This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

Evidence of meeting #8 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 copyright.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Catharine Saxberg  Executive Director, Canadian Music Publishers Association
Victoria Shepherd  Executive Director, AVLA Audio-Video Licensing Agency Inc.
Mario Chenart  President of the Board, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec
Jean-Christian Céré  General Manager, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec
Sundeep Chauhan  Legal Counsel, AVLA Audio-Video Licensing Agency Inc.
Gerry McIntyre  Executive Director, Canadian Educational Resources Council
Greg Nordal  President and Chief Executive Officer, Nelson Education, Canadian Educational Resources Council
Jacqueline Hushion  Executive Director, External Relations, Legal and Government Affairs, Canadian Publishers' Council
David Swail  President and Chief Executive Officer, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, Canadian Publishers' Council
Mary Hemmings  Chair, Copyright Committee, Canadian Association of Law Libraries

9:45 a.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Music Publishers Association

Catharine Saxberg

Well, as Ms. Shepherd has pointed out, they haven't paid for the music coming in the door. That music is provided to them for free.

Are you talking about the fact that they've paid for performance royalties?

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Yes, that's what they were arguing.

9:45 a.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Music Publishers Association

Catharine Saxberg

This goes back to the fundamental principles of copyright that have been globally held right back to the 19th century. There is a right of communication and a right of reproduction. Each of these rights has an individual value, and each of these rights is used differently. They pay for the performance of the music, on one hand, which is one use with one value. The right of reproduction is another use with another value.

They are not paying for the same thing twice; they are paying to do two separate functions, and they're paying for the ability to do each of those functions individually.

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Let me ask you about the Pirate Bay issue you raised. You mentioned that in Britain they're able to get injunctions. Is that what you're suggesting here? Or are you suggesting it in relation to notice to take down?

The difficulty of course with notice to take.... Actually, there are two things. You talked about people who are foreign operators as opposed to domestic.

9:50 a.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Music Publishers Association

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Are you suggesting that there be a distinction in how you treat them?

One of the worries I have is that you have a small player who is a user or whatever and who has put up something that is allegedly infringing. Maybe it is or it isn't; someone claims it's infringing. If you have notice to take down, the ISP has to take it down—period, that's it—rather than the person who's put it up having the chance to defend himself.

Arguably the ISP shouldn't have to be the arbiter of that. But you make a distinction between domestic and foreign in that regard. What's your comment?

9:50 a.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Music Publishers Association

Catharine Saxberg

Yes, we do make a distinction between foreign and domestic in this regard.

The technical amendment we are proposing is specifically for offshore sites. It's specifically for sites that are rampant pirates and being able to create injunctions that would block them from entering into Canada.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Good.

Mr. Chenart and Mr. Céré, do you prefer the Supreme Court of Canada's test in the CCH case, and would you like to see it in the bill?

9:50 a.m.

President of the Board, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

Mario Chenart

Do you know about it?

9:50 a.m.

General Manager, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

9:50 a.m.

President of the Board, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

Mario Chenart

I don't have the answer to your question.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

We were talking about the Berne Convention.

9:50 a.m.

President of the Board, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

Mario Chenart

Yes, I know all the work that was…

9:50 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

I'm sorry. We're well over time.

Thank you very much, Mr. Regan.

Now we'll move on to the second round, and Mr. Moore, for five minutes.

March 6th, 2012 / 9:50 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you, witnesses.

Mr. Chenart, you said that the Internet has shaken the industry. Yet we're in a time when Canadians and people worldwide are consuming more than ever.

We heard testimony yesterday about a famous Canadian star, Justin Bieber. There's a movie out about him. It's called Never Say Never. It chronicles his rise to fame, tied very closely to new technology, the Internet, to options that weren't available even 10 years ago.

How do you reconcile that? Are some people better than others at taking advantage of new technologies—the new formats, new ways to succeed?

It would be hard to argue that he is not a success. He's a great success, but his rise to fame was done in a very unconventional way.

Can you comment on that?

9:50 a.m.

President of the Board, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

Mario Chenart

I think that the new technologies make a lot of people a lot of money, including creators and producers and anyone who profits from the use that consumers make of the new technologies. In this case before us, the consumer continues to pay to have access to the material. The consumer pays money to buy a song directly in the store in the same way as he does to obtain a file. Today, when he logs on and accesses the songs, he pays, he always pays, but the money does not necessarily go to the artist.

In the case of Mr. Bieber, I am not familiar with the detailed list of the songwriters who write his material, but they are not the stars. It's Mr. Bieber who is famous. If I write songs for him at my home, what good does it do me that he is a star? If the songs are played on the radio, I am going to get royalties. If a song appears in a video, I am going to get royalties.

