Monopoly Rents: Canadian Collection Society Wants To Massively Increase Rates

from the silence-the-music dept

In the last few months, we've noticed that collections societies around the world are getting desperate for any possible way to collect more money. It's really stunning just how many of these sorts of stories we've seen, all over the globe. It's as if all the collections societies got together and said "how can we squeeze more money out of absolutely anything -- even if it kills off the golden goose," and then set about putting that plan into action. From Australia to Sweden to the UK to the US to Germany, we get story after story after story of incredibly short-sighted collections societies either (a) pushing the gov't to allow them to extort charge larger fees to venues or (b) massively expanding what they consider to be a public performance that requires a royalty. These societies are taking an incredibly short-sighted view. They're causing more and more venues to stop playing music altogether, thus harming everyone.

Mr. Tunes alerts us to the fact that this is now happening in Canada as well, where a smaller collection society, the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada, is demanding massive increases in fees, as well as an expansion of what's covered. Of course, SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, already collects fees in Canada, but apparently these are different fees -- and they're much higher than SOCAN's. When that fact is pointed out to the NRCC person, his response is simply that SOCAN's rates were too low. Apparently, they'd rather shut venues down rather than have them help promote music. Brilliant.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 5:33am

    How about a little journalism?

    What are the Canadian rates? What are the rates in other western countries? Are the Canadian rates in line, under or over? Are the rates that this organization is pushing for over or under those rates?

    Rather than running scare lines like "They're causing more and more venues to stop playing music altogether, thus harming everyone. " (unproven), how about a little digging on facts? Email someone? Ask for questions?

     

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      identicon
      ..., Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 5:47am

      Re:

      And why would that matter ? In your response please address the use of import restrictions and region codes.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 5:53am

        Re: Re:

        "In your response please address the use of import restrictions and region codes."

        Umm, this isn't a discussion about importing or region codes. It's a discussion of fees. I am asking for relative fee rates in other countries to see if the fees are comparable or outrageous.

        Your request is just a stupid misdirection.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          ..., Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Your request is just a stupid misdirection."

          Really ?
          Things cost a different amount in different countries. Get over it. Why should they be the same everywhere you go ? These folks want their cake and eat it too. They want to charge the same amount or different amounts in different countries depending upon whether it is to their benefit or not. How is this not relevant to the discussion ?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 11:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It is relevant. Canada is a member of the G7.G8, a top economy, and should have pricing and rates for things at a similar level to other G7/G8 countries. It's not really an outlandish concept.

            It has nothing to do with imports or region codes.

             

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 11:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Why should Canadian pricing and rates have ANYTHING to do with what they charge in other countries? Are you a globalist?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 1:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                On a site that is all for tearing down copyright and patents, don't you think it also wise to be against borders? for all the harm a patent does, borders do many more times over. You just have to look at the US / Mexican border - the artificial line separates rich from poor.

                 

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                  Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 2:51pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "On a site that is all for tearing down copyright and patents, don't you think it also wise to be against borders? for all the harm a patent does, borders do many more times over. You just have to look at the US / Mexican border - the artificial line separates rich from poor."

                  ......What? Your complete misunderstanding of the reason Mexican CITIZENS are poor aside, what in the world do these things have to do with one another? I asked a simple question, which I'll now split into two parts:

                  1. Why, under the current system, is the economic practices of one sovereign nation being used to affect or justify economic practices in another? That doesn't make sense.

                  2. If such a system exhists, what is the justification for it? Moral? I don't understand why people on one side of the world have any influence on the way people on the other side act within their own borders.

                  FYI, Mexico has the 13th largest GDP in the world. Immensely wealthy? No, but they certainly aren't a "poor" country.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 4:25pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Are Mexicans in America richer than those in Mexico? Yup.

                    Next.

                    In answer to your questions:

                    1. We live in a global economy. There is little justification for collecting but a pittance for artists if that isn't in line with the reality in other parts of the world. This is doubly so in a place like Canada with it's CanCon rules and special regulations to try to artificially support Canadian music.

                    2. I don't know if you should spend 3 years studying history, 3 years studying international business, or 6 years to get the whole picture. It's safe to say that in this day and age, we don't live in an economic vacuum. Unbalances in the system means that sites like allofmp3 can sell music at rates significantly lower than other countries because of economic unbalances. Left unchecked, that does have an affect on other countries.

                    That is but an example. Study and learn. Even Mike isn't silly enough to debate this sort of thing.

