Welcome, everybody, to meeting number 122 of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology as we continue our five-year legislated review of the Copyright Act.
With us today we have some interesting folks. From Audio Cine Films, we have Jean-François Cormier, President, and Hugo Desrosiers, Vice-President. From Border Broadcasters, Inc., we have Francis Schiller, First Director, Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. From Music Canada, we have Graham Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer. From the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, or ACTRA for short—I prefer the shorter name—we have with us Laurie McAllister, Director, Performers' Rights Society and Recording Artists' Collecting Society, and Elliott Anderson, Director, Public Policy and Communications, National.
You will each have up to seven minutes. We are running a little bit behind, so we're going to get started right away.
We're going to start off with Audio Cine Films.
Mr. Cormier, you have seven minutes.
My name is Jean-François Cormier. I am from ACF in Montreal.
We're basically a non-theatrical rights representative for Canada, meaning that we manage public performances for major studios and films. Our role is to make sure that public performance licences are issued for all types of public performances using basically commercially available movies. We've been in business since 1966. We've been operating across Canada for about 30 years, and we operate in basically any and all types of public institutions, private business, and government. Any type of public performance of a movie, in a park, in a school, in a library—anywhere, basically—has to be licensed with us since we're the rights representatives for specific studios and the films they represent.
An example of what we do is that movies in the park in municipalities during the summer have to be licensed. We also license public libraries for film events they might have for small or large groups. We license school boards and schools for leisure movie presentations. We license the Alberta legislature. They want to show movies in one of their buildings, so we license all across the board.
It's pretty straightforward. We have a set number of studios and films we represent, and our licensing is for those. We have about eight or nine employees, and a lot of our revenues and licences previous to the last copyright changes were from educational institutions, colleges, and universities that paid a licensing fee in order to present commercially available movies, classics, and new films, either in film classes or any type of class that might use film.
Obviously, the new changes affected us in a very negative way. Probably up to 35% to 40% of our sales and overall revenues were affected, because right off the bat, any type of presentation that occurred for educational purposes in schools, colleges, or universities no longer required a licence.
What we found over the last five years is that definitions that were in the last Copyright Act were general. They weren't nailed down, so educational presentation is used in various situations. In classrooms for curriculum needs, it's clear and it's acceptable, but in all sorts of other situations, we find that there's a lot of—from our perspective—abuse. For example, in a school, Friday night movie night with families and kids at 7:00 p.m., for them it will be an educational presentation because they're using a culturally significant film, I don't know, like Toy Story or something. To us, it's not an educational presentation; it's a leisure presentation. We have to fight a lot of these types of situations. We're a small company, and we don't always have the time or energy to make sure everything is respected across the board.
Over the last five years, we've spent most of our time trying to police those types of situations as best we can. We don't have any difficulties with any other types of situations—public performances in any other type of organization aside from schools—but we found that in schools, there are a lot of grey zones, and we tend to be on the losing side of the argument when it comes to grey zones.
Hugo, is there anything else you want to add?
Mr. Chair, vice-chairs, committee members, clerk, and committee staff, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today as part of the statutory review of the Copyright Act.
My name is Frank Schiller. I am here as a Canadian adviser to Border Broadcasters, Inc., the not-for-profit copyright collective that represents 26 over-the-air American television stations, including ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox affiliates.
Local and distant digital broadcast signals and programming from these TV stations are appropriated and imported into Canada, packaged in channel bundles, and then sold to pay TV subscribers in all markets across Canada. Cross-border television broadcasting reflects our common values, our shared communities of interest, and programming diversity. From modern digital broadcasting infrastructure to local news, weather, sports, and entertainment programming, as well as emergency alerts, local TV brings us together.
Since the dawn of television, local U.S. border stations have had a distinguished legacy of strengthening and deepening the relationship between Canada and the United States. Canada has been importing U.S. television signals and programming for over 40 years. This has been happening without notice, consultation, consent, or compensation for the U.S. station owners in the Canadian listing and licensing process.
I am seeking your committee’s support on two fronts today: first, your support for fair treatment and full compensation for U.S. border stations in Canadian local and distant signal retransmission practices, including under copyright; and second, your support to modernize the cross-border retransmission right provisions under the existing Canada-U.S. trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement and/or the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement.
