Canadian Songwriters Propose Music Sharing Plan

The Songwriters Association of Canada revealed a proposal on Thursday that would see every Canadian's monthly Internet bill increase by $5 in exchange for the ability to download as many "illegal" music files as they choose. The SAC says its proposal, which would require federal approval, would wipe out the need for music-selling Web sites such as iTunes.ca and PureTracks.ca, making it legal for one person to share a music CD with as many people as he or she might wish.

"That's a very reasonable amount of money to legally, without fear of any legal repercussions, to be able to download that and share it with [whomever] you want to and as many times as you want," said Eddie Schwartz, president of the songwriters' group. "On iTunes to download one album, it's $10. This is half of that and this is pretty reasonable to have access to the entire repertoire of Western music."

The organization will gather at Toronto's Ryerson University to launch the initiative and demand an immediate amendment to the Canadian Copyright Act that would establish a new right, called the Right to Equitable Reenumeration for Music File Sharing. The amendment would allow the songwriters to begin collecting fees from Canadian Internet subscribers. Mr. Schwartz said the proposal was created at the request of federal politicians who are reviewing Canada's Copyright Act. The proposed fees could see the songwriters' association, a lobby group that represents Canada's music composers and lyricists, collect between $500-million and $900-million annually.

View: SAC Proposal

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This is about as stupid as the EU trying to rob Microsoft...again.

Canadians who live law-abiding lives already have to pay levies on media. Now they expect us to pay an illegal song tax when some of us actually still buy CDs and choose not to steal online? Good luck with that. How about we go the old fashioned route and punish the criminals who think stealing online is ok because they live in Canada?

You're right on the fact that it's the distributors that get the money normally but in the Title it's the songwriters that propose that so if they can get the money they want from that, it's a good start.

For the laws in Canada. The tax on the blank media is for backup purposes only. Downloading illegally music to burn it is not included in the things that tax allow you to do. For the downloading part: In Canada you can download anything without having problem with the law but you can't upload NOTHING copyrighted. For the majority of people downloading files on P2P, they upload at the same time they download a file. So in that case Canadian people are doing something illegal.

Last, the CRIA, Canadian copy of RIAA, is more active from 2 years ago. For example they had shutdown the Demonoid in Canada. If Internet Users refuse to pay a tax for downloading illegally, the CRIA will propably doing the same thing as RIAA do in USA. So a tax of 5$/month is less than losing a court battle and having to pay thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The biggest issue is that in the past this kind of fee doesn't actually go to the artists themselves. Traditionally it goes the RIAA mafia type companies which only sends pennies on the dollar to the actual writers, performers, and singers of the songs. If this doesn't address this, I will continue to boycott all studio monopoly released music in favor of paying for band CDs at concerts and ordering CDs and songs directly from the artists on their own websites.

This is not fair to a large number of users. My mother-in-law has a 5 hour/month Internet dial-up plan - she can't even get high-speed access. She wouldn't know how to access if she wanted to and basically turns on the computer to check email every few weeks if she remembers. The access is more for when the relatives visit from out of town and need to check on email.

This law should not pass. It would increase her Internet access fees significantly for absolutely no gain for her.

(ewilts said @ #10)
This is not fair to a large number of users. My mother-in-law has a 5 hour/month Internet dial-up plan - she can't even get high-speed access. She wouldn't know how to access if she wanted to and basically turns on the computer to check email every few weeks if she remembers. The access is more for when the relatives visit from out of town and need to check on email.

This law should not pass. It would increase her Internet access fees significantly for absolutely no gain for her.

Please tell me you are joking with this comment...
Get with the times, we are all paying for @#$% we don't use and don't want.

Welcome to the World, population 6.6 billion.

-Rob, from Canada

Well, we already can download music legally in Canada thanks to the blank media tariff and the Supreme Court, so this is just the next step in the industry's continued attempt at getting more money out of us since their last attempt at a second tax failed last year.

If they spent half the money on exploring, exploiting, and embracing the new media that they did lobbying government for free money from the tax payers, they wouldn't even need this extra tax.

I think it's time to let the music industry die. If you can't adapt, you will become extinct.

Gotta give them credit! This isn't that bad of an idea, I mean come on, they have to get SOMETHING for the illegal music downloads. At least they ain't threatening like that US of A.

As said above, we already pay levys for blank cd's / dvd's, hardrives, music players, ect ect... soo.. No thank you, i already enjoy downloading unlimted music legally in Canada.

Oops! Just because we pay a levy that doesn't mean stealing is legal.

Check your facts before posting in the future.

What does the RIAA think about this?, oh it's okay for Canadians too download from Non Canadian Musicians, but US Residents and other country residents would have the RIAA and similar agencies after them !

BLAME CANADA! / BLAME CANADA! / BLAME CANADA! - As they say in Southpark!

I think this any levy or fee going towards musicians or copyright holders is plain b*llsh*t, Canadians already pay a levy on blank CD's & DVD's.

You know what? I love this idea.
How do you think internet is expensive in Canada? You can get high speed light (512k) for $11 bucks a month - dialup in some places is more expensive and 30k/sec downloads is pretty good for most.

Sounds like a good idea, in theory. But then what about the people who want to go online but don't pirate music? If less than 50% of internet users actually pirate music, then half of online Canadians are paying for the other half to have unlimited music. That can hardly be fair.

It's like the tax that record labels want to put on all music players. It doesn't matter if those music players never play any songs from those record labels, they'll still get music because it can play their music. It's just insane.

Do TV owners have to pay a fee because their TVs have the ability to play pirates movies and TV shows? No. Do all computer ownders have to pay a fee because their computers can pirate media? No. People shouldn't have to pay for what they're not doing. If someone commits a crime, let that person pay for it, not the general public.

(thenewbf said @ #1)
Sounds like a good idea, in theory. But then what about the people who want to go online but don't pirate music? If less than 50% of internet users actually pirate music, then half of online Canadians are paying for the other half to have unlimited music. That can hardly be fair.

I think you've just described Canada's healthcare system.

What an awesome idea. $5 is nothing to legalize all music file sharing. Question is, how will they ensure people share ONLY music and why would people agree to this if there were no consequences before for music file-sharing ANYWAY. That's what's bothering me a little. Even though it's illegal right now, nobody gets in trouble for it at all. So, this $5 law will only legalize the act, but not give any benefit to anyone aside from not having to feel guilty about doing something "illegal". Nevertheless, a step in the right direction. Now, if they did this for movies, tv shows and games - we would have one of the best countries in the world for copyright laws!