ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1993-5

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 29 January 1993
Public Notice CRTC 1993-5
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-32 dated 30 April 1992, the Commission announced that it was undertaking a review of the content requirements for Canadian music on radio. This review followed an invitation extended by the Commission in the Fall of 1991 to representatives of the principal sectors of the Canadian music industry for their views as to the continuing usefulness of the Canadian content regulation for radio, and for their suggestions as to possible changes, including changes to the MAPL system. MAPL is the term used by the industry in reference to the Commission's regulatory criteria for qualifying musical selections as being Canadian. Currently, with certain exceptions, selections qualify as Canadian content provided they meet two of the following four conditions:
* Music - the music must be composed by a Canadian.
* Artist - the music or lyrics must be principally performed by a Canadian.
* Production - the musical selection consists of a live performance that is,
 (i) recorded wholly in Canada, or
 (ii) performed wholly in Canada and broadcast live in Canada.
* Lyrics - the lyrics must be written by a Canadian. In response to the Commission's invitation a task force was formed, consisting of representatives of the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), the Canadian Independent Record Production Association (CIRPA), the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), the Canadian performing rights organization SOCAN, and the Songwriters' Association of Canada. This task force, representing the views of the Anglophone sector of the industry, reported on 14 January 1992 that:
 1. The existing flexibility and simplicity of the MAPL system should be retained. It has delivered specific, clear benefits to all participants in the Canadian music and broadcast industries.
 2. In order to recognize the increased amount of collaboration between songwriters in the creation of songs, the existing regulation should be modified so that where a song is co-written by a Canadian and a non-Canadian, [and] where the Canadian songwriter is credited with at least fifty percent of the composer's share respecting the music and at least fifty percent of the writer's share respecting the lyrics, that song should qualify for one of the two required 'points'.
Three Francophone music organizations -- the Association québecoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ), the Société professionelle des auteurs, compositeurs québécois (SPACQ), and the Union des Artistes (UDA) -- also agreed in principle with the recommendations of the task force.
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-32, the Commission submitted for public comment the task force proposal, together with other proposals for changes to the Canadian content regulation it had received over time. In response, the Commission received 62 submissions. In its review, the Commission set itself the following goals: to keep the Canadian content regulation as simple and flexible as possible, to keep the MAPL system as verifiable and self-regulating as possible, and to maintain an appropriate balance between the interests of the affected sectors.
A large number of the submissions expressed support for the task force proposal. In light of these submissions, the Commission has determined that the benefits of the task force proposal, that a "joint-credit" be granted in respect of collaborations between a Canadian composer-lyricist and a foreign composer-lyricist, outweigh any disadvantages. The Commission will announce a proposed amendment to the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the regulations) accordingly, in a future public notice.
This amendment would affect only those musical selections that were recorded or performed live on or after 1 September 1991.
Some submissions proposed that a selection having a performing artist who is Canadian be given a double credit under the regulation, while others suggested that such a selection should automatically qualify as Canadian. Still others argued that it should be mandatory that the performing artist of a selection be Canadian in order for that selection to qualify. Some argued that the role of the composer and lyricist should be given greater emphasis. Others suggested that the definition of a "Canadian" be amended to require only Canadian residency rather than citizenship or immigrant status. Still others proposed that new elements, such as copyright ownership, publishing company, record company, or producer be factored into the accreditation system. Proposals were also received that addressed the overall number of qualifying elements, and the number of these elements that should be met to qualify a selection as Canadian.
With respect to the level of Canadian content, some argued for an increase in the current 30% level of category 2 music, while one advocated a reduction.
Some preferred retention of the status quo, while others advocated the abolition of the Canadian content regulation altogether. Still others proposed the creation of a more complex system of points or credits instead of the present system based on a percentage of musical selections.
Several submissions referred specifically to category 3 music: some proposed that the Canadian content requirement be raised to 30% from the present 10%, and argued that the composer and lyricist functions be given a double credit. On the other hand, one submission proposed that, in the case of recordings of classical music, a double credit be given to the performing artist function, and suggested, as an alternative, that in the case of category 3 selections, the Commission allow a half or full credit for performing artists.
One submission proposed that the Commission implement a sliding-scale requirement for Canadian content based on the era of the music played, in consideration of the fact that there is little recorded Canadian music available from the years before 1956. While the Commission is sympathetic to this argument insofar as it relates to music in category 2, it has decided not to amend the regulations in this regard. Instead, it will be prepared to give favourable consideration to applications by the licensees of networks or stations for amendments to their conditions of licence where:
* in those periods of category 2 music consisting exclusively of music composed before 1956, the Canadian content level is not less than 2% on a weekly basis;
* in those periods of category 2 music consisting of 90% or more, but not exclusively, of music composed before 1956, the Canadian content level is not less than 10% on a weekly basis.
Network operators should be prepared to respond to Commission requests for information concerning their Canadian content and the date of composition of the selections broadcast.
In the case of stations wishing to affiliate with networks whose music services match either of the above criteria, the licensees of such stations may apply to the Commission for an amendment to their conditions of licence to relieve them of their current Canadian content obligations for any period during which they carry the network programming; or they may choose to make up the shortfall in their Canadian content during their other hours of broadcast. In all other respects the affiliated stations will continue in law to be responsible for the content of the network programming. When affiliated stations are requested by the Commission to submit information concerning their broadcasting of Canadian music, they should identify the periods of pre-1956 network or station-originated programming. The onus rests with licensees to ascertain the date of composition of the selections they broadcast if they wish to take advantage of the lower Canadian content requirements.
The Commission has carefully considered all of the other suggestions contained in the submissions and has concluded that the interests of the Canadian music industry, the Canadian broadcasting system, and the Canadian public can best be served by not making any changes other than those specified above. The Commission, however, proposes to add to the regulations a provision that was included in earlier forms of the regulation, but was deleted from the Radio Regulations, 1986. This provision stipulates that, once a musical selection has legitimately qualified as Canadian, it will continue to qualify thereafter. This is of particular importance for Canadian musical selections that qualified before 18 January 1972 on the basis of one criterion.
The Commission will invite comments from the public once the text of the proposed regulatory changes has been vetted by the Privy Council Office.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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