                     

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                      Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 5:56pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Are Mexicans in America richer than those in Mexico? Yup."

                      I don't about that one way or the other, but do you have any evidence to back that up? Particularly evidence accounting for unregistered Mexicans? Either way, I wasn't arguing that, so nice strawman. You called Mexico "poor", and that is inaccurate.

                      "We live in a global economy. There is little justification for collecting but a pittance for artists if that isn't in line with the reality in other parts of the world. This is doubly so in a place like Canada with it's CanCon rules and special regulations to try to artificially support Canadian music."

                      I'm not sure what any of that has to do with my question. This idea of getting in line with our INTERNATIONAL partners in terms of our NATIONAL policy is patently ridiculous. At best it's undermining our sovereign nation's best interests. At worst it's pandering to international corporations.

                      "I don't know if you should spend 3 years studying history, 3 years studying international business, or 6 years to get the whole picture. It's safe to say that in this day and age, we don't live in an economic vacuum. Unbalances in the system means that sites like allofmp3 can sell music at rates significantly lower than other countries because of economic unbalances. Left unchecked, that does have an affect on other countries."

                      Way to start off answering an honest question by talking down to me. I've studies plenty of history, thank you. Far less international business, but I'm getting there. In any case, the problem with that argument is that it seems backwards. You say that we have to be in line with our global partners, but then complain when our global partners' businesses charge less than us? Why does this whole influence from others thing only work when the fees and prices go up?

                       

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              ..., Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Again, you do not make any sense.

              Please state in rational terms why two separate countries should engage in some sort of price fixing. And please include who would benefit from it.

              The import restrictions and region codes are relevant to the discussion because it shows how these people are hypocrites. The fact that you want to brush it aside is interesting.

               

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Umm, this isn't a discussion about importing or region codes. It's a discussion of fees. I am asking for relative fee rates in other countries to see if the fees are comparable or outrageous."

          If you're who I think you are, you evil goat-raping troll, then you know damn well that the entertainment industry reps throughout the nations of the world play a leap-frog game when it comes to collection rates, all in an effort to raise those rates/fees worldwide.

          They raise them in Europe, then someone here in America asks your same idiotic question "how are we charging in relation to Europe? OMG, they're actually charging MORE. We must get in line with the internat'l community, plus just a little bit more to show them how subserviant and compliant we are!"

          Then guess what your jackass counterpart in Europe does?

          So try to base the fee rates on something economically tangible, like, oh I don't know, how about supply and demand. America is a soveriegn country. Canada is a soveriegn country. Our laws/fees/rates/inner-nation trading/etc. should be IN NO WAY influenced by what people half way around the world are doing.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:48am

      Re:

      Excellent comment... if this was made on a news site. Techdirt does not report news, at times they blog on things that are over a week old and no one is talking about anymore.

      This blog is not a journalist site. If they do extra digging good for them. Most of it is just us peering into their heads to see what they are thinking.

      What makes us come back is the fact they link fairly often so we can get to the news articles that prompted the blog post. If you want to be spoon fed information you should stop visiting Techdirt. They tend to contradict themselves and have strange focuses at times. (For instance it's OK for google to make street views but it is NOT OK for the government to have pictures of your car that is on the street)

      I suggest utilizing something like google news and read about a subject on multiple news sites from different countries so you can find out what is fact and what is spin.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, that particular case of the town is just slightly different than Google's streetview for 2 reasons.

        1) Intent. The streetview is taking a picture of the street. If you happen to be there, they don't really care. The town on the other hand is looking and tracking -you- not the street.

        2) Because you're a goddamned idiot.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I guess my apparent idiocy prevents me from realizing that taking pictures in public should be allowed or not allowed depending on the intent of the user.

          I might suggest a better devils advocate approach as they are noting that taking so many pictures of so many vehicles will make it extremely cost prohibitive to effectively parse all that data into a usable database. So either they are wasting tax payer money by building a completely ineffective system or wasting tax payers money by paying a ton of people tons of hours of work worth of data input.

          But then again I'm a certified idiot and certainly was not pointing out that in that previous case it seemed that Techdirt was concerned more about the pictures themselves being taken and have used arguments of "If it's in public it's OK to take pictures that anyone else can take."

