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Canada takes another shot at amending copyright law

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Balancing the complexities of copyright, maintaining fairness to the holder – all while staying ahead of the ever changing advancements in the era of technology, is the task faced by the Canadian government. Back at the round table, lawmakers are rehashing the balancing act. Present law sets a maximum penalty for private infringements of copyright at C$20,000 per infringement. New legislation would reduce that maximum to C$500. Commercial pirating would continue to face severe liabilities in corporate lawsuits and be subject to criminal prosecution, with penalties of up to five years in prison.

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government, struggling to stay ahead of fast-moving technological developments, will launch consultations next week to help it craft new copyright legislation.

The U.S. Trade Representative fingered Canada in April, putting it on its priority watch list because of growing concerns about what it sees as weak protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

There is always a struggle between pleasing copyright holders and users, a balance that tries to recognize the modern reality of an increasingly tech-savvy population while not eliminating ownership rights protection for companies and artists.

Excerpts provided by Yahoo News

The fact is, in the words of Harvard Entertainment law professor Lawrence Lessig, copyright law is broken, and no amendment will fix the fact that society has changed not only the way it views infringement, but uses intellectual property as a form of expression, and copyright law needs to reflect that.

To learn more about what’s really going on with Canadian copyright and find our what you can do, visit Michael Geist, Canadian advocate for copyrigh reform.

Metric Reaps Their Success Independantly

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Metric has finally released their first album in four years! Not only did they release it without a record label, but their new release named “Fantasies” rose to the middle of the U.S. pop chart. Metric managed to rake in an enormous amount on iTunes, also tapping into Canadian arts funding grants.

Since its release on March 31st, the new album has sold 9,000 digital downloads in the U.S.  In the music industry these sales may not seem like much, but take into account the 15,000 downloads the band’s co-manager said was sold internationally, these numbers indicate the success of this album. Thanks to iTunes, and sales on the bands own website, Metric has already grossed more than it did on the band’s 2005′s “Live It Out”, which sold more than 45,000 copies.

Metric is learning from Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. The members of Metric, and their co-manager, figure they could never offer their fans an album at 13-15 dollars per unit if they had released it while being backed by a record label.  If they had produced their album through a record label, they would have made 22 cents per dollar, rather than seeing the 77 cent per dollar profit they see now.

Metric’s album release was handled by Redeye Distribution. The firm’s director of marketing, Josh Wittman, said the band sold somewhere around 3,000 physical CDs in the US the first day!  Metric is a band with a fire in it’s belly, and definitely is paving the way for other Canadian artists much like them by showing how with dedication and the right assistane, you don’t need to be tied down to big corporations to turn a profit.

www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-music16-2009apr16,0,7581416.story