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Canada’s music publishing sector calls on Parliamentarians to implement copyright term extension under CUSMA ratification at House Industry and Trade committeesFeb 25 2020

OTTAWA, FEBRUARY 25, 2020 — Music Publishers Canada (MPC) is urging Parliamentarians to implement the extension of copyright term an extra 20 years to all works under Bill C-4, the CUSMA ratification bill, to ensure innovation, export potential and growth for small businesses.

“There is a pressing need to implement copyright term extension immediately, completely, and with no conditions,” MPC board member Jennifer Mitchell, president of Casablanca Media Publishing and Red Brick Songs, told the House of Commons Industry and Trade committees during their studies of C-4 this week.

“This will allow songwriters to succeed and small businesses to thrive. And it’s easy to do. These provisions already apply to some works under C-4. I, on behalf of Music Publishers Canada and the songwriters and composers that I work with, urge committee members to amend Bill C-4 to align Canada with its global trading partners by including all musical, literary, dramatic, and artistic works.”

Extending term critical to export revenues for Canadian SMEs

Music publishers — the business partners of songwriters — are innovators with strong export strategies that have allowed entrepreneurs in the sector to better compete internationally. Two-thirds of music publishers’ revenue now come from foreign sources — a dramatic change from 2005 when only 28 per cent was from these same foreign sources

CUSMA promises to bring Canada’s copyright term in line with our trading partners. This translates into more middle class jobs, reinvestments in the economy and for the music publishing sector, developing Canadian songwriters while scaling up and growing exports.

“This is why it is so critical to align with Canada’s global trading partners and ensure the term of copyright to life plus 70 years is implemented immediately rather than wait the 30 months allowable under CUSMA,” Mitchell says. “The government has already committed to extending term and there is no reason to wait.”

Modernized copyright regime central to government’s priorities

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s and Innovation, Science and Industry  Minister Navdeep Bains’ mandate letters outline goals to modernize the Copyright Act; implementing term extension without delay and with no conditions is one effective way to do this.

In an open letter, the Association des professionnels de l’édition musicale, Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency, Screen Composers Guild of Canada, Songwriters Association of Canada, SOCAN, Société Professionnelle des Auteurs et des Compositeurs du Québec and MPC, also call on MPs to modernize the Copyright Act. 

“A forward-looking, digitally attuned copyright regime will foster Canadian innovation, investment, and growth in a key economic sector for our great country,” the open letter says. “It is long past time for Canada to catch up to its international trading partners in this respect.”

For more information

Lisa Fiorilli
Music Publishers Canada