           

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            jjmsan (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            As a matter of law intent is important, Google is essentially taking scenic pictures that may or may not capture a particular person or vechile. Google has no ability to sanction an individual. Governments can sanction people and furthermore have a history of using information supposedly collected for benign purposes to do so. (Joe the plummer's tax delinquencies for example). That is why government's power is supposed to be limited

             

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  •  
    identicon
    ..., Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 5:34am

    I prefer not being assulted by the crap they call music while shopping at the local grocery. Seriously, why do they feel the need to pipe that awful stuff thru the PA system ?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:01am

    isnt everyone

    Dead in the midst of the Bush Depression havent you noticed that everyone in every industry seems to be slowly raising prices?

     

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      identicon
      ..., Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:14am

      Re: isnt everyone

      Is this also considered "slowly" ?

       

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      jonny_q, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:17am

      Re: isnt everyone

      Bush Depression is the stupidest thing I've heard today. Yeah, it's still early, but you're off to a good start.

      Also, no. Just the opposite. Fuel prices are down, food prices are down, durable goods prices are down.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:21am

        Re: Re: isnt everyone

        "Bush Depression is the stupidest thing I've heard today"

        I agree. What does a vagina have to feel bad about?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:46am

        Re: Re: isnt everyone

        "Fuel prices are down"

        Hmm . . . oil $58.78 a barrel two weeks ago - $65.00 a couple days ago (last time I looked) - but you interpret that increase as meaning fuel prices are down? Yeah that sounds like Bush Economics to me . . . LOL?

         

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    identicon
    Gracey, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:35am

    I'd be happy to lose the dining music too.

    If the costs are ridiculous and the music is gone, I doubt too many patrons would complain about the music NOT being there. Most complain it's "horrid" (their word not mine, though for some of it I'd heartily agree) and much too loud.

    I agree that artists, performers, composers, lyric writers et al, deserve their fees. So they should, since for some this is their bread and butter.

    My concern is that the increase in fees (regardless of what amount that is) ends up in the pockets of the associations, and not in the wallets of the people it should go to.

    I don't buy music anymore. I look for music offered freely by non-labeled artists and use that in my office as well as in my home, and in the car (in case other people can hear it) or on the beach or any bloody place that could be construed as "public". And when people say "oh, what is that" I tell where to get it free (legally).

    I don't see why restaurants couldn't approach some of these guys/bands and offer a yearly sum for use of it. Just might make the industry think about what they are doing to the artists, because these collections associations do more to hurt the artists than they do to help them.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:58am

    Harming society

    Harming society for profit via patents and copyrights should be punishable by death. And like P2P legal cases, you're guilty until proven innocent.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:04am

    I need a list of Fee collecting agencies ....

    I need a list of Fee collecting agencies for the music industry by country, this includes sheet music, pay for play (sat, internet, live, recorded,etc). Is there a web site with a break out of the organizations, addresses, and contact numbers??

     

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    RD, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Oh here we go...

    "If you want to be spoon fed information you should stop visiting Techdirt. They tend to contradict themselves and have strange focuses at times. (For instance it's OK for google to make street views but it is NOT OK for the government to have pictures of your car that is on the street)"

    Jesus Christ on a stick....if I have to hear ONE MORE idiotic whiner say this again, I think I will go on a shooting rampage.

    There is a VAST difference between google taking pics and the Govt. Google is a private company, and has no direct say in the governance of our lives. They dont make or enforce laws, taxes, they dont set policy at the state or federal level, etc. They are very limited in how they can misuse a street view pic.

    The Govt, on the other hand, isnt simply taking pics of a home from a public street and linking it to an online map. They are taking pics of EVERY SINGLE MOTORIST (referring to the article the other day about that town that was doing this) and TRACKING who comes and goes EVERY TIME. The Govt has the ability to MASSIVELY misuse this kind of information, because they have the ability to prosecute, arrest, tax, etc its citizens. They have the ability to correlate this data with all the other data they have on a person (tax records, DMV records, etc) and possibly significantly interfere with the freedom of an individual through intimidation, veiled threats, and coercion. Are you a political protester? Dont like the incumbent state govt? You might get a call/visit from a local official who will spell out every place you went and what you did. Think that wont give a person pause? Think this hasnt already happened? It has. Google, on the other hand, can do none of this, they are not in a position of AUTHORITY over the citizens they are "tracking". This is the essential difference here, and you better wise up to it before its too late. You only need to look at Great Britain to see how far this stuff can get out of hand even today.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:53am

      Re: Oh here we go...

      Amazing that you completely ignore the intent of my post. If I could go back in time I would have omitted that section that caused a red herring.

