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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