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Evidence of meeting #4 for Bill C-11 (41st Parliament, 1st Session) in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was radio.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Bill Skolnik  Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Federation of Musicians
Don Conway  President, Pineridge Broadcasting
Ian MacKay  President, Re:Sound Music Licensing Company
Aline Côté  President, Les Éditions Berger, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres
Jean Bouchard  Vice-President and General Manager, Groupe Modulo, Association nationale des éditeurs de livres
Cynthia Andrew  Policy Analyst, Ontario Public School Boards Association, Canadian School Boards Association
Michèle Clarke  Director, Government Relations and Policy Research, Public Affairs, Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Claude Brulé  Dean, Algonquin College, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Okay. How, then, does it follow—because in your presentation you seemed to suggest that on average artists are getting about $2,000 from this and that it helps with the recording time and.... What you're seeming to suggest to me is that the more popular you are, the more sales you make and the higher your revenue. To me this would seem to suggest that the more revenue you're making, the less support you're going to actually need.

So the $2,000 that you may be suggesting becomes a little less important. You almost seem to be suggesting to me that the entire music industry will collapse and go away if this is removed.

From reading some of the last testimony, I think it was Maïa Davies who said that she hadn't even heard of this. I think it was Loreena McKennitt who said it was maybe 1% of her income, that this portion of her income was very insignificant.

These are fairly well-known artists. How does it follow that the industry will collapse when the artists who are just starting out, such as Mr. Regan, have no real access to the funds that you're suggesting will force the industry to collapse and when it's actually the successful ones who need less and are getting more?

10:05 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Federation of Musicians

Bill Skolnik

Well, Loreena McKennitt is one of our members, and she does very well with live concerts. In fact, she doesn't have to do clubs anymore, so she's reached a certain echelon. The people I'm talking about are not the feature performers; I'm talking about the people who play for the feature performers.

By the way, all this discussion about reproduction is about a mechanical royalty in which musicians don't share in any way. Mechanical royalty is for the publishers and the creators. It doesn't even go to players. Players get neighbouring rights and they get private copying.

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

So it stands to reason that the industry will not collapse and musicians will not stop performing, as you're suggesting.

I'm sure somebody will follow up on this.

For Mr. MacKay—

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Could you let them answer that question?

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

I only have 30 seconds left and I want to get to Mr. MacKay.

Mr. MacKay, you talked about unleashing some funds that you haven't been able to release. Why have you not been able to do that on your own? Why do you need a technical amendment?

10:10 a.m.

President, Re:Sound Music Licensing Company

Ian MacKay

We haven't been able to do it on our own because there aren't any rules in the Copyright Act that set out how we can do it. In every other regime in the Copyright Act those rules exist, and the ability of the Copyright Board to set regulations exists.

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

How much is it?

10:10 a.m.

President, Re:Sound Music Licensing Company

Ian MacKay

It's millions of dollars. Basically, if we can't locate 5% of the rights-holders each year, it just grows from year to year. It becomes a bigger and bigger problem.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Mr. Calandra and witnesses.

We're now moving on to the next five minutes of questioning, with Mr. Cash.

February 28th, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.

This panel is very close to my background. I'll fully disclose that I'm a member of the Canadian Federation of Musicians, so when the government tells us that we're following cues from our union bosses, I suppose this is my union boss, and I can confirm that I've never spoken to him in my life, especially around things that we vote on in the House.

I do want to underline something that I think is very troubling. Here we have, essentially, representatives of small businesses—musicians really are—and here we have a representative of a small radio station, and we are trying to make them beat each other up over very small amounts of money. In fact, I'd argue that Mr. Conway's representation here does not really represent the shape of broadcasting in Canada. In fact, he's a small player in a very large business, and his issues are actually different from the majority of radio.

That said, I wanted to ask you, Mr. Conway, when you talk about having to make copies every 30 days, why would you have to do that?

10:10 a.m.

President, Pineridge Broadcasting

Don Conway

As I understand it, that was in the bill.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Well, there is an alternative to making copies every 30 days, no?

10:10 a.m.

President, Pineridge Broadcasting

Don Conway

To keep paying when we don't need multiple copies.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Not necessarily to keep paying, but to actually pay for the licence.

10:10 a.m.

President, Pineridge Broadcasting

Don Conway

To make multiple copies.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

To make a copy, to retain—

10:10 a.m.

President, Pineridge Broadcasting

Don Conway

Yes, we pay the download fee, right? We didn't have to before, but now we do.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

What I'm asking you is, do you not have an alternative to what you're describing as an incredibly onerous process? We can leave that aside, because that sounds a little odd too, that you'd have to make copies of 3,000 songs in real time.

10:10 a.m.

President, Pineridge Broadcasting

Don Conway

That's what the bill says, sir. That's all.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

I don't see that in there. Is there not an alternative? You could seek to go to the rights-holders and get a licence. Why wouldn't you do that? What is the issue here?

What you're saying is that rather than pay the licence, you're going to make copies every 30 days. I just want to be clear. Is that what you're saying you are going to do if things remain they way they are in C-11, that every 30 days you're going to make a copy...?

10:10 a.m.

President, Pineridge Broadcasting

Don Conway

Ultimately, if you pass this bill, that's what I would have to do, because as I understand the bill, and I am—

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

On a point of order, it's an important clarification that the 30 days is not in the bill; it's actually in the existing act. It's probably helpful to the conversation.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Mr. Lake.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Okay, just a clarification here....

10:10 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Yes, we'll stop the time. Time is stopped.