ACTRA, AFM CANADA URGE MP'S TO SUPPORT PRIVATE COPYING BILL

Toronto – Canadian performers are urging all MP's to support a private member’s bill which would expand the current private copying levy to ensure musicians are fairly paid for their work. 

Bill C-499, introduced today by the NDP’s Digital Issues critic Charlie Angus, updates the current law ensuring recording artists continue to be compensated for their work while making it clear that Canadians are legally able to make copies of musical works for private use.

“Bill C-499 brings much-needed balance to our out-of-date copyright laws. It allows Canadians to enjoy music when and how they want while ensuring that artists get paid regardless of how technology develops,” said Stephen Waddell, ACTRA National Executive Director.  

Last revised in 1997, the Copyright Act specifies that the private copying levy – which compensates rights holders when Canadians make copies of their work for personal use – only applies to blank media like audio cassettes, Mini-Discs and CD-Rs.  Angus’s private member’s bill updates the Act by ensuring the private copying levy applies to all technologies that are ordinarily used by Canadians for private copying.

“The private copying levy has put over $180 million in the pockets of over 97,000 composers, musicians and other rights holders. But with very few people still using audio cassettes and blank CDs, the money flowing to artists from the levy is heading for extinction. Without this important change to the private copying levy, many recording musicians and writers will not be able to continue their careers,” said Bill Skolnik, Vice President from Canada, American Federation of Musicians (AFM).

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

AFM Canada is a complementary yet independent office of the American Federation of Musicians, United States and Canada and is uniquely positioned to address Canadian issues for its Canadian membership.  It is the leading professional organization of its kind available to Canadian musicians and represents over 17,000 professional musicians in Canada.

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For more information:
Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer
(416) 644-1519, ctaverner@actra.ca, cell: (416)768-3336

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