Call for Canada to extend copyright for songwriters

CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, has expressed its disappointment that the Canadian government’s plan to extend the copyright term of protection for sound recordings and performances from 50 to 70 years – but not make any changes for songwriters and publishers.

Unlike the majority of countries in the world, Canadian copyright law protects authors for the period of their life plus 50 years after the author’s death.

This duration is significantly shorter from the life plus 70 years that is granted in most other countries.

However, authors were left out of the planned amendments to Canadian law on the term of copyright.

Commenting on this development, Jean Michel Jarre, President of CISAC, stated:

“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.

“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.”

His comments were backed up by SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste at Canadian Music Week on Saturday.

In the European Union, the term of copyright protection for authors, as established by Directive 2006/116/CE, runs for the life of the author plus 70 years after death.

Outside the EU, the US, Australia, and most other countries offer protection that extends beyond 50 years after the author’s death, with some countries granting protection of life + 100 years.Music Business Worldwide

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