Canadian Music Stars Call For Change To Copyright Act


Some of the biggest names in Canadian music – including Shania Twain, Shawn Mendes, Céline Dion, Drake and Michael Bublé – are calling on the federal government to amend the Copyright Act.

“We … call upon the Government of Canada to introduce an amendment … which would enable creators to reclaim copyright rights 25 years after the date of a transfer rather than 25 years after the creator’s date of death,” reads an open letter dated June 2.

“It’s common for creators (i.e. songwriters), especially early in their careers, to be pressured into signing away some or all of their rights, thus denying creators, their families and their children the opportunity to reap fair rewards from their creative works later in life.”

According to the Coalition of Canadian Creators, U.S. copyright law allows creators to reclaim rights 35 years after the date of transfer and amendments have also been made to copyright laws in European Union countries.

“We believe Canada should follow the EU and USA examples,” the letter reads. “We’re asking that the words ’25 years from the death of the author’ be removed from the Act and replaced with ’25 years from the date of the copyright transfer.’”

The letter, which is addressed to prime minister Justin Trudeau and federal ministers Steven Guilbeault and Francois-Philippe Champagne, is backed by a long list of famous Canadians – including Gordon Lightfoot, Alessia Cara, Neil Young, Geddy Lee, JP Saxe, Bryan Adams, Jann Arden, Avril Lavigne, Jessie Reyez and Arcade Fire's Win Butler.

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