Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Canadian Music Industry Drills Dentists

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the double-root-canal dept.


hereisnowhy writes "CBC reports that the tranquil music that wafts through many dental offices to soothe patients and mask the sounds of the drill may soon be silenced. The music industry is putting the bite on dentists -- demanding that they pay for the right to play it. The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada would also like to extend this policy to 'coffee shops, clothing stores, lounges, elevators -- even radio tunes that people hear on the telephone while on hold.' Are any composers and authors actually in favour of this, or just the publishers?"

cancel ×


Stupid (1)

WeekendLazyness (719545) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797726)

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Re:Stupid (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797741)

In the United States of Avarice, music publishers would definately get away with this shakedown. Maybe in Canada, their attempted money grab will fail. We can only hope so.

WHAT?! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797761)

You little dentist scum better sound off that you love the Canadian Music Industry, or I'm gonna stomp your guts out!

God has a hard on for dentists, because we kill everything we see. He plays his games, we play ours. To show our appreciation for so much power, we keep heaven packed with fresh teeth. God was here before Dentistry, so you can give your heart to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the industry!


liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797812)

or the poor children listening to the drills?
Man do I hate those things...

Re:Stupid (5, Funny)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797834)

Are there any recordings of tranquil music so old that they are in the public domain? If so, play those, and tell The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada that the world's smallest violin is playing for them.

No: (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797730)

no composers or authors are in favor of this. None.

It's all the Canadian musicians' associations.

I know quite a few composers/musicians who are forced to be members so they can get by - one of those coercive union things - and since they don't have a say in how it's run they can't change anything.

The scariest thing... (4, Funny)

Dashing Leech (688077) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797733) that somebody might actually get paid for elevator music.

Re:The scariest thing... (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797777)

Muzak's been in that business for years.

Re:The scariest thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797782)

I, for one, welcome our new mellow keyboardist overlords.

Re:The scariest thing... AC2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797851)

dont take the piss man. I live off the stuff I did for job centres in the uk.

Don't kid yourself... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797963) that somebody might actually get paid for elevator music.
It's actually among the highest-paying gigs in music. Each session runs a few hours, and they want to maximize their time by recording a lot of music. That requires top-notch studio musicians -- because there's no such thing as rehearsal. You walk into the studio at 9AM and they plop a folder filled with sheet music in front of you. They call the first tune, the red light goes on, and you play.

And let me tell you: You'd better get it right in one take. 'Cause like I say, it's a high-paying gig. If you can't hack it, there's a line of musicians out the door looking to take your seat.

composers and artists can be money crazed too. (1)

illumen (718958) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797736)

Composers and artists can be money crazed too. Although most are simply in it for the fame ;)

Lets not forget.. (5, Funny)

spacecadetglow (790516) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797738)

Lets not forget the people with their car radio on and their windows rolled down. They are our number one priority man.

Not the same (0)

trashme (670522) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797817)

I don't agree with what they are trying to do, but there is an important distinction between playing the music from your car radio and the music at a dentist's office. The dentists's office is a commercial establishment, so it is possible to claim that the music is being used for something other than personal use.

Re:Not the same (4, Insightful)

Dashing Leech (688077) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797913)

The dentists's office is a commercial establishment...

True, but I can't imagine anyone actually suffering through a dental appointment just to listen to some free music. I suspect this would easily qualify as fair use. Obviously commercial establishments where people actually go to listen to the music (bars, clubs, etc.) would have to pay, but a dentist??? One could even argue that a clothing store might attract more customers by playing music, but a dentist??? Yikes, talk about picking on the wrong group.

Uh oh. (3, Funny)

Shky (703024) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797739)

I sometimes play music loudly in my car with the windows down. I assume they'd be mad at me for that too.

If so, I'm very, very sorry. Don't worry, it's not the kind of crappy music that you're worried about people hearing for free anyway. This music is good.

Boy Ricers (1, Funny)

usefool (798755) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797743)

Well, at least we won't hear the annoying loud music pumping out of a riced up car in the middle of the night near our neighborhood soon.

ASCAP & BMI... (4, Interesting)

l810c (551591) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797744)

...have been doing this in the US for forever. I worked at a resturaunt in college 15 years ago and we had CD's playing. They sent someone arownd to every business in town and said to play CD's you had to pay their fee's. We switched to radio, which is legal.

A couple of years later I ran a bar that had live music and we played CD's. We had to pay ASCAP and BMI nearly $3000 a year to cover CD's and the bands playing cover songs.

Re:ASCAP & BMI... (5, Insightful)

acroyear (5882) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797893)

ascap will sue your bar even if you only have artists playing their on (non-ascap) original material. its an extortion racket and everybody knows it. they certainly have the legal clout. they claim that 84% of their royalties go directly to the artists (mind you, much of it distributed based on radio airplay, regardless of the money's source).

however, 16% of $1.6 BILLION pays for a LOT of lawyers.

for example, if you only do public domain material, "trad arr." and all that, they'll still sue you because they can decide that your arraingment wasn't original, but based on an arraingment that is ASCAP protected. you can't win.

and a restaurant DOES have to pay ASCAP licensing, even if they only play the radio. all stores do.

yes, that means ASCAP gets paid 3 times over. 1) the radio station purchases the CD to play, at a higher rate than our retail version, and ASCAP gets their cut. 2) the radio station pays its broadcast license. 3) the restaurant or retail location pays a broadcast license based on the # of customers they have on average in the store at any time.

nobody wins except ascap. period.

Re:ASCAP & BMI... (5, Informative)

l810c (551591) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797953)

I was pretty certain that we didn't have to pay anything for radio. I did a search and it depends on the situation [] .

With the rest of your comment I definately agree.

