Thursday, December 06, 2007

Canadia Songwriters want to tap commercial potentional of P2P

Via Michael Holloway on the ORG list, the Songwriters Association of Canada are proposing to put in place a system to enable them to be compensated for the distribution of their works on peer to peer networks.

"We propose an amendment to the Copyright Act which would establish a new right: The Right to Equitable Remuneration for Music File Sharing.

4. We define Music File Sharing as the sharing of a copy of a copyrighted musical work without motive of financial gain.

Since the new right is limited to activities that take place without motive of financial gain, parties who receive compensation for file sharing would not be covered by this right. Therefore, this new right is distinct from rights licensed by legal music sites like iTunes and PureTracks.

5. The new right would make it legal to share music between two or more parties, whether over Peer to Peer networks, wireless networks, email, CD, DVD, hard drives etc. Distinct from private copying, this new right would authorize the sharing of music with other individuals.

6. In exchange for this sharing of their work, Creators and rights holders would be entitled to receive a monthly license fee from each internet and wireless account in Canada.

7. We propose a licence fee of $5.00 per internet subscription, per month. Payment of this fee would remove the stigma of illegality from file sharing. In addition, it would represent excellent value to the consumer, since this fee would grant access to the majority of the world’s repertoire of music. Existing download subscription services generally charge considerably more than $5.00 per month, while offering a mere fraction of the file-sharing repertoire."

Interestingly they go on to say that although they are not opposed to TPM/DRM and laws against circumvention (Canada are just about to pass their very own version of the the DMCA and EUCD), they believe their proposal makes DRM obsolete. In addition

"Given the consumer aversion to TPM’s, we believe their use will inhibit the success of recordings in which they are embedded, and they will simply fall out of use."

Nice to see them thinking about using rather than banning p2ps but the sticking point might well be the $5 per month on every account. All the usual economic arguments about levies supporting special commercial interests come into play but it is progress. As with the webcasting levies the devil would be in the detail, though the proposal is probably too late to have any effect on the Canadian government's deployment of their very own DMCA.

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