Your committee's review of copyright is timely. The related issues go back to the retransmission rights provisions first set out in article 2006 of the Canada-U.S. FTA. At the time, there was no compensation consistent with the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act for American stations subject to cable retransmission in Canada. The intent was to bring equitable and non-discriminatory retransmission remuneration to accommodate U.S. border stations and program owners. Since then, there have been significant technological changes, including the switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, as well as important regulatory developments, including a retransmission consent regime that was adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1992. This was followed in 2008 by the end of the advertising-only business model for local TV broadcasting.
Canadian laws and regulations encourage Canadian TV services to take and appropriate without consultation, consent, or compensation the signals and programming of U.S. border stations. After 30 years of administration, U.S. TV stations are still waiting for equitable and non-discriminatory treatment in Canada. Canada does not require reporting, auditing, or notification provisions when Canadian distributors are licensed to package and sell listed American digital signals and programming to Canadian TV subscribers. As a result, U.S. stations cannot reasonably determine where and when their digital broadcast signals and programming are being sold to Canadian TV subscribers.
Canada accepts inaccurate data for Canadian viewership of retransmitted American TV services. This causes economic injury to U.S. station owners. For example, in 2010, TV viewing measures changed in Canada, with under-representation of U.S. border stations. At the same time, Canada changed its distant signal distribution regulations linking the distribution of distant U.S. signals to all Canadian distant signals. The immediate impact of these changes was a significant under-reporting of Canadian viewership of U.S. TV stations. Consequently, copyright allocations to U.S. border stations were retroactively reduced by over 64%. At the time, this resulted in an unfair liability of $7.4 million against Border Broadcasters, Inc.
Moving forward, remission of the copyright liabilities for border broadcasters is essential for fair trade. It's notable that local U.S. TV border stations receive no copyright remuneration for local retransmissions. This needs to be corrected moving forward.
Canada also permitted the retransmission of sets of digital HD signals from U.S. stations beginning in 2000. However, Canada did not begin to update the definitions of local digital signals and distant digitals for copyright remuneration purposes until 2013. The Canadian copyright system is not providing for equitable and non-discriminatory treatment of U.S. stations.
Modernizing our trade arrangements now will result in win-win outcomes, including for Canadian viewers, and an ongoing cross-border legacy that will continue to strengthen Canada and U.S. relations.
New commercial revenues from consent rights in Canada’s listing and licensing processes, in addition to equitable and non-discriminatory remuneration opportunities, will benefit local Canadian television.
Canada should support the retransmission consent annex to the cross-border services chapter as proposed in NAFTA 2.0 negotiations currently. This will rebalance and correct the unfair existing practices while supporting a vibrant and sustainable domestic market into the future. Television broadcasting is part of the digital envelope. The U.S. experience confirms that local stations are profitable and they reinvest retransmission consent revenues in local digital broadcasting infrastructure as well as expanded local news offerings.
Recent U.S. studies highlight that in most small and medium-sized markets, local TV stations are the primary source for local news online. With the digital transition complete, U.S. stations are getting set for the introduction of the new ATSC 3.0 television broadcast standards. This includes next-generation digital video delivery services to both mobile and fixed receivers, seamlessly combining over-the-air and broadband delivery. Next-generation TV test markets even include autonomous vehicle researchers and manufacturers.
By co-operatively working together now as old and close neighbours, allies, and free trade partners, we can improve copyright and consent remuneration opportunities. This will benefit local viewers, communities, TV services, and broadcasters on both sides of the border. This can all be accomplished within Canada’s existing cultural exemption.
Good afternoon, and thank you for the opportunity to testify to this committee on behalf of Music Canada.
This committee's review of the Copyright Act comes at a critical time for Canada's creators. It is a time when governments around the world are questioning whether the current digital marketplace is functioning fairly for the world's creators. The reality for music creators in Canada is that there are provisions in our own Copyright Act that are preventing them from receiving fair market value for their work. I believe the best way this committee can assist in creating a marketplace that is transparent and that supports Canadian creators is by providing the government with straightforward, accessible solutions to address the value gap.
Music Canada has produced a comprehensive report—almost one of a kind in the world—on the value gap, and you have it in French and English in front of you. We define the value gap as “the significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed and enjoyed by consumers...”. This is enormous, and the revenues that are returned to the people and businesses who create it are tiny.
Today more music is consumed than at any time in history; however, the remuneration for that content has not kept pace with the record levels of consumption. The same is true for digital video content, film, and journalism.
I was pleased to hear Minister recognize this point earlier this year, when she stated, “The benefits of the digital economy have not been shared equally. Too many creators, journalists, artists have been left behind...”.
