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Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mr. Yeghia Kibalian aka. YUG.
I am a Music Producer/entrepreneur who invests in new innovations. I own and operate my own Record label/Productions company and I am worried that my hard work and money will be lost because today's copyright laws offer so little protection. My company focuses on creating projects to export/license to foreign markets with the intention of exploiting our productions around the world including the Canadian marketplace.
Canada's Copyright Act needs to be reformed because in the absence of modern copyright rules, rampant file sharing in Canada has undermined the ability of creators and the creative industries to earn a living from their work. With mass unauthorized downloading, legitimate sales of digital goods such as movies, music and software have been gravely eroded. When files are swapped on peer-to-peer sites, the right of creators to be paid for their work is taken away by uncontrolled file sharing.
By failing to take action, our government has allowed a culture of piracy to thrive in Canada. Canada has the highest rate of internet file sharing among OECD nations, according to a 2005 OECD study. Canada's Copyright Act is badly outdated. We are years behind our key trading partners in modernizing our copyright laws for the digital age. As a result, the proliferation of online file sharing, its impacts, far exceed here. Now is the time to take immediate action and make a change.
Canada is alone among virtually all developed nations in passing laws that are consistent with the 1996 WIPO Treaties, to which it is a signatory. Faced with unprecedented competition from "free" music on the internet, retail sales of music in Canada have declined by more than half since 1999 (Canadian Recording Industry Association). Canada's digital music market underperforms the US, and now appears to be settling at a much lower level — 17 percent of total sales vs. 37 percent in the US in 2008 (IFPI).
I want the upcoming Copyright Act reforms to provide clear, predictable and fair rules to allow Canadians to derive benefits from their creations. At a minimum, Canada's copyright reforms must create online legal certainty to enable a robust legitimate online marketplace. Canada's copyright reforms must provide strong copyright protection that provides incentives for entrepreneurs to invest in innovative new digital business models that enhance Canadian consumer choice. Canada's copyright reforms must modernize Canada's copyright laws in accordance with the WIPO Treaties and international best practices so Canada is in line with the European Union, the United States, Japan and our other major trading partners. Canada's copyright reforms must provide clear rules against unauthorized file sharing services to ensure that Canada does not become a haven for illegitimate operations that profit from enabling the massive theft of other people's property.
In a legitimate marketplace, rules will deliver broad benefits that far exceed the status quo for Canadian consumers — who will gain choice in a legitimate marketplace and new business models to meet consumer demands so that Canada can become a leader, and not be a follower, in digital innovation.
The reforms should be guided by facts, not myths. Opponents of change say that copyright reform will cause a long list of problems. Supposedly, it will inhibit innovation, retard consumer choice, invade privacy, "lock down" creativity, culture and personal property and worse, but where is the evidence for this? Unlike Canada, all of our trading partners long ago implemented the WIPO Treaties. We know from experience around the world that these concerns simply don't exist. There is more, not less, consumer choice in Europe and the U.S.
Canada is years behind its trading partners in reforming copyright laws for the digital age. This is about jobs, as a small business owner my concerns of being able to sustain and grow the company. The government is not being asked to do anything that has not been done elsewhere in Europe and the US, where copyright laws were modernized years ago. The time has come for Canada to catch up with the rest of the world.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide input and voice my legitimate concerns on these issues of critical importance to me, my co-workers and my livelihood.