House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The member for Fraser Valley East is now here.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I tabled earlier today with the table the request in which I did say at that time that the motions would be deemed moved and seconded. I put forward that they would be deemed moved and seconded and that is what we asked unanimous consent for.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I sense that there is agreement.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

moved:

Motion No. 26

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by replacing line 4 on page 41 with the following: a ) the copyright owner or that owner's representative authorizes its''

Motion No. 27

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by deleting lines 8 to 11 on page 41.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

moved:

Motion No. 28

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by replacing line 10 on page 41 with the following:

"after the six months, the programming under-"

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

moved:

Motion No. 29

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by replacing lines 14 to 16 on page 41 with the following:

"exceptional documentary character, the undertaking may deposit it in an archive and"

Motion No. 30

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by deleting lines 20 to 24 on page 41.

Motion No. 31

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by deleting lines 25 to 29 on page 41.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

moved:

Motion No. 32

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by replacing lines 25 to 29 on page 41 with the following:

"(8) This section does not apply where a collective society is authorized to grant a licence to the programming undertaking to make the fixation or reproduction of the performer's performance, work or sound recording."

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

moved:

Motion No. 33

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by a ) replacing line 33 on page 41 with the following:

"made by a broadcasting undertaking and" b ) replacing lines 39 and 40 on page 41 with the following:

"the broadcasting undertaking, as network is defined in that Act, or is an associate of the broadcasting undertaking, as associate is defined in the regulations to that Act for the purposes of the provisions governing ownership and control."

Motion No. 34

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by replacing lines 5 to 8 on page 42 with the following:

"(5) and" b ) within sixty days after the day on which the broadcasting undertaking first broadcasts the fixation or reproduction.''

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

moved:

Motion No. 35

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by replacing line 6 on page 42 with the following: b ) within six months after the day on which ''

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

moved:

Motion No. 36

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by adding after line 8 on page 42 the following:

"30.9 (1) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Act, there is deemed to have been no infringement of copyright where a broadcasting undertaking, within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act, on or after August 16, 1990, but before the coming into force of section 30.8, fixed or reproduced a performer's performance or work, other than a cinematographic work or sound recording, if the undertaking a ) was authorized to communicate the performer's performance, work or sound recording to the public by telecommunication; b ) made the fixation or the reproduction itself, for its own broadcasts; and c ) did not use the fixation or reproduction to promote a commercial product or service.

(2) For greater certainty, paragraph (1)( a ) applies in respect of any proceeding commenced on or after August 16, 1990, but not concluded before the coming into force of section 30.8, and paragraph (1)( b ) does not affect any proceeding commenced on or after August 16, 1990, but concluded before the coming into force of section 30.8, or any order made pursuant to that proceeding.''

Motion No. 37

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by adding after line 8 on page 42 the following:

"30.9 It is not an infringement of copyright for any broadcaster to reproduce any work, performer's performance or sound recording that it is legally entitled to broadcast solely for the purposes of transferring that work, performer's performance or sound recording to a technical format that is appropriate for the purposes of its broadcasts, provided that all such reproductions shall be destroyed immediately when the broadcaster ceases to be legally entitled to broadcast the work or other subject-matter.

30.10 (1) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Act, there is deemed to have been no infringement of copyright where a broadcaster, on or after August 16, 1990 but before the coming into force of section 30.9, reproduced any work, performer's performance or sound recording that it was legally entitled to broadcast solely for the purposes of transferring that work, performer's performance or sound recording to a technical format that was appropriate for the purposes of its broadcasts, provided that all such reproductions shall be destroyed immediately after the day section 30.9 comes into force where the broadcaster on or before that day ceases to be legally entitled to broadcast the work or other subject-matter.

(2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) a ) applies in respect of any proceeding commenced on or after August 16, 1990, but not concluded before the coming into force of section 30.8; and b ) does not affect any proceeding commenced on or after August 16, 1990, but concluded before the coming into force of section 30.8, or any order made pursuant to that proceeding.''

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

moved:

Motion No. 38

That Bill C-32, in Clause 18, be amended by adding after line 8 on page 42 the following:

"30.9 It is not an infringement of copyright for any broadcaster to a ) reproduce any work or other subject-matter that it is legally entitled to broadcast, where it does so for the purposes of transferring that work or other subject-matter to a technical format that is appropriate for the purposes of its broadcasts, providing that the reproduction:

(i) is essential for the compatibility of the broadcast medium,

(ii) is used solely to facilitate the day-to-day operations of the broadcaster, and

(iii) is, when the broadcaster ceases to be legally entitled to broadcast the work or other subject-matter, immediately destroyed by the broadcaster; or b ) make a single reproduction for backup purposes of any work or other subject-matter reproduced under paragraph ( a ), providing the reproduction for backup purposes is destroyed by the broadcaster immediately following the broadcast of the original subject-matter for which a backup was made.''

