Monday, March 09, 2009

Our Neighbour's Proposed ""Tax on the Performance of Sound Recordings"

The National Association of Broadcasters ("NAB") in the USA is the counterpart of the CAB in Canada.

The NAB, not surprisingly, opposed what it calls a proposed "Tax on the Performance of Sound Recordings", otherwise known in Canada as one of several "neighbouring rights." Down there, they don't even like the word "neighboring" as they spell it - but the concept is very much alive and in play in H.R. 848, the "Performance Rights Act", introduced by Rep. John Conyers, a great friend to the music industry.

Canada's Copyright Board values these rights essentially as equivalent to classic copyright rights, although in practice they are discounted to about 43% of their counterpart copyright rights due to the "eligible repertoire" requirements that limit liability to pay to rights owners in countries without equivalent protection.

The NAB has published an interesting white paper based upon international comparisons, in which Canada is mentioned several times.

There's a hearing going on today March 10, 2009 in Washington on this. Interestingly, Stan Liebowitz -a regular witness at Copyright Board hearings in Canada - is testifying, along with Mitch Bainwol and others.

Naturally, CRIA, NRCC, the CAB and and others up hear will be watching this with great interest. This is because the implementation of "neighbouring" rights in the USA could lead eventually to the the granting of full or partial reciprocity to the American rights owners, thereby greatly increasing the cost of certain tariffs and exacerbating the outflow of money from Canada and into the hands of RIAA and CRIA members.

No comments:

Post a Comment