing committees of these two departments, Artisti hopes that 2021 will finally see legislation reforming the copyright law.
Here is a summary of our main demands for the defense of the interests of performers:
The modernization of the Canadian Private Copying Regime
Private Copying is an important source of income for performers, yet it is disappearing, despite the fact that Canadians are making more copies of music than ever. Why? Because it is only collected on blank CDs, a medium which is hardly used anymore.
Artisti has been advocating for several years for the Private Copying Regime to be extended to all devices that can copy music, including smartphones and tablets, like several European countries. Specifically, the extension of the private copying regime could generate revenues of 72 to 97 million Canadian dollars per year for rights holders in the music sector .
The establishment of Fair Remuneration for all online uses of music (streaming)
This demand is fundamental for performers, as their remuneration is trivial today in the digital world. However, the establishment of equitable remuneration (which provides for a 50/50 distribution of royalties between performers and producers) is a serious solution to be considered to guarantee fair and proportional remuneration to artists for the exploitation of their work on the Internet. This should apply as much to subscription streaming as it does to platforms like Youtube. In Europe, the Fair Internet for Performers coalition is advocating the adoption of such a solution. In the UK, this issue is currently under examination by UK parliamentarians.
The granting of copyrights to performers of the audiovisual sector, and the modification of the definition of sound recording
In fact, at this time the current definition of sound recording incorporated in the law deprives performers of the royalties of equitable remuneration when their pre-existing music is played on television or in the cinema. Moreover, performers cannot exercise their copyrights when their performances are incorporated into an audio-visual work.
The abolition of the fair remuneration royalty exemption on the first $ 1.25 million of advertising revenue from radio stations
As a matter of fact, this exemption is unjustified and discriminatory towards performers and producers of sound recordings since songwriters/composers are not subject to such an exemption and they can collect their royalties on this first bracket of income from radios.
2- Bill C-10 or restoring fairness between traditional Canadian broadcasters and web giants
This bill should subject webcasters (Netflix, Spotify and others) to the same obligations as broadcasting companies in terms of funding and promotion, in particular through better discoverability of Canadian cultural content. To achieve these objectives, the bill recommends giving more power to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Artisti will follow this issue closely.
3- CRTC consultations on radio listening habits as part of the reform of the regulatory framework for commercial radio
Already in 2015, Artisti and UDA jointly submitted a memorandum (in french only) to support the broadcasting of Francophone and local music on commercial radio waves and defend the quotas in favor of this broadcasting. This request will be reiterated this year in the framework of these new consultations.
The year 2021 promises to be politically charged, but full of hope for the rights of all performers. One thing is certain, Artisti will not miss opportunities to fully claim a compensation model that is more fair and equitable, but also improved to today’s digital reality. Stand up for your rights by mobilizing with Artisti and relaying our mobilization campaigns!