November 16, 2010 11:00 ET

Performers Urge MPs to Fix Bill C-32

"Canadian Content: Free Today, Gone Tomorrow"

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2010) - Canadian stars hit Parliament Hill this week for a two-day lobbying blitz to urge Members of Parliament to take a leading role in building a digital economy that values Canadian content and creators. Job one is to fix Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act as it heads to committee.

"As written Bill C-32 is a disaster. It isn't good for consumers and it certainly isn't good for creators," said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President.

Bill C-32's legalization of format-shifting without remuneration, broad fair dealing exceptions and mash-up provisions will weaken copyright for creators and eliminate tools like the private copying levy that many artists rely on to protect their work and make a living. Format shifting and private copying are things Canadians do every day; they should be legal but they can't be free. ACTRA is warning MPs that if professional creators and content producers aren't fairly compensated for their work they may have to stop making the music, books, TV, films and games that Canadians and people around the world need and enjoy.

"Instead of valuing content, this bill says it should be given away for free. Our message is: if it's free today, it will be gone tomorrow," said Peter Keleghan, star of CBC's18 to Life

Content creation is at the heart of a thriving digital economy. If Canadian cultural industries are to keep producing films, TV programs, video games, music and books, we can't afford a bill like C-32 that rips millions of dollars from creators' pockets. 

ACTRA is presenting six amendments to MPs:

  • Extend the private copying levy to digital audio recorders
  • Remove the 'mash-up' provision from the bill.
  • Put the brakes on the fair dealing expansion
  • Make those who enable online theft pay
  • Make ISPs do their part to fight online theft
  • Make broadcasters pay their fair share, keep the 'Broadcast Mechanical' provisions

"Our cultural content is who we are as a nation. Content informs our collective future, let's make sure we have some by fixing Bill C-32," said Downey. 

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed professional performing community. ACTRA also represents the interests of more than 6,000 recording artists, assignors to the ACTRA Recording Artists Collecting Society one of the organizations responsible for distribution of royalties collected on all tariffs related to sound recordings under Canada's Copyright Act.

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