Record industry charges for dancing and Canada allows it

The Copyright board of Canada has certified new tariffs that apply to music at events; like weddings.  It is called “Re:Sound”  Now I am getting married soon so I am keenly aware of the rubbish that SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) already pull.  Apparently though the record labels don’t get enough money so they decided to screw Canadians in the ass just a little more; and they must be lobbying like mother-fuckers since the government has okayed this.  Re:Sound claims to be dedicated to obtaining “fair compensation for artists and record companies” but I suspect the emphasis is on record companies.

Now here’s why I am pissed off.  First, I already own the music.  I bought the CDs and put the songs on my own iPod.  Both of which included special “fees” to make sure that everyone who was involved got paid. I should be able to listen to them when I want, where I want.  I am not making money from listening to them, I don’t sell ads against them,  I’m not a radio station. If artists are upset by how little money they make for their music, then they should negotiate a better deal or find a different business model. For example many bands choose to circumnavigate record labels and sell their songs online.

Secondly I am already paying a SOCAN fee to play music I already own at my wedding.  I have friends who are musicians and I know how hard they work,  and I want to support them, but what other job has a long-tail payment where you keep getting paid over and over for work you did years ago.  I think in cases like Radio or TV where someone is making money from the music then yes, by all means charge a fee, but at a wedding? And they want to charge double if people dance.

Ya, you read that correctly.  Double if the guests dance.

“For weddings, receptions, conventions, assemblies and fashion shows, the fee is $9.25 per day if fewer than 100 people are present and goes up to $39.33 for crowds of more than 500 people. If there’s dancing, the fees double.”

“Recorded music is a vital part of the business model for many live events and, indeed, it is impossible to imagine a fashion show, festival, parade or karaoke bar without music,” Re:Sound’s director of licensing, Martin Gangnier, said in a statement.

What other industry charges you more money for something you already paid for?  To extend this fucked up business model, a copy of Microsoft Office would cost you say$200.  But if you produced a PowerPoint presentation and showed it to less than 10 people it would cost you an additional $9.25, if it was more than 10 it would be $39.33, and if they enjoyed it and clapped at the end it would be double.  Sorry TED, looks like you owe a lot of money….

Or how about this.  I am a painter, like any musician I produce works of art.  If I sell you a painting for your home, it is $1,000 but if you want to hang it in a public space there is an ongoing fee of $9.25 per day.  I know you already purchased it, but I need the ongoing revenue. If the foot traffic is more than 10 people an hour the fees double.  Since both sound and light travel in waves, and the enjoyment is temporal I can see no reason why I shouldn’t be able to file a visual artists tariff, and give the money to galleries and artists.

It boggles the mind.

If you are as outraged as I am,  you can write to the Copyright board of Canada here


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