October 25, 2018
As reported by CBC, Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams appeared as a witness before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and advocated for change to Canadian copyright laws. The Committee has been tasked with studying remuneration models for artists and creative industries, an endeavour that is scheduled to wrap up some time next year.
The Canadian rock legend implored Parliament to amend section 14 of the Copyright Act so that musicians and artists will eventually have the opportunity to regain the rights to their songs and materials after they have been sold. As reported by the Huffington Post, Adams stated: “My proposal is that we change one word in the Copyright Act section 14(1) which is from '25 years after death' to '25 years after assignment' — so one word, that’s all we need to do.”
Such a change would more closely align Canadian copyright laws with those in the United States, where a similar provision was amended in the 1970s. Currently, in the United States, authors and artists can begin the process of recovering the rights to their materials 35 years after the respective contract is signed.
Adams advocated that this change would benefit young artists, since the power dynamic is often disproportionate when artists sign contracts for commercial distribution.
Author: Sam Galway