SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown today sent a letter to all Members of Parliament in Canada urging them to reject an amendment to section 4.2 of Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, that will not support Canadian songwriters and composers in a modern digital age. The bill has been passed in the Senate, but the House of  Commons has yet to ratify it and accept the new amendment.

Here’s the text of Jennifer Brown’s letter:

SOCAN welcomes the passing in the Senate of Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, but urges the House of Commons to reject the amendment to clause 4.2.

Online streaming has had exponential growth over the last number of years, but Canadian songwriters and composers are not receiving their fair share of that growth. For every dollar in music licenses from Canadian TV and radio broadcasters, around 34 cents are distributed to Canadian songwriters and composers, but for every license dollar from online streaming, only 10 cents remain in Canada.

This inequity is due in large part to the fact that the foreign streaming services that have benefitted greatly from operating in Canada are not required to support or promote Canadian songs to Canadian audiences. Foreign streaming giants that benefit from unfettered access to Canadian audiences should be supporting our cultural community, and Canadian songwriters and composers. It is vital to the survival of our culture and cultural sovereignty.

Bill C-11 must remain broad so that it can adapt to future online services, whose models for delivering content are not yet known. A bill that is tailored only to services in operation today will not be flexible enough for the future of broadcasting online. The amendment to clause 4.2 jeopardizes this flexibility. We need Parliamentarians to reject this amendment.

SOCAN thanks the Minister of Canadian Heritage,  the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, for staying true to the promise of introducing this important Bill and look forward to all parties stepping up for what’s right for Canada’s culture and economy.