Copyright Act
Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

moved:

Motion No. 58

That Bill C-32, in Clause 62, be amended by adding after line 18 on page 96 the following:

"(3) Section 30.9 shall come into force on the coming into force of section 30.8."

Motion No. 59

That Bill C-32, in Clause 62, be amended by adding after line 18 on page 96 the following:

"(3) Section 30.10 shall come into force on the coming into force of section 30.9."

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to share with the House the reasons I am introducing amendments to Bill C-32. I appreciate the consideration that members will give the amendments and I am asking for the support of the House as I believe the amendments address a number of concerns expressed to me by local radio stations across Canada and, in particular, the radio station situated in Guelph-Wellington, CJOY-AM and MAGIC-FM.

I want to say from the start that I understand, appreciate and support the need for Canadian artists to be compensated for their work. We should all recognize their contribution. They deserve our encouragement.

Canadians are rightfully proud of their artists. We must recognize the artistic contribution of performers and sound recording producers.

This is an issue in which I have been involved for quite some time. I had the privilege of participating in the national Liberal caucus subcommittee on neighbouring rights, chaired by the hon. member for Essex-Kent. I have met in Kitchener with representatives of the broadcast industry and I hosted a meeting of the national Liberal caucus committee on economic development, which I chair, on April 17, 1996.

I represent the very proud community of Guelph-Wellington. Like many smaller communities, Guelph is served by a local radio station, a daily newspaper, the Guelph Mercury , weekly and bi-weekly newspapers like the Guelph Tribune , the Erin Advocate and the Wellington Advertiser , and a local cable company affiliate, Rogers, which has increased its coverage of local events.

We can and do listen to radio from Toronto, London or even parts of the United States, but we rely on our local AM and FM radio stations for weather, sports, entertainment and news which affects us locally.

I know, for example, that my family listens to CJOY or MAGIC to hear whether the school buses will be late in the event of a snowstorm. This is an important service which cannot be replaced should our radio station cease to operate. I can personally attest to the importance of this medium when I, as a member of Parliament, need to get a message across to my constituents.

The Minister of Finance recently visited Guelph. He was able to participate in a call-in show with my constituents because a radio station exists in my community. I am certain that most, if not all, members of Parliament know the value of a local radio station in their own communities.

Our radio station is a vital part of Guelph-Wellington. CJOY went on the air in 1948. That means it will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. CJOY and MAGIC not only broadcast music, news and weather, they participate in the life of Guelph-Wellington. The station provides airtime for the Guelph Little Theatre and for productions at War Memorial Hall at the University of Guelph. It has promoted the new Guelph Performing Arts Centre. It provides scholarships for the annual Kiwanis music festival.

There is no doubt that my community and hundreds like it would be lessened should they lose their radio stations.

This brings me to my concern. Total losses for private radio in 1993-94, for example, amounted to $28 million. The industry has been unprofitable since 1989-90. In fact, in the years between 1990 and 1994, radio lost $180 million in Canada. Many stations have continued in operation because they are cross-subsidized by more profitable stations in the same corporate family. That is one of the reasons I asked for some consideration for smaller and unprofitable stations in this legislation. To an extent the minister of heritage has agreed and I am pleased by that.

Radio is part of the daily life of listeners and remains the most intimate of media. Radio is often the primary source of local news. It has a low concentration of ownership with the five largest owners together owning only 19 per cent of all radio stations. Most important, radio is a vital source of influence in the purchase of music recordings in Canada.

Study after study indicates that radio promotes the sale of CDs, cassettes and videos. In 1993, for example, a Decima Research poll found that 51 per cent of teens who decided on their purchase before buying at a record store stated that the main influence on them was hearing the selection on the radio. Video ranked second at 25 per cent and word of mouth was third.

Studies continue to point in the same direction; that is, airplay on radio represents the single most important source of promotion for recordings and is the most influential factor on the decision to purchase a record, tape or CD. That is good news for our artists, sound producers and music authors.

Radio continues to introduce Canadians to new music. I do have a concern that without the amendments smaller unprofitable radio stations will begin to close across Canada. That means that there will be less performers being heard and less variety for Canadians. Does this really help anyone? I think the answer to that is clearly no.