The origins of the value gap can be found more than 20 years ago. It was the dawning of the digital marketplace, and countries around the world struggled to reinterpret copyright laws that were designed for an analog age. They wanted to protect creators, but they also wanted to give a boost to young technological start-ups. Inevitably, perhaps understandably, mistakes were made.
Around the world, lawmakers and policy analysts thought of the Internet as a series of dumb pipes, where your browsing habits were anonymous and the data travelling between sites was so vast it was unknowable. Twenty years later, we know that the Internet is composed of the smartest pipes humankind has ever devised. Your web habits are meticulously tracked, and metadata that they generate is collected, analyzed, and sold every second of the day, mostly without our consent or knowledge.
While well intentioned when created, the impact of these laws today is that wealth has been diverted from creators into the pockets of massive corporate entities. What little is left over for creators is unfortunately concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. As a result, the creative middle class has virtually disappeared, and with it numerous jobs, opportunities, and dreams.
Now, there's no need to point fingers. No one planned for the creative middle class to suffer. The important thing at this juncture is to move forward purposefully and without delay to get the rules right. You should make absolutely certain that Canada's Copyright Act ensures a creator's right to be fairly remunerated when their work is commercialized by others.
The value gap is built on outdated safe harbour policies from around the world. The announcement made last week by Minister and Minister that the Telecommunications Act and the Broadcasting Act will be reviewed is an important step and in line with international movement to find a solution to the problem. Safe harbours have been raised by other witnesses, and I hope that the committee will give significant consideration to addressing them.
Right now, the Copyright Act is exacerbating the value gap by effectively requiring creators to subsidize billion-dollar technology companies. There are four steps that this committee could recommend. They could be immediately and quickly implemented, and would help creators and harmonize Canadian policy with international standards.
The first one would be to remove the $1.25-million radio royalty exemption. Since 1997, commercial radio stations have been exempted from paying royalties on their first $1.25 million of advertising revenue. This amounts to an $8 million annual cross-industry subsidy paid by artists and their recording industry partners to large, vertically integrated and highly profitable media companies. The costs to creators since inception have been $150 million.
Internationally, no other country has a similar subsidy, and the exemption does not apply for songwriters or publishers, meaning that performers and record labels are the rights holders who are singled out to subsidize the commercial radio industry. This is unjustified and should be eliminated.
The second one would be to amend the definition of “sound recording” in the Copyright Act. The current definition of “sound recording” in the Copyright Act excludes performers and record labels from receiving royalties for the use of their work in television and film soundtracks. This exception is unique to television and film soundtracks, and does not apply to composers, songwriters, and music publishers. This is inequitable. It's unjustified, particularly in the light of the profound role music plays in soundtracks, and it is costly to artists and record labels who continue to subsidize those who exploit their recordings. The cost to creators is about $55 million a year.
The third one would be to amend the term of copyright for musical works. The term of copyright protection in Canada for the authors of musical works is out of line with international norms. Under the Copyright Act, protection for musical works exists for the duration of the author's life plus a further 50 years, and that is out of line with international standards.
The fourth and final one would be, in private copying, to renew support for music creators. Years ago, a private copying levy had been created, originally intended to be technologically neutral. It has been limited by various decisions to media that are obsolete. This important source of earned income for more than 100,000 music creators is now in jeopardy unless the regime is simply updated. Music creators are asking for the creation of an interim four-year fund of $40 million.
Each of these changes would remove an unfair subsidy. This would harmonize our laws within our industries and bring us to international standards. These changes can be done simply, and they can be done today.
This is an exciting time. Seize the moment. As you review the act, you have the opportunity to put creators at the heart of your policy-making, ensuring that they are paid every time their work is commercialized by others.
Thank you, Chair, vice-chairs, and members of the committee. My name is Elliott Anderson, Director of Public Policy and Communications for ACTRA, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists. We'll call it ACTRA from here on.
We're a union representing more than 25,000 English-language performers living and working in every corner of the country.
With me is Laurie McAllister, who is Director of ACTRA's Performers' Rights Society, and also director of ACTRA's Recording Artists' Collecting Society. That's ACTRA PRS and ACTRA RACS.
ACTRA PRS collects and distributes residuals for performers in audiovisual productions—film and television—and ACTRA RACS collects royalties for artists and musicians on sound recordings. Laurie also serves on the board of SCAPR, which is an international coordinating body of 60 performer collective management organizations from 43 different countries, all working together to improve the exchange of data and performer rights payments across borders.
