Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.
To the panel:
This last week, the Canadian band I manage, The Birthday Massacre, received 280,000 votes out of 700,000 cast in the Virgin Mobile Book the Band contest. With over 40 percent of the votes cast online and by text message and 60,000 votes ahead of the second place band, the win was a convincing demonstration of our popularity on the national and international stage.
In spite of this and other indications that our band has garnered a number of fans, our CD sales pale in comparison to the "free" downloads that come from the many sites who are stealing our music. We have never sold over 40,000 copies of any of our releases and our latest live release "Show and Tell" is probably around 10,000 sales while one bit torrent site in Holland registered over 5,000 "free" downloads alone in the first week of release. What the worldwide number might be is hard to imagine for a band that is struggling to survive in spite of substantial popularity.
Over the past decade a culture of "free" has grown up around a new technology that not only the industry misjudged, but the government as well. I am not asking that the government recognize our right to be paid for our copyrighted works; that principle has been established for almost a hundred years and is not a subject for debate. What I am asking is that you establish how we will be paid!
It is time for the ISP's of the world to recognize the contribution that music makes to their bottom line. The only way that will happen is through your action.
Thank you for your consideration.