      I applaud Techdirt for their work and recognize they are an opinion based blog.

      If this is considering being an idiotic whiner than so be it.

       

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      stat_insig (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 8:01am

      Re: Oh here we go...

      If you want to be spoon fed information you should stop visiting Techdirt. They tend to contradict themselves and have strange focuses at times. (For instance it's OK for google to make street views but it is NOT OK for the government to have pictures of your car that is on the street)


      Hehe. Now carry out your threat.

      That government must be a very evil thing. Why do we allow it to control military, police and even postal service! Who is in the government anyways and who selects them? Nobody knows!

      Google, like all its corporate brethren, is a benevolent entity. As we all know they do don't commit any evil at all. I would give any information they ask for (including all my browsing history, documents, mails etc) without any hesitation.

       

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:22am

    Another interesting addition to the business model

    Another interesting set of additions to the business model (see my previous posts for most of the rest)

    227 note/entry) a public venues section/application to provide music for where the user can build their own play list and download it.

    228) public venues section Allowing the downloader to choose the playlist showing all fees.

    229) public venues section has free and billable music are in the same place. Allowing the user to choose from any music in the catalog. All free is allowable.

    230) public venues section allows playment of songs while building the download.

    231) public venues section may or may not charge a bandwidth fee.

    Again Thanks Mike !!!! this place is so full of great ideas if you just dig a little.

     

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    NullOp, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:40am

    Sigh...

    Has anyone here ever heard that good old Southern U.S. saw about someone being "Dumber than a bag of hinges"? I would say it certainly applies in this case.

     

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    RD, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 7:43am

    No..

    But then again I'm a certified idiot and certainly was not pointing out that in that previous case it seemed that Techdirt was concerned more about the pictures themselves being taken and have used arguments of "If it's in public it's OK to take pictures that anyone else can take."

    No, its not about that. You are intentionally missing the point to be combative. Taking *A* picture in public is fine all around. Taking a picture of EVERY MOTORIST as they pass through an area, then storing and cross-referencing that data is alarming, or should be to any rational person. This would be bad enough if it was someone like Google, even if it wouldnt be illegal, but when the govt does it, for the reasons mentioned in my previous post (they have the AUTHORITY over the citizenry) then its a LOT more than just "taking a picture." And to even out the comparison, google took ONE pic (well, several really but from different angles, but it was at one time) of any given house and thats it. They didnt take a pic EVERY TIME someone entered or left the house, for instance, or every hour of the day, or whatever.

    If you cant see the difference there, then I welcome you to your new home in Fascist America, hope you enjoy your 100% observed, tracked and controlled stay.

     

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    Space Walker, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 10:11am

    NASA ... Wonder if they (We) pay

    I wonder if the collection societies RIAA or whoever go after NASA for playing music to wake up the astronauts on the space station. It'd be a public performance.

    http://www.space.com/spaceshuttle/index.html
    “Let’s get the show on the road,” Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide radioed up to the space station from Mission Control. NASA roused Endeavour astronauts at 5:33 a.m. EDT (2133 GMT) with the song “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, a tune selected for shuttle skipper Mark Polansky. Today is Flight Day 9 of Endeavour’s 16-day mission to the station.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 10:24am

      Re: NASA ... Wonder if they (We) pay

      "NASA roused Endeavour astronauts at 5:33 a.m. EDT (2133 GMT) with the song “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, a tune selected for shuttle skipper Mark Polansky, a known cross-dressing homosexual with a stereotypical taste for terrible music."

      There, fixed that for you.

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re: NASA ... Wonder if they (We) pay

        "Mark Polansky, a known cross-dressing homosexual with a stereotypical taste for terrible music."

        Dude that is so wrong .....

        "Mark Polansky, a known cross-dressing Pre-OP transexual with a stereotypical taste for terrible music."

        Next time get it right .... GRIN

         

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    Ilfar, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    No more christmas music?

    If this means an end to blasted christmas songs from October through till the end of January, I'm all for it! :P Until they start playing Heavy Metal in stores, I'm not too upset ;)

     

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      identicon
      ..., Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:33pm

      Re: No more christmas music?

      For the customer, is it a tax or a fee ?

      The business has to charge you an additional amount because they chose to play some crappy music over the PA system. You have no choice in the matter, other than to go to some other store in which crappy music is played over the PA system. You can not wear ear plugs and get a discount.

       

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