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October 3, 2005

The Canadian Recording Industry Launches Campaign to Protect and Promote Intellectual Property

Written by
cindy mcleod

On September 29th, 2005, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) announced it’s national campaign of promotion and protection for “products of the mind”, or intellectual property. The campaign is being launched in advance of the public hearings to be held this fall, which will review Bill C-60, the new federal copyright legislation. The CRIA is using the results of new national telephone polls done by POLLARA Inc. and Environics Research Group to bolster its argument that illegal downloads and file-swapping are damaging music industry sales.

Citing poll results showing younger Canadians are the worst offenders, with 78% of illegal downloading being done by the 12 – 24 year olds. The CRIA is calling for stronger copyright legislation, education, and other initiatives to be put into place. On the basis of these and other compelling poll results, the CRIA hopes to put a halt to the decline in legal pre-recorded music sales suffered by the retail industry, which show a decrease of $541 million (41%) in revenue between 1991 and 2005. The POLLARA study shows that at least 14 illegal files are downloaded for every legal one in Canada, while Environics found that Canadians aged 18-29 are more willing to engage in the illegal activity than other age groups.

“Not only does music file-swapping harm artists, but it also points to an erosion of respect for intellectual property that threatens Canada’s economy and values at the core of our society,” says CRIA President Graham Henderson. “Canada will remain competitive internationally only if we can compete in a knowledge-based economy. To do this we have to respect, value and protect products of the mind. The ‘if it’s there, it’s free’ thinking extends far beyond entertainment products and software to ideas themselves. As a society, we risk raising a generation less capable of creating original products of the mind that will in turn keep us at the top of the IP pyramid. Responses to this threat will require numerous tools – from technological protections legal frameworks to education campaigns – to ensure that creativity and innovation continue to receive their due rewards in the Canadian marketplace. We need stronger copyright laws, comparable to those of our global competitors, to ensure the continued growth of copyright-based industries,” Henderson says. “Today’s weak protection discourages investment and innovation that are essential to Canada’s future prosperity,” remarks Henderson.

For further information: Don Hogarth, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2755, dhogarth@environicspr.com; Lubor Keliar, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2758, lkeliar@environicspr.com

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