CFM Presents List of Copyright Reform Recommendations
On June 5, 2018, representatives of the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to outline recommendations for much needed amendments to the Copyright Act. The consultation follows a presentation made to the Heritage Committee on May 29th. In their statements Alan Willaert, Vice-President from Canada American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada and Eric Lefebvre of the Guilde Des Musiciens et Musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ - AFM/CFM Local 406) called on the committee to lay the foundation for regulatory and policy tools and provide the financial support needed to ensure that Canadian professional musicians thrive in the digital environment now and for the years ahead.
"Our government must respect the contributions of our creative communities, and the indelible mark that recording artists and professional musicians have made on our cultural identity," said Mr. Willaert. "The amendments we strongly urge the committee to adopt would increase revenue streams to musicians, create sustainable employment and help to preserve arts and culture in our country".
Among the list of recommendations, CFM identified changes to the definition of sound recording, eliminating the exemption for radio advertising, and expanding the definition of private copying to include new media devices to be its top priorities.
"Professional musicians are losing a significant part of their livelihood to streaming. Many can no longer support themselves solely through their music career and are living in poverty," added Mr. Lefebvre. "Changes to the Copyright Act are critical to the long-term success of all content creators in this digital, globalized world".
Singer-songwriter Damhnait Doyle, urges the committee to look at the issues on the table and make the amendments that will give the creative community the opportunity to make the choice to continue to be musicians in this country. "Throughout my 25 years as a long standing and proud member of Local 820 of the Musician's union, I have only seen the standard of living decrease for those of us who have chosen to make this our profession", said Ms. Doyle. "We are being hammered from every angle, from piracy to streaming, to being at the losing end of exemptions to broadcasters and losing our royalties for our work in film and TV because the definition of "sound recording" needing be redefined, while our American counterparts do get paid for their efforts. Meanwhile the cost of living is continually rising, and our middle class has been eviscerated".
ABOUT THE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS
The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) is the Canadian National office of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM). The CFM provides vital resources to Canadian musicians at all stages of their careers, on any platform, from live concert to recorded performance, broadcast and film scoring. The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is comprised of 200 Local offices across the United States and Canada, collectively representing a membership of approximately 80,000 professional musicians across the United States and Canada. The AFM/CFM has been working in the interests of U.S. and Canadian professional musicians for over120 years, as the representative of professional musicians in a broad range of collective bargaining and legislative actions.