We appreciate this opportunity to speak with you.
The Copyright Act recognizes the inherent value of creative works. It is an important piece of legislation that has a material impact on performers and their ability to sustain a living and contribute to Canadian culture.
New technology has dramatically changed the way creative industries work, and the act needs to reflect the new economic reality our artists are operating in. While it's easier than ever to have your work seen and heard by people around the world, it's harder than ever to be properly compensated for that work. The digital shift has generated billions of dollars for multinational corporations who exploit creative works for huge profit, but the creative talent who generate those works are not always seeing the benefit. Despite the high profile of performers and recording artists, the reality for most is an incredible amount of hard work for a very modest return.
Among our priorities today, the first for ACTRA members is passage and adoption of the Beijing treaty. In Canada's Copyright Act, rights of performers in audiovisual works are minimal. This arbitrary exclusion means that our actors and performers don't receive the legislated protection that others in the creative class receive, and it means we're leaving money on the table in countries around the world, money that could be flowing to Canadian performers.
If Canada signs and implements WIPO’s Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, we could change that. By adopting the Beijing treaty, we would protect our performers’ moral rights in audiovisual works and protect the right to remuneration for the exploitation of their works.
There are several reasons I want to lay out for the passage of the Beijing treaty.
First, it's a basic issue of fairness. These are rights that performers on sound recordings have already been afforded through the Rome convention in the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. Audiovisual performers—actors—are simply seeking the same rights.
Second, new rights would underpin the collective bargaining we have been doing for three-quarters of a century at ACTRA. Being part of an international treaty will help performers and the producers they work with ensure their rights are respected when their work is used abroad.
Third, economic rights would provide security for performers in the digital shift. We simply do not know how production and distribution models will change in the next 5 to 10 years. They've certainly changed a lot in the last 5 to 10 years. Having copyright protection will ensure performers can share in the economic returns generated by their creative works.
Finally, the moral rights would provide performers with basic rights as artists to have their name associated with the work of their choosing and to object to any modification or change that would injure their reputation.
Seventy-eight countries have signed this vital treaty and are in the process of ratifying. Adopting it would be an overdue step for performers and would bring Canada in line with the international community.
I want to address three issues that are important to the recording artists and musicians we represent through ACTRA RACS, some of which will echo what we have just heard from Music Canada.
One, we ask that Canada stop relying on artists to subsidize profitable media corporations and repeal the $1.25-million exemption for commercial radio. In 1997 the exemption was introduced as a temporary solution for a struggling commercial radio industry. By 2016, commercial radio, now vertically integrated and run by a handful of large media corporations, had increased its profits 12,000% to over $437 million. Struggling artists are subsidizing large profitable media corporations, which claim the exemption annually for each individual station they own. The cost to performers and makers is $138 million in lost revenue over the past 17 years. Canada is the only country with this exemption, and eliminating it will have no impact on true small stations, including campus and community radio.
Two, amend the definition of “sound recording” as set out in section 2 of the Copyright Act. According to this definition, a sound recording is no longer a sound recording if it accompanies moving pictures, meaning performers and labels are not compensated for its use in film and TV. The effect of this runs contrary to the intent of the 1997 amendments, which were made to bring performers and makers in line with other music rights holders. Authors and publishers have long been compensated for the use of their work, including film and TV soundtracks. This inequity costs performers and makers an estimated $55 million per year in lost revenue. In 44 countries around the world, performers and makers have the right to receive royalties when sound recordings are used in film and TV, including in France, Germany, and the U.K.
Three, correct private copying. The private copying regime was introduced in 1997 to allow Canadians to copy music for private use without infringing copyright. In exchange, rights holders were to be compensated through a small levy on blank audio recording media. The intent was to be technologically neutral. You got it right in 1997; it was supposed to be future proof. However, a court decision limited the levy to media that are quickly becoming obsolete, blank CDs.
Since copies of music are primarily made on devices such as smart phones, this has had a devastating impact on our rights holders. Annual revenues from the levy have dropped from $38 million in 2004 to less than $3 million in 2016, while private copying activity doubled over that same time period. The effect is that rights holders have not received compensation for billions of private copies made of their work.
We support the Canadian Private Copying Collective proposal, which includes a long-term solution for copyright reform and an interim proposal for a four-year $40 million per year fund, to ensure music creators continue to receive compensation for copies made of their work until a more permanent solution can be enacted. It’s worth noting that this one correction will benefit the spectrum of music rights holders and is urgently needed.
