Canadian Independent Music Producers Urge Immediate Action on Copyright

    TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - "Independent Canadian producers are being
ignored in the ongoing debate on Copyright reform, as anti-reform groups try
to frame the discussion as the multinational interests versus Canadian
consumers," according to Duncan McKie, President of the Canadian Independent
Record Production Association, headquartered in Toronto. CIRPA represents the
interests of 160 members involved in the production and distribution of
musical recordings in Canada and around the world.
    "The independent domestic record industry in Canada has suffered severe
losses since 1999, and we cannot delay any longer in implementing reforms that
will allow us to develop new business models while transitioning our companies
to the digital economy," continued McKie.
    The independent music sector in Canada is responsible for about 20-25% of
all music sales in the country and almost 80% of the titles produced. The
"indies," as they are often called, produce a number of notable and successful
acts, including Patrick Watson (Justin Time/Secret City), this year's winner
of the POLARIS Music Prize, whose recent disk achieved Gold (50,000 sales) in
    "Investment in Canadian musical talent from domestic sources will
certainly decline unless we have a stable legal framework to develop our
companies and their artists' careers," noted Grant Dexter, President of
Maplecore Entertainment, whose artists include indie stars Kathleen Edwards,
Joel Plaskett, Martha Wainwright and Neverending White Lights. "We have seen
the effects already as the sale and licensing of recordings has been
significantly reduced due to unauthorized P2P filesharing without
    Despite occasional hard-won successes, pressure on revenue that is
largely due to illegal downloading has profoundly affected the independent
sector, which once could rely on income from recordings to finance artist
development. Without this income, not only the companies, but the artists they
produce and manage, suffer.
    As pressure on domestic sales increases, CIRPA has sought out other
digital markets. As recently as November of this year, the organization led 21
Canadian music companies on a trade mission to Japan which resulted in a
number of new export deals for Canadian artists and producers, and more trips
are planned. But the answer is not to abandon the Canadian music audience for
safer foreign markets like Japan.
    "Canadian music consumers will be ill-served if there is substantially
less Canadian content on the radio or available in our physical and digital
stores," Mr. McKie noted. "This seems a likely consequence if we continue to
procrastinate on domestic copyright legislation as a small group hijacks this
discussion, turning it into an anti-American rant, without ever having seen
the Bill."

For further information:

For further information: Duncan McKie, President, CIRPA, (416) 485-3152

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