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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Canadian Songwriters Want To Legalize File-Sharing

Blaise Alleyne, an ex-member of the Songwriters Association of Canada, expressed its point of view on the outfit’s suggestion to legalize non-commercial P2P file-sharing through a broadband provider levy, and how it became the catalyst of debates, most of which advocated the ideas that file-sharing should be embraced, that filtering and lawsuits aren’t the way out, and so on.

Since then, the suggestion has changed by favouring a business to business approach, with the real opt-out option for both musicians and subscribers of participating Internet service providers. This proposal pointed out that the outfit was now focused on a business model requiring no new legislation be enacted in the country. File-sharing is believed to be a global distribution system for the copyrighted content, presenting a great opportunity to both musicians and studios.

At the same time, SOPA came into play to rouse debates on copyright issues. This is why the Songwriters Association of Canada wants to establish a regime allowing people to continue file-sharing without being afraid that musicians and copyright owners aren’t fairly compensated for their work.

Blaise Alleyne also confirmed that there were still issues with the suggestion – for instance, the concerns of the other industries over piracy. Nevertheless, those concerns were rapidly dismissed by the outfit. Moreover, a question of whether the new model would adapt to the wireless and mobile computing wasn’t raised either.

As everyone understands, the main problem within the proposal is copyright angle. The outfit admits that the web has dramatically increased the private non-commercial file-sharing, which it supported. All that the Internet is missing now is the model of compensation for music creators for this massive use of their work. However, the suggestion says that once a fair and reasonable monetization system is enforced, all shareholders including consumers and ISPs will benefit from it.

It seems that the so-called “monetization system” is the only option the outfit is taking into consideration, while in reality there is no such thing as one foolproof business model. Still, the voice of the organization must be heard, because they are offering a far better solution than, for example, SOPA’s provisions supported by Canadian record industry groups.

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