Thank you, everybody, for being here and taking the time to prepare your presentations.
I feel like we're picking on you a bit, Mr. Henderson. I want to focus a few of my first questions on you.
Your organization represents Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music Canada. Generally speaking, these are the types of actors that profit the most from the value chain of a song or a movie, particularly when acting in a producer capacity. StatsCan data shows that median incomes in all occupations of the music industry have increased between 2010 and 2015, except in the case of the performers themselves, for whom they have decreased.
Is it possible that artists' remuneration is being impacted not only by digital disruption and some of the value gap issues you raised, but also by producers who are taking increasingly larger shares?
No, Vevo.... Currently—and YouTube will tell you this—98% of everything that's on YouTube is licensed because we're all remunerating it. The days of it all being illegal content are drifting away. That doesn't mean there isn't illegal content there. Vevo is a channel. It's an American entity. I'm not exactly sure who it is, but you go there and stream from there, or you can stream from the regular YouTube.
The real issue with YouTube—and this is the real value gap—is the degree to which artists are so poorly remunerated by those ad-supported services.
We are living in a streaming world now. For the first time, streaming has surpassed physical, surpassed downloads, surpassed everything. It's the dominant method that people use. There are two specific models. One is the paid subscription model—that's Spotify or Deezer—and then you have the ad-supported services, which feature mostly user uploaded content—that's YouTube.
If you look at the digital breakdown, the revenue return from paid subscriptions as a percentage of the digital pie is almost 60%, and the revenue return from YouTube is under 6%. So fewer subscribers to Spotify—because they're paid subscribers and because we negotiated a deal with them—return an enormous amount of money despite the fact there are more YouTube users. It's just so little that comes back.
I just think it's important for committee members to understand and appreciate that it was accommodating U.S. border stations that led to the copyright regime as we know it now, and Canadians benefited from that accommodation of U.S. border services. Unfortunately, it didn't go far enough, and we now find ourselves in a position where large distribution companies in Canada are benefiting.
I would also just like to highlight for committee members that it's a uniquely Canadian phenomenon we're experiencing now. People talk about the digital divide. We have the traditional media, and then we have new digital industry. Television broadcasting is part of the digital divide, and it's really important in Canada. Because we have a vertically integrated industry that owns the channels of distribution as well as the broadcasters, our local stations hemorrhage money, whereas in the U.S. they're independent and they're profitable. They're profitable because they have the ability to negotiate with their cable and satellite industries; they have the ability to leverage fees beyond advertising, and they have the ability to work with other stakeholders.
And it's only going to become more intense. As we complete the switch to digital broadcasting and next-generation TV comes online, we're seeing the ability to directly broadcast to mobile phones without data plans, and this is free television. Currently in the U.S. there is multicasting. Your local station will also provide you a movie channel, or a news channel, or something specific. It's only going to grow exponentially. However, in Canada, our consumers aren't receiving any of that benefit right now because we're letting the traditional cornerstone of our whole system wither on the vine. We think that by addressing.... The canary in the coal mine really is the right analogy, because the key to dealing with this is really dealing with broadcasters fairly. Sorry.
Thank you very much for the presentation.
I don't know if anybody has thought of this or if they have data, but I want to pose a question for you. Sometimes this committee will try to figure out how something we are studying or undertaking will affect rural Canada.
I am from Sault Ste. Marie, in northern Ontario. We have a creative economy there. Like many regions in rural and semi-rural Canada, we are trying to attract television, film, music, etc., and we've done a great job, and ACTRA has been good, maybe bending the rules sometimes. We have a number of actors and apprentices there.
Do you have any thoughts on how changes to the copyright law could affect the people you represent or that particular creative community in what I'll call rural Canada, the non-urban centres where a lot of it goes?
I'll recommend that the committee read the testimony of Andrew Morrison. He testified with me at heritage a couple of weeks ago. He is a member of The Jerry Cans. He is from Iqaluit. They were on the Junos. Actually, the night before he testified they had been at the National Arts Centre. They're a fantastic band.
He testified at length, extemporaneously, without notes—unlike me—unrehearsed—unlike me—and delivered this brilliant explanation of how it was affecting him, and how it was changing his life and his band's life not to be able to receive proper remuneration when his music is experienced other than live.