The amendments I propose essentially deal with time shifting and transfer of format. Let me explain. The local Rogers Cable television station in Guelph, for example, records the annual Santa Claus parade. We all know that this taping is often replayed several times on the station. The bill presently allows Rogers to show the event without paying copyright charges for 30 days from the day the event was held. The amendments I am introducing will extend that period to 60 days, allowing Rogers to play the show at Christmas time or on Christmas day.

Transfer of format allows stations like CJOY to transfer music to its hard drive and back up without having to pay additional fees. Without this amendment, radio stations will pay three times to play one piece of music.

Other amendments allow radio stations to archive the recordings in their own system rather than force the station to archive in an official archive and would allow a network show to rebroadcast without the local station having to pay again for the right to play it.

I recognize the importance of rewarding the artistic contributions of our artists and the people who produce the recordings. I do not believe that the amendments take anything away from what they deserve. What the amendments do is protect local radio, help keep it alive and assist it in its important work at promoting Canadian talent.

I do not believe there is one member of Parliament who represents a community with a local radio station who can say that the community would be better off without that station. That is why I am asking for support of my amendments.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

5 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the amendments by the member from the Liberal Party who just spoke.

Our critic will elaborate a little more extensively on the one difference I would like to make which is that the exemption should be more than just 60 days. If radio is as important as the member has said, if radio does as much as it does in that riding of hers and allows the finance minister to spread his words of wisdom and myth in that community, then certainly the hon. member would want more than a 60 day exemption and the member would appreciate a six month exemption which our critic has recommended. I think that is about the only difference on this particular amendment that we would have.

There are a couple of other things I would like to say on this whole issue of broadcasting and radio. What the member failed to say in her speech is that radio is already paying rights to play the music, the rights to record and to delay broadcast and so on and it pays a hefty fee. I have had representations from radio stations in Calgary but obviously SOCAN is charging the music composers and now it wants to extend this and pay royalties to the performers and the record producers. I have a problem with this.

What the radio stations really do is in the process of paying for their right to play the music and to play the artist's production they are promoting the very artists who then are trying to increase, like a tax on the radio stations which makes it very difficult for radio stations to survive. It is not that lucrative, as some may think, and to raise their prices and to raise their costs to promote the very artists who now want more money from them is a problem.

The problem is if we look at performers, they get paid, they get money. The good ones go on to make big money. Record producers charge a hefty fee to get into that studio, to get into an area where they can put an artist on a CD, on a single or on an album. These people get paid for their services and they get paid handsomely for their services. Yet it is the radio stations that promote these artists and now these artists thank them very much by saying "we want to tax you more". This government is going to comply and go along with that. I do not think that is right. It is unacceptable.

The other thing this brings up is the possible conflict with our neighbour the United States. As we all know, Canadian radio stations do not just play Canadian artists. Canadian radio stations also play U.S artists. By making radio stations pay extra for the Canadian talent is going to put them at a disadvantage to their American counterparts who will not have this extra fee imposed on them. They have an association similar to Canada, similar to SOCAN, and they are not doing that.

It is also possible that we might be contravening some of the agreements and rules within the North American Free Trade Agreement with respect to the use of these extra funds by groups like SOCAN and where does that money go and are we then giving a special advantage or favour to the Canadian artists.

SOCAN, the collective which is apparently in charge of collecting the 3.2 per cent royalties from Canadian broadcasters, has an overhead of $19 million annually. This poses a reasonable question. How much of this additional levy imposed on Canadian broadcasters is going to end up in the hands of Canadians artists? The projected annual revenue of neighbouring rights is in the $12 million to $14 million range.

Another reasonable question is where is this additional levy imposed on Canadian broadcasters going to go. The artists tabled a report showing an administrative cost of collecting the neighbouring rights of $1.6 million to $1.8 million annually. This is not credible given the overhead of SOCAN performing a comparable function.

When this legislation was introduced in the spring of 1996 following consultations between the government and the industry a compromise had been reached whereby all radio stations with revenues under $1.25 million would be assessed an annual fee of $100. The neighbouring rights percentage would be applied per station on all revenues in excess of $1.2 million. These were to be phased in over a five year period.

The committee recommendations were that the bill required that a $100 basic royalty be applied to those stations with ad revenues under $1.25 million. Full royalty tariffs would apply to stations with ad revenues above that threshold. However, those stations above $1.25 million ad revenues originally were going to be granted a five year phase in.

These amendments have reduced that phase in period to three years. Sixty-five per cent of the radio stations come under $1.25 million ad revenue.

