[d@DCC] Musicians push for satellite radio
russell at flora.ca
Fri Nov 5 15:49:24 EST 2004
This letter is openly licensed as
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ca/ and thus can and should be
Dear Charlie Angus, MP (Timmins--James Bay),
Heritage critic for the NDP
As a musician, singer, and writer you likely know better than most of us
that the Music industry and the Recording industry are not the same. For
many outside of the industry, and outside of those working on copyright,
this will seem like an unusual situation.
In past months we have seen the rift growing and becoming more public.
In August we saw the article by Law professor Michael Geist titled
"Music industry abruptly changes tune on ringtones" where he said:
The next time the U.S. recording giants that largely comprise CRIA
come calling, they might ask to hear the sound of their ringtone and
ask why they can't spare a dime for the Canadian creative community.
We now see with XM radio yet another case where there is division.
Musicians push for satellite radio
Paul Vieira The National Post November 5, 2004
Some musicians are coming out in support of XM radio
Artists such as Jeff Healey, Susan Aglukark and Daniel Lanois said
thousands of Canadian musicians stand to benefit because their work
would heard by a much wider audience, both in Canada and the United
On the other hand, the major labels and their allies claim that this
represents "the second coming of Internet". This may be true, given XM
may be as helpful to musicians just as the Internet has.
These legacy industries claim the Internet has harmed their businesses,
even though there has yet to be independent studies proving harm. My own
analysis suggests that citizen-to-citizen (peer-to-peer, P2P) distribution
has represented free advertising that has saved the music industry from a
wide variety of harms ranging from competitive alternatives (DVD's,
growing use of cellphones and other time spent by major music audiences),
boycotts by consumers fed up with being called criminals, economic
downturns, and the massive reduction of new titles that represents the
largest revenue stream for the recording industry.
I would be very interested to speak to you about this and other issues
relating to copyright reform. The Heritage committee that you are now a
member of has for far too long taken its direction from the industry
associations that see the Internet and other new media as a competitive
threat. These new media are empowering tools for creators and their
audiences, allowing them to skip many of the intermediaries that have
recently been stifling creativity.
The Heritage committee is acting as it if it still the 1980's, before
the Internet and other modern communications technology, and before the
debates in copyright radically changed.
I am curious if the NDP will be supporting Bill C-260 introduced by Mr.
Jean-Yves Roy (Haute-Gaspésie.La Mitis.Matane.Matapédia, BQ) which will
require actual debate in Canada before signing treaties. I suspect that
if the anti-Internet, anti-new media WIPO treaties had been brought to
adequate consultation that the harm it represents would have been
discussed. Instead these treaties have been rammed through by Broadcast
special economic interests who see the citizen-to-citizen aspects of the
Internet to be a threat to their media monopolies, and are (ab)using
exclusive rights as a way to derail this competitive threat.
I live and work in Ottawa, and can be available to you and/or your staff
at your convenience. Please also let me know any other members of the
Heritage committee that might be open to discussing views other than those
they have selectively solicited so far.
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
Code is Law: how software code regulates the activities of citizens,
and acts similar to law. How do we ensure transparency/accountability?
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