Now, if your income is restricted to live performance, around the world some of the most impacted performers are those who live in remote and rural locations. They have extra travel time. They have extra costs. If you're on Vancouver Island, you have a ferry fee. If you're in Belfast and you want to go to England, you have ferry fees, and in some cases you're in fly-in communities. Every time you circumscribe the amount of money that is in the marketplace, some of the hardest hit people are the people you're talking about.
Rory is a chamber of commerce friend of mine. I've spent a lot of time up in the Soo and it has a great music scene. I think this is a question of doing everything we can. This is not just about major players.
Andrew's point was that it's niches that are being hurt. Some people used to think that the only people who were going to be hurt were the big guys and that they were just going to disappear and that the niche people would.... That's not what's happening.
As a company, we have definitely lost revenue. As I said earlier, we lost 30% to 35% of our revenues as soon as the act came into force. Many producers of educational films, which depended on the education sector, lost up to 90% of their revenues. Those producers were in fact selling copies. Yet one aspect of copyright is that a copy, once purchased, can be reproduced at will without a digital lock. So there have been a lot of losses in these sectors.
As I said earlier, there are a number of grey areas and vague terms regarding presentation for educational purposes and the context thereof. In the case of films presented in classrooms as part of the curriculum, there is no ambiguity. There are, however, abuses on both sides in the case of presentations for purely recreational purposes. That has an impact on us and is harmful to the entire production.
Our company is a bit different because we are a distributor and a representative, but not a product creator. I can tell you, however, that various parties that produced films in Canada and especially in Quebec are having a lot of problems as a result of these changes to the act.
It does not encourage film production. American productions are naturally bigger and more resilient. They can therefore enter Canada and displace Canadian products, especially those in English.
I have to admit that it is quite recent.
We are facing unfair competition in a sense from Netflix, iTunes, Google Play and all those companies. Technically, the films we can rent on Netflix are for personal use. There are, however, many situations in which these films are shown publicly, such as at bars, schools or restaurants. Someone who has a Netflix account can use it to show a film publicly for commercial purposes. Some bars and restaurants do that to attract customers. So that is direct infringement in respect of various parties in the industry, including cable companies, documentary producers, and us, among others.
There are no rules that apply to the Netflixes of the world in terms of public rights. A disclaimer appears in fine print on page eight of the site, but no one reads it. Overall, there is a lot of abuse.
In a number of cities, films have been shown publicly as a recreational activity by using the personal Netflix account of a municipal employee. This is unacceptable. In many cases, however, the people do not know that they do not have the right to do that. Netflix does not necessarily inform them of the rules, or does so in a roundabout way and very briefly.
Mr. Cormier, Mr. Bernier asked all the questions I had for you, so I thank him for that.
I'm going to talk then about private copying. I think, Ms. McAllister and Mr. Henderson, you brought that up. When we used cassettes, discs, and blank CDs, there was a levy put on them. That doesn't exist, I believe you said, due to a court case. It didn't exist, let's say, when iPods came out, or my phone that has music.
Do I understand that you'd like to see it applied to these mediums, and in what amounts? Do you have any amounts that you're thinking of? How would you see that being distributed among the artists? I'll ask both of you to elaborate on that.
Thank you, everyone, for coming out today. I appreciated your testimony.
In the common theme of everyone else, I'm going to be asking you questions, Mr. Henderson.
You mentioned that one of your four recommendations was to harmonize our protection rules from 50 years to 70 years, like many of our trading partners. The first thing that comes to my mind is the person who dies, and then for 70 years after their death, their estate benefits from that.
Are there further benefits for the creator while they're alive, and can you describe those, please?
It's mostly the Copyright Act. That's where all these exceptions sit, and so there is a power on this committee. If you choose to, you can make changes that can impact Canadians almost immediately, instead of waiting years for studies.
I know we have to go through this process, but if you look at the $1.25 million, you see that it was something that was supposed to be transitional. It was a thing of the moment, and it somehow stuck around, and the same would be true of the sound recording exemption. These are things that were, “Okay, let's make an exception. This is a new right. Oh, boy, this could be really bad.” Well, now we know it's not that bad and so now is the time. Now that we know how badly creators are being impacted by it, let's feed money back.
Meanwhile, streaming, we hope, will continue to grow. Streaming rates will continue to rise. The marketplace is rapidly shifting. If I asked you or you asked me five years ago what the future would be, we probably all would have thought it was digital downloads. Digital downloads are going to be the first to almost completely disappear. Do you know what's actually going up? Vinyl. Vinyl's a big piece. Five years ago I might have said it's all digital downloads. Today, is it all streaming? I don't know. Let's wait five years.