The fact is that none of the artists who went to Ottawa have probably ever had their music downloaded. Another thing to point out is that music sales are up in North America in 2004 by over 15 million units! Good music will always sell, bad music will alw

Musicians demand Ottawa protect them from music piracy
OTTAWA (CP) – Some of Canada’s best know musicians gathered on Parliament Hill on Wednesday to call on the federal government to update its antiquated copyright law.
Artists such as Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, rocker Tom Cochrane and blues singer Jully Black said the industry is being devastated by Internet piracy and counterfeit CDs. The Copyright Act, drafted in 1908, is ill-equipped to address the issues of the 21st century and what the president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association called “some of the biggest loopholes that any business has ever had to contend with.”
“The current Copyright Act .†.†. damages the industry, the economy and our artists’ careers,” said Graham Henderson, noting even the Supreme Court of Canada has recommended the federal government update copyright law.
“Downloading, file-swapping, peer-to-peer networks – these are all euphemisms for piracy, pure and simple. It is devastating to the Canadian music industry.”
A spokeswoman for Heritage Minister Lisa Frulla said the minister met early Wednesday with representatives of the musicians and discussed the issue.
“Copyright has to balance the rights of creators with the needs of users,” said Marianne Goodwin.
Last March, a joint report from the Heritage and Industry departments suggested copyright reform is needed and they would be seeking authority from cabinet this fall to begin drafting amendments.
“Work is proceeding on that timetable,” said Goodwin.
Henderson said music sales have dropped by a third – almost $500 million – in just a few years.
The industry tracked illegal downloads of Tragically Hip music for a month this year. Henderson said there were 2.8 million attempts to download Tragically Hip music, compared with 1,000 legal purchases through the online music store Puretracks.
“That translates to about a quarter-million records in a month,” said Henderson.
The practice is hard enough on established artists; it can be devastating to debut acts.
One artist, Hawksley Workman, had to contend with 1.7 million illegal attempts to download music from his second album.
“That type of piracy has the effect of a brick wall on a career,” said Henderson. “The sales of his records were nothing like what they could have been but for that piracy.”
Henderson said piracy has also cost the industry thousands of jobs and countless lost career opportunities.
“The laws are so out-of-date in Canada that you can do those sorts of things with music and, even if we catch you, chances are the courts are going to let you go,” he said.
The Liberals promised during the federal election campaign to protect artists with new legislation.
“We are asking ministers and MPs to move forward immediately with this new, vital legislation,” Henderson said.
But Prof. Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa law school, says proposed reforms will directly affect millions of Canadians who may have no interest in music.
“Millions don’t download,” said Geist, “yet the reforms will have a direct and adverse impact on their interests, including education, research, libraries, consumer rights, and privacy.”
Rather than pushing for harmful copyright reforms, Geist said the industry would be better off pushing for greater government support for the creation of music, what he called the true engine driving the Canadian industry.
“Canadian artists in particular have fared remarkably well under the private copying system with millions in income generated as compensation for the private copying that occurs,” Geist said.
The reasons for reduced sales are far more complex than simply music downloading, he added.
The artists, members of the Music in Canada Coalition, also noted that the three-year, $95-million Canada Music Fund expires this year. They called on Ottawa to provide long-term sustainable funding to the music industry.