SCGC calls for national conversation on value gap and its impact on creators – up to 95% decline in digital copyright remuneration felt in some cases
For decades, Canadian screen composers have participated in some of the most popular films and TV shows in the world, but they now face a problem that threatens the livelihood of current and future generations of music creators.
Over the past two years, members of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC) have seen declines in digital copyright remuneration from streaming of up to 95% when compared to the established broadcast model. This unprecedented decline is forcing us to call for a national conversation on the value gap and its impact on creators.
Copyright remuneration, in the form of Performing Rights Royalties, currently represent the single most vital part of a screen composer’s livelihood. The Royalty Rates are set by the Copyright Board of Canada, and are derived from a broadcaster’s advertising income. Extensive tariff hearings, market testing and industry practice for many decades has established the foundation of a market regime that has fairly compensated composers for the use of their music in these older market models.
On-demand digital media delivered by Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) has rapidly become the new delivery model for Broadcasters in the 21st Century – however, to date, this model is returning alarmingly insignificant royalties to Canadian screen composers.
Attributable to John Welsman, President
“Along with other Canadian content creators, we are calling for a national conversation on the value gap and ways to address it. With Copyright and Broadcast reviews underway there really is no better time and solutions must be brought forward. We need everyone at the table to have that conversation. We will be advocating for that to happen and are insistent that government will help to lead it.
On a public policy level, we seek a fair and equitable proportion of the very significant revenue already being generated by the use of our works in the global digital marketplace. We seek balance in legislation and ask the government to take the broadest view possible in modernizing the Copyright Act to reflect 21st-century realities.”