When Canadians are engaged in a national discussion on how to support our songwriters and creators in the digital age, that’s positive.
SOCAN has been engaged in this discussion for many years, and we applaud the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the ways we support Canadian Content adapt and evolve with the technology Canadians use to access it.
Legislation has always been, and will always be, a complex exercise involving the balancing of many competing interests, and many credible points of view on a wide range of regulatory options.
Legislation that touches the lives of every Canadian, every day, will always be even more challenging.
Bill C-10 achieves the right balance by bringing digital media platforms that act like broadcasters under the umbrella of the CRTC, just like traditional broadcasters.
What Bill C-10 does not do is bring individual social media users under that umbrella, notwithstanding some inaccurate and reactionary headlines we have seen this week.
SOCAN believes that digital media platforms that act like broadcasters should make an equivalent contribution as traditional broadcasters when it comes to supporting and promoting Canadian music. This is long overdue.
SOCAN does not believe that individual Canadians who use social media platforms to stay connected with their friends and families should be subject to regulation. Full stop.
But the platforms they use should be, especially if their business model generates revenues from the use of copyrighted music.
SOCAN urges all parties to support C-10, to ensure that digital media platforms that generate many millions of dollars every year from the inspiration and artistry of Canadian creators give back to those creators in a predictable, transparent, and equitable manner, just as many other countries have done.
“Digital platforms, including social media, play a huge role in the discovery of music, but return three to five times lower royalties than traditional media,” said SOCAN’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Brown. “We don’t think that’s fair. A level playing field for all digital media is the right way to go.”