If people copy the files on the Internet, I get nothing. Someone makes a lot of money selling bandwidth, implying that the money does not go back to the creators.

9:50 a.m.

General Manager, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

Jean-Christian Céré

I would like to add that you have to distinguish between stardom and compensation. It is true that there are people profiting from the fact that the physical distributor is no longer an obstacle. Now, with YouTube at our fingertips, it is true that people can take advantage of it. They do so to get a degree of stardom, but it is fleeting. One day, those people are going to want to be compensated for continuing. If not, they will give up. So if they want to be compensated, a compensation system must be put in place. Otherwise, they may be stars, but they are starving ones.

The copyright system that has been set up for a long time includes public performance and mechanical reproduction. We must not let the platform, the Internet in this case, cause established principles to be changed. Those established principles must be applied to this new platform, this new way of distributing music.

9:55 a.m.

President of the Board, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

Mario Chenart

In the same way, if Mr. Bieber does commercials for Coca-Cola or if he is able to sell out his shows for $100,000 in huge arenas, it changes nothing for the songwriter. The singer gets the money at that point.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

I think he's doing okay. I read yesterday that he bought a house for $12 million, or something, so he's one success story.

Ms. Saxberg, we've heard testimony that there is a great need for change in Canada. We on this side of the House believe that we have to update copyright. Most of the people who have appeared as witnesses have said we absolutely need to do this. We need to bring Canada into the 21st century. However, they had a few technical amendments. It illustrates that we're trying to strike a very strong balance. That's the goal of the government.

You mentioned that copyright is only as strong as its weakest link. Right now among our partners internationally—our peers, if you will—is Canada the weakest link?

9:55 a.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Music Publishers Association

Catharine Saxberg

It's a great question, and I wish I had a really good answer for you. I don't, unfortunately, because copyright is such a complex thing. There's such a long list of components within any copyright act, and to say that this act is really good overall and this act is really bad....

I don't think Canada is the worst in copyright. If you asked me who was, I don't think I could say that a particular country was doing it worse than we are. There are countries that are stronger in some areas than we are, and we are stronger in other areas than other countries.

9:55 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Ms. Saxberg and Mr. Moore.

Mr. Dionne Labelle, the floor is yours for 5 minutes.

9:55 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle NDP Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

A number of groups representing rights holders have come before us to testify about the content of the bill and to tell us how it weakens the copyright protections that they are defending. We have been told about the removal of provision 6, which allowed the temporary recording exception to be broadened, an idea that is totally vague. We have also been told about the lack of precision in the 30-day exemption, and about what it is possible to do within that period. You have explained to us that it opens up the possibility for radio broadcasters to re-record the copies of the material that they already have in their hands. It also removes in perpetuity the need to pay mechanical rights that are part of the few additional rights that allow songwriters to continue to work.

What we have heard about that from the representatives of large radio station owners groups precisely confirms the fears you have expressed. Some have actually even wondered about the way in which they can make copies instead of paying a license fee. I imagine that kind of thinking makes you a bit hot under the collar.

9:55 a.m.

President of the Board, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

Mario Chenart

Getting back to Mr. McColeman's concern, we are in favour of prosperity for everyone; we simply want to participate in it. The rules that are in place ensure that all those whose works are involved in generating this prosperity get their share. The Copyright Board studies the value of everyone's contribution, establishes a right, and each party is invited to defend his point of view. The board does this work, and so it is strange that the government wants to intervene to eliminate something that is already in place, works well and has been validated by an administrative tribunal. The rules are clear and we would like them to stay that way.

9:55 a.m.

General Manager, Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec

Jean-Christian Céré

Music is the raw material of radio. When you tune in to a radio station, you often hear music, and that is the flagship product and raw material of radio.

Is paying less than 6% of one's revenue too much to obtain all of one's raw material? If tomorrow I open up a bakery or a pastry shop, or if I work in the automobile business or the pulp and paper industry, and if only 6% of my expenditures go to acquiring my raw material, I think I am going to have a very positive balance sheet.

And so we have to wonder what the value of music is. How can its value be quantified and how can some of what it generates be returned to those who created it?

10 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle NDP Rivière-du-Nord, QC

While listening to your testimony—yesterday I had the same impression while listening to the testimony of the writers' representatives—I got the impression that our creators, particularly Quebec creators insofar as we are concerned, have a greater need for these sums of money, which are small sums, but which, in total, allow them to...

How would you describe the situation of Quebec artists generally, as regards the collection of copyright fees, and the need to keep these small sums of money?