Shout out to TechDirt.com for reporting on this. The link to their article is below.
I’ve been shouting from the rooftops that there’s been a consistent effort on the part of The Bigs in the music business to gut copyright protections around the world. Here is what I think of as the most flagrant case out of Canada. TechDirt’s Mike Masnick did a fine job of writing the article. It’s a must-read here.
Quoting from TechDirt’s article: “Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper single-handedly extended copyright on sound recordings for 20 years by sticking it into a budget update, without any public discussion or concern about the fact that he was simply wiping out twenty years of use of works that the public had been promised…”
Why would the PM do that? What does he care?
What is clear is that The Bigs asked him to jump and he replied “How high, sirs?”
Why would The Bigs ask the PM to do that? Because a company rightfully took advantage of the laws, paid the proper mechanical licensing fees for public domain Beatles’ songs to the proper agency, made a boat load of CDs, distributed them throughout Canada where they sold like wildfire, and all The Bigs got for it was the mechanicals.
SLAM! POW! BOOM! BANG!
PM Harper is called and — using the force of Law but without the requisite input from citizenry — he proceeded to do as his masters directed. Following that, The Bigs stomp on the licensing agency and interfere with rightful business dealings of the distributor? Shame on them.
All this simply proves that Angela is correct, and this article is simply another nail in the coffin holding the remains of The Bigs.
But my reason for reporting is simple. I want to support songwriter’s rights to make a living with their intellectual property. Copyright is a big deal for songwriters. (Visit Content Creators Coalition.) Without it, our creations have no protections from theft, especially when placed with any company doing business with The Bigs, including music aggregators/digital distributors. (Read about that here.)
And to help songwriters collect proper documentation for ownership before they release their songs, I invented a software solution called MyDigitalCatalog.com.
So, read the book. Use protection. And keep your songs out of the hands of the major players.