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CISAC calls on Canada to extend song copyright term too

By | Published on Thursday 7 May 2015


With copyright extension on the agenda in Canada, the songwriting community has said it would like a little bit of that action too thank you very much.

As previously reported, the Canadian government – in something of a surprise move – recently announced it would seek to extend the sound recording copyright term in the country from the current 50 years to 70 years, bringing it in line with Europe. But the copyright term for songs in Canada – while longer than that for recordings – also isn’t in line with Europe, being life plus 50 years rather than the more common life plus 70 years.

So come on Canadians – say the songwriters, though in rhyme I’m sure – if you’re throwing round extra copyright protection, chuck some in our direction too.

Jean Michel Jarre, in his guise as President of CISAC, the global grouping for author collecting societies, told reporters today: “Authors in Canada still do not benefit from the same term of copyright protection as in most of the world, where protection for authors extends to 70 years after their death, while in Canada the term of protection for authors expires 50 years after the author’s death. This puts the whole community of creators in Canada, as well as foreigners seeking protection in Canada, at a major disadvantage”.

He goes on: “On behalf of CISAC and the four million creators represented by its members, I call upon the Canadian government to address this imbalance and immediately bring Canada’s law in line with the rest of the world. Authors in Canada should be protected for the same duration that exists in most other countries around the world. This is a matter of pure fairness”.

Canada is yet to respond. Though to be fair it’s currently asleep. But CMU’s Andy Malt is within its borders at Canadian Music Week, so I’ll make sure he gets the country to comment before the day is out. Or at the very least we’ll hear from someone who lives there. Hey, if all else fails we’ll ask our friend Marsha. She lives there now.