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September 11, 2009

The Honourable Tony Clement, P.C., M.P. Minister of Industry
Industry Canada
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

The Honourable James Moore, P.C., M.P. Minister of Canadian
Heritage
Canadian Heritage
12th Floor, 15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5

Dear Ministers,

Subject: Copyright Consultations

The Canadian Music Creators Coalition (CMCC) represents Canadian writers, performers, and producers of music who share the common goal of having our voices heard about the laws and policies that affect our livelihoods. Our work has garnered worldwide critical and commercial success, including: record sales in the millions, concerts for hundreds of thousands, and multiple Juno and Grammy awards.

We strongly urge policy makers to create copyright laws that are fair, balanced, and reflective of Canada's interests. We submit that the following three principles should guide Canadian policy-makers in efforts to reform copyright laws:

  1. suing music fans is destructive to the Canadian music industry;
  2. digital locks are risky and counterproductive; and
  3. cultural policy should support actual Canadian artists.

We believe anti-circumvention measures encourage and support the use of digital locks and litigation against music fans. Thus, we oppose the inclusion of such measures in legislative reform. Copyright laws must accommodate the interests of Canadian music creators. We support our fans' legitimate interests in having a say in how they enjoy our music, and policy decisions should take this into account. Policies that fail to accommodate such interests should be rejected.

Bill C-61, the most recent attempt to revise the Copyright Act, was touted as addressing the problems associated with unauthorized file sharing. In fact, as we know from the American experience, this bill would have done nothing to address those problems. We urge the government to begin serious investigation into alternative policy approaches that permit artists and their fans who wish to engage in file sharing to do so in a way that is both legal and compensates rights holders.

Respectfully yours,

The Canadian Music Creators Coalition