Montreal June 15,2010: L’AGAMM: L’Accès gratuit à la musique est un mythe (which stands for “Free Access to Music is a Myth”), a coalition of music rights holders, is asking that Internet service providers (ISPs) be required to pay a percentage of their sales revenues to music rights holders as compensation for the music being used.
“This would help music rights holders recover part of the cash flows resulting from uses of their music that, with the advent of digital technology, have been hijacked from the physical market, where copyright holders were receiving their fair share of compensation, and redirected to networks that are being controlled in near monopolistic fashion by ISPs,” said L’AGAMM’s spokesperson and former PMPA Board of Directors Chair, publisher Daniel Lafrance.
According to a recent Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) study, ISPs are now claiming 83% of online music use revenues for themselves while only 8% of those profits are being distributed among music sector rights holders (with the rest being paid out to credit companies and online sales sites). This creates a situation where the very creators of the highly attractive contents that are being used by others to make money are only being paid a pittance for their labour.
The Chair of the SPACQ Board of Directors, singer-songwriter Mario Chenart, added: “This situation has to stop, and we must move rapidly. Many actors in this sector have tried and failed to find a miracle solution. We do not claim to hold the cure for all that ails the industry, but we strongly believe that this is a measure that could bring back some financial balance to our drifting market.”
It must be emphasized that this financial compensation could in no way be construed as an authorization to download or share copyright protected musical contents illegally as if it were a hidden blanket licence. It is understood that this compensation would be paid by the ISPs, not by consumers.
It should also be understood that this measure would not be a permanent solution, but a transitory step towards an effective monetization system, and that it would help bring back some financial balance in the market on the one hand and, on the other, spur ISPs to fight piracy efficiently with the technical means already at their disposal. Not only would the ISPs now be able to assume their fair share of the liability for illegal file sharing, but music rights holders would finally be able to share in music access revenues.
Finally, L’AGAMM strongly believes that the implementation of a viable and fair monetization model depends on a willingness by all parties – professional rights holders associations, collective societies, ISPs, consumer associations and government authorities – to work together to make such an undertaking possible. None of these organizations can opt out of the debate without voluntarily jeopardizing the achievement of an effective model.
L’AGAMM members include APEM/PMPA (Professional Music Publishers’ Association), ARTISTI/UDA (Union des artistes), GMMQ (Quebec Musicians’ Guild), SODRAC (Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada), SPACQ (Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec).
Visit their web site : www.lagamm.ca