Songwriters’ Association of Canada proposes to legalize music file sharing

The Songwriters’ Association of Canada (SAC) has released a proposal to legalize music file sharing in the country (found via Michael Geist). They’ve proposed a new right – the Right to Equitable Remuneration for Music File Sharing – which would legalize noncommercial music file sharing by collecting a $5.00 license fee per internet subscription to be distributed amongst music creators based on file sharing patterns. This proposal would compliment the commercial distribution of music, whether through physical CD sales or through digital sales, and SAC claims it would render DRM (Digital Rights/Restrictions Management – i.e. copy protection) “obsolete”. The Canadian Music Creators Coalition (CMCC) is a co-signatory of the proposal.

The proposal recognizes that the technology is a blessing rather than a curse and attempts to meet the needs of both music listeners and music creators.

File sharing is both a revolution in music distribution and a very positive phenomenon. The volunteer efforts of millions of music fans creates a much greater choice of repertoire for consumers while allowing songs – both new and old, well known and obscure – to be heard.

All that’s needed to fulfill this revolution in distribution is a way for Creators and rights holders to be paid.

This is quite contrary to the Canadian Recording Industry Association’s (CRIA) calls for more draconian copyright measures. The CRIA is self-proclaimed “voice and guardian of the record industry in Canada,” but they are increasingly out of touch with Canadian artists, representing instead the foreign interests of multinational record corporations. Many major Canadian independent record labels have left the CRIA, and now both the CMCC and SAC stand in opposition to its beliefs.

I am proud to be a member of both the CMCC and SAC – thank you for truly representing the voice of Canadian artists and defending the rights of music creators and music listeners!