This reduction from five years to three years is in direct response to demands by artists and pressure from the Bloc Quebecois during committee hearings. Again, we feel the Liberals and the Bloc have worked to the advantage of a small group of Quebec artists at the expense of the users.

The heritage minister did not include ephemeral exemptions in the original legislation and now she is forced to further jeopardize

the industry's compromise in an attempt to get the co-operation of artists, composers and performers.

With respect to the aspects of this amendment, which we are supporting, I want to point out that in all cases what this bill is doing is trying to ensure that certain people get paid for their creativity.

The system we have now has been designed in such a way that the industry itself is supposed to take care of those people who create the product.

The industry itself should be ensuring, through the collection of the SOCAN fees on radio, on television, in entertainment theatres, et cetera, every place where their product is being played, that money gets to the artists.

The artists have, in conjunction with complaining all along, said that they do not get enough of the action from an album, that they do not get enough fees when they perform somewhere, that their agent takes away too much commission, that record producers charge too much, that the money is not distributed fairly, that there are too many layers of administrative red tape just like government. Then what have they done?

What we have to be careful of in this House is that we do not give in to their representations totally and willy-nilly without recognizing that the industry has a responsibility to these artists as well, not just government, not just the Copyright Act.

If these artists come to parliamentarians like us and say they are not getting enough money, and record producers and performers say they are not getting enough money, it is not the Copyright Act that is supposed to ensure that they get enough money. The Copyright Act already guarantees them that they get something for the creative product they have produced.

It is the industry itself that has a responsibility. Members should look into what publishing companies charge for their piece of the action when somebody composes a piece of music.

What do agents get when they represent certain entertainers, certain performers and certain Canadian artists? I know some Canadian artists. I used to book Canadian artists. I know what these people charge. I know what record producers charge to go in and cut an album in their studios.

They are getting paid. If these artists are being taken advantage of, it is not by the government and it is not by the laws of this country. The law in place is good enough to ensure they get paid.

It is the industry itself that should take a look at itself. The artists should be complaining to the industry and the whole layer of bureaucracy on how to get the money to them.

Alanis Morissette apparently has sold 20 million CDs around the world. At $20 each, that represents potentially $400 million. What do members think she gets out of that $400 million? Do the politicians here think she gets 10 per cent? Do politicians here think she has now made $40 million, that she has receivables of $40 million? No. She gets a lot less. She has generated that music. She has generated and made her value worth $400 million on CDs alone.

I will continue. We have some other amendments to continue and debate.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

5:10 p.m.

Restigouche—Chaleur
New Brunswick

Liberal

Guy Arseneault Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the debate has been going on all day.

We are now at Group No. 7 which has a number of amendments that deal basically with the ephemeral. It was well noted by the hon. member in opposition that when we first presented the bill in the House there was no ephemeral exception. Now we have that ephemeral exception which is before the House in the amendments the House is proposing.

There was some concern about whether networks and cable television would be involved with the ephemeral exception. They are under the same package. The government moved amendments in order to clarify that. It felt they were coming out of the amendments in December. We felt they were covered but the industry felt it needed some more reassurance that it was covered. That is why I think that in many cases the hon. member for Guelph-Wellington has withdrawn some of her amendments. With the input from caucus, with her input and the input of a number of others, that is why some of those amendments were made.

We also felt quite strongly that the transfer of format was probably in the bill. Due to requests from caucus members and members of the public who wanted that clarified, who wanted assurance, the government clarified that.

This section goes to the bill in a certain way especially for the Reform members who have been lobbying to have this done, but also for some of our members as well. Credit goes to all parties for the type of balance we have worked for.

It is also important to note that there is a balance. No matter what part of the bill is looked at, some feel we are leaning too far to the creator's side and others feel we are leaning too far to the user's side. We say that we have created a balance. We have taken some, we have given some, we have negotiated some. We have listened to the witnesses.

We listened to over 65 witnesses. We listened to the public and we read the briefs sent to us. We have reacted to them. We said all along that it was a complicated bill. No one would deny that.

In light of the spirit of co-operation we have had today and the type of debate we have had-it has been and continues to be a good debate-and in light of the importance of this bill to both the creators and the users who want to have this bill now and who want it clarified, I would like to move the following motion, pursuant to Standing Order 26(1):

Motion To Extend Hours Of Sitting
Government Orders

March 13th, 1997 / 5:15 p.m.

Restigouche—Chaleur
New Brunswick

Liberal

Guy Arseneault Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That, this House continue to sit today beyond the ordinary hour of daily of adjournment for the purpose of concluding the report stage consideration of Bill C-32, an act to amend the Copyright Act.

And fewer than 15 members having risen: