[d@DCC] new CRIA head honcho...
leyton at fadingwaysmusic.com
Sat Sep 25 15:30:40 EDT 2004
know thy enemy...
October 02, 2004,
CRIA Names New President
By LARRY LEBLANC
When Graham Henderson takes over as president of the Canadian
Recording Industry Assn. Nov. 15, he will be at the forefront of an
industry grappling with the issues raised by the digital age.
Henderson, who is senior VP of business affairs and e-commerce for
Universal Music Canada, will replace Brian Robertson, who is stepping
down after three decades as CRIA president.
"I'm not retiring," Robertson says. "But 30 years here is long enough.
I have other things I want to do. I've been approached to do some
consulting, and I have a book offer."
Robertson, in fact, will stay on as a consultant to CRIA for six
months, with the title of chairman emeritus.
The 30 member companies of Toronto-based CRIA account for 90% of the
sound recordings sold in Canada. The trade association is governed by
a board of directors comprising the CEOs of its major-label members.
CRIA, which operates with 16 staffers, represents the Canadian
recording industry on the governing council of the International
Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
Before moving to Canada in 1967, Robertson worked in the marketing
division of London-based concert firm the Harold Holt Organization. In
1974, he shifted to CRIA (then called the Canadian Record
Manufacturers Assn.) as a consultant and became president later that
year. In 1975, Robertson was a driving force in the formation of the
Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the governing body of
the annual Juno Awards. He served as president of the academy from
1979 to 1983.
"Brian has always been a staunch supporter of Canadian music," Sony
Music Canada president Denise Donlon says. "[With CRIA], he has
traveled some very turbulent waters and has always conducted himself
Henderson joined Universal in 2000. Previously, he was a high-profile
entertainment lawyer working in the Toronto firms McCarthy Tétrault
and Stohn Henderson. He is married to Cowboy Junkies singer Margo
Henderson has a reputation for being a tenacious negotiator with a
thorough understanding of issues relating to e-commerce, copyright and
"At Universal, Graham has been fully engaged in trade issues," says
Randy Lennox, president/CEO of Universal Music Canada. "Now he can
play a bigger role. Given the myriad [issues] we face at CRIA, his
level of expertise is welcomed."
Brian Chater, president of the Canadian Independent Record Production
Assn., says, "Graham certainly knows the business. But this is not an
easy job. There's a stack of interests to consider and issues and
problems everywhere. It's a very different world than it was five
Henderson says, "CRIA is involved in so many fascinating issues. I
have functioned at different levels, and this is an opportunity to
serve the industry in a different way."
Among the chief issues facing CRIA is its appeal of a March 31 federal
court decision that downloading or uploading unauthorized music files
to the Internet does not constitute copyright infringement under
current Canadian law.
The ruling came after CRIA filed a motion against five Canadian
Internet service providers to force them to hand over the names and
addresses of 29 people who allegedly had shared a "high volume" of
songs through the Internet. In his ruling, Justice Konrad von
Finckenstein said CRIA did not prove that copyright infringement had
"I feel confident that our appeal is strong, credible and persuasive,"
Unlike the Recording Industry Assn. of America, CRIA decided two years
ago not to prosecute individual file sharers. Last year, it launched
the $1.5 million Value of Music campaign to educate Canadian consumers
that downloading unauthorized music from peer-to-peer services has
significantly affected the music business.
"The RIAA had started on litigation," Robertson says, "but we were
determined to see if there was another solution. It quickly became
apparent that some form of legal action was educational, in our view.
We limited [legal action] to high-end uploaders. We believe this
strategy will have some effect as long as it is part of an overall
The federal court's decision, however, also made it clear that the
Canadian Copyright Act must be updated to deal with online use.
As the new CRIA head, Henderson will continue to lobby the Minister of
Canadian Heritage, Liza Frulla, to push forward the May 12
recommendations of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. The
committee's "Interim Report on Copyright Reform" recommended that
legislation to overhaul the Canadian Copyright Act be introduced in
the House of Commons by November. The legislation includes provisions
for Canada's ratification of World Intellectual Property Organization
treaties dealing with copyright protection in the digital age.
"It's time this [issue] was put to bed," Henderson says.
He warns, however, that even with the changes, Canada's Copyright
Act "would still not be able to serve the needs of the business
He adds, "I have a good grasp in trying to shepherd in a Copyright Act
that meets the business community's and creators' needs."
Another important issue is CRIA's ongoing negotiations on behalf of
labels for a new mechanical licensing agreement with the Canadian
Musical Reproduction Rights Agency. The previous six-year agreement
expired Dec. 31, 2003, and was extended for a year.
CMRRA president David Basskin says, "We're trying to work out terms to
move to an all-electronic-licensing environment like they have in most
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