Mr. Speaker, Canadian radio and television broadcasters gathered in Edmonton last week to discuss issues like exploding competition from U.S. services and the Internet, responsibilities to their communities and how they can continue to be the primary source of entertainment and information programming Canadians want.
One of the areas of real frustration was copyright Bill C-32. Broadcasters recognize the work done by many members of the House in limiting the damage of neighbouring rights, but they are taken aback that promised time shifting and transfer exceptions are not in the bill. Broadcasters need these exceptions so they can replay live programming at more convenient times and generally operate their stations efficiently.
Like all members in this House, I am sensitive to the need to respect property rights, but we also have to be sensible. Broadcasters pay more than $50 million a year to rights holders, authors, composers and publishers, to broadcast their music. They pay millions more when they record music for programs that are exported and used for many years. It is neither practical nor fair to expect broadcasters to pay more money to these same rights holders when they cover local church services and community parades, or time shift concerts or skating championships so Canadians across the country can watch them at times convenient to them.