Music

The Canadian Music Industry And The Effect Of Peer-To-Peer Downloads

There have been some changes in the laws in Canada concerning music and its download in the recent years. Let us look at some of the important aspects that have been affecting the music industry. Some of the aspects of music concerning taxes, charges and the like deserve a closer look.

There is much talk that peer-to-peer is music download is responsible for declining music sales. While there may be some amount of truth to the statement, a large part of the decibels raised may well be due to good old plain rhetoric. Industry numbers suggest that the popularity of latest gizmos like DVDs, retail chain distribution changes, and reduced prices of CDs in the retail market all have been playing their own role in the so-called woes. The woes themselves may not be entirely true themselves, as the music industry has seen fair amount of growth in recent years.

It can also be said with reasonable surety that Canadian artists’ royalty losses have been offset by the private copying levy system. The Canadian Private Copying Collective alone has collected millions of dollars over the past few years with much of that revenue earmarked for Canadian artists.

Laws that require people to pay for simple music software goodies like the popular iTunes have the potential of nipping a nascent industry in the bud. Whereas Apple iTunes may well be able to survive the pressure by using its deep pockets, smaller players may not be so lucky. Copyright rules require music download industry to submit more than 40% of their revenue to the collectives.

Incredible as it may seem, even the 40% of gross revenues as envisioned by these tariffs may not cover all the rights that are associated with commercial music download services. It remains well within the realm of possibility that other groups, including collectives representing music performers and producers, may come forward to demand their piece of the cake by further cutting into online music services’ revenues.

The well established players have settlements that have been well negotiated to their advantage with the record labels, it is the development of a viable economic model that the future growth of the industry depends on. The much maligned peer to peer downloads are actually already subject to a fair amount of compensation through the levy on private copying. The actual threat lies elsewhere – the collectives that essentially are poised to capture a very large share of the tiny market.

Other innovative areas which the tariff lovers are tapping include the webcasters and online games industry. Others have been eyeing the multi-million online sharing music industry. As much as 25% of revenues, however, continue to come from the online websites that offer music sharing with free music software. The reproduction rights over online music are also being targeted to generate additional revenue in this vast field. Audio webcast sites that feature content similar to conventional radio stations, as well as from established radio stations that webcast their signal also well in the line of fire. Of course, there are different rates of taxes for different online services – varying from five percent to as high as twenty-five percent.

Happy downloading! I am sure you will now not worry about the download costs of your music!

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