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.

Filed Under: canada, collection society, music
Companies: neighboring rights collective

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  1. identicon
    Gracey, 23 Jul 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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