When opening your own business that are invariably unforseen costs. Imagine our surprise when we get a letter only a few weeks after getting our federal tax id. And the costs turn out to be $3000, that's a real drain when opening a business on a shoestring. I think they scan the SIC codes for new businesses and attack right away.

Re:ASCAP & BMI... (1)

jjeffries (17675) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797915)

Is that because ASCAP had already gotten paid by the radio station? Does it follow, then, that one could play a legit streaming station like the ones at SomaFM [] without paying up yourself?

Re:ASCAP & BMI... (1)

goodie3shoes (573521) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797941)

Um, no, radio isn't "legal" either. You can't get away from their clutches so easily. If you have a business, and you play "their" music to customers,whether "music on hold" or in your lobby, they want their pound (0.4 kG) of flesh.

Article text in case of slashdotting (2, Informative)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797749)

VANCOUVER - The tranquil music that wafts through many dental offices to soothe patients and mask the sounds of the drill may soon be silenced. The music industry is putting the bite on dentists - demanding that they pay for the right to play it.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, which collects royalties for musicians, has targeted dental offices in its latest campaign. The group is asking them to cough up a yearly fee if they use copyrighted music to entertain patients.

The fee, a minimum charge of $100, has enraged some dentists.

"I just feel it's a money grab," said Vancouver dentist Kerstin Conn, who recently received a letter from SOCAN at her office. "We paid for our CD and we're using it to listen to, and half the time my patients ... don't even hear the music."

Bruce Wilde, licensing manager for SOCAN, said people can listen to CDs for personal enjoyment but infringe copyright if they play them for other purposes.

"The distinction is that the music is not their property," he said. "And if it's being used in a public fashion or any kind of commercial fashion, then [musicians] deserve to be compensated for its use."

SOCAN has battled for years to get commercial and retail outlets to pay for the use of copyrighted music. Under legislation, the music played in coffee shops, clothing stores, lounges, elevators - even radio tunes that people hear on the telephone while on hold - is fair game.

The copyright laws do offer some wiggle room, one legal expert said. "The gray area, I think, is where it's overheard inadvertently," said Robert Howell, a professor at the University of Victoria Law School, "when it is really intended to be private but it is overheard inadvertently by a customer."

SOCAN said it has successfully collected the fees so far, but if someone refuses to pay, it could sue for copyright infringement. Things rarely go that far, the group said.

Conn said she intends to keep playing CDs in her Vancouver office - at least for now. "Well, no, I'm not going to turn off the music. It's wrong."

Re:Article text in case of slashdotting (4, Funny)

gclef (96311) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797811)

Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada shortens to SOCAN? No way. That abbreviates to SCAMP, and everyone knows it. (and it makes more sense, too.)

Re:Article text in case of slashdotting (1)

macosxaddict (559557) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797882)

I'm sorry. In order to post this copyrighted article on another web site, you must pay one million dollars. By posting this, you have cost us a million dollars in legal fees and lost sales because then people don't view ads on our web site. Seriously, though, I'm guessing that cross-posting really is a copyright violation.

Re:Article text in case of slashdotting (2, Insightful)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797896)

/. CBC? It got sluggish on 9/11, but /.'ing CBC is well, like /.'ing /.

Re:Article text in case of slashdotting (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797965)

/. would never get...

503 Service Unavaible

Re:Article text in case of slashdotting (1)

pgnas (749325) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797923)

How about advertising in your office, sort of a "now playing list", and then a kiosk [] where the numbed up patient can make a purchase?

Everyone wants to get a pice of the action, it sounds like someone had too much time on their hands and an idea came to them while they were with the boys at the country club.

I guess you can't blame them too much, everyone seems to be greedy these days, I guess its hard to feel sorry for dentists, they have the cash to shell out $100 a year, I understand it's a principle thing, but c'mon, it's a $100!

don't get me wrong, I'm not an anti-dentite [] but give me a break if it is only $100 you'll only "feel a slight pinch" []

Re:Article text in case of slashdotting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797934)

I'm thinking there needs to be a re-enactment of a certain scene from Marathon Man next time this Bruce Wilde guy goes for a checkup.

non SECAM music? (3, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797750)

How about just get music which is licensed in a more open fashon such as Creative Commons?

Not going to happen (2)

g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797751)

Considering how the courts have handled the music industry in the past, I somehow doubt they will actually let this happen in Canada.

It's ok (2, Interesting)

knightrdr (685033) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797753)

If they do something about the sound of the drill, I'm all for it.

What happened... (4, Insightful)

oldosadmin (759103) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797755)

to playing music for the sheer artistry of it? I play music, and just the fact of someone WANTING to hear it would make me happy.

Re:What happened... (3, Interesting)

Skadet (528657) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797833)

I can tell from experience that while (in the beginning) it's just awesome when someone simply "wants to hear the music" you've created, that appeal tends to wanes.

Basically, wanting people "just to hear" your stuff is inversely correlated with "time and money invested".

Believe me, after spending a solid week in a studio and dropping more than $7,000 on an album, you'd appreciate it if someone paid you the $5 for the CD you just pressed.

Eventually, someone wanting to hear your music translates into them wanting to hear it so badly that they pay for it. In a perfect world. Would-be fans who don't care to buy your stuff don't pay the bills.

Re:What happened... (3, Insightful)

Dizzle (781717) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797876)

Then maybe it's time to consider another career. Just because someone does a job doesn't mean they have to be paid well for it, if at all. I'm tired of artists complaining about not making enough money. They could go out and train to become a music teacher or a sound engineer or something else that applies to their trade, but for the love of god stop saying that we "owe" you something.

Re:What happened... (1, Insightful)

Skadet (528657) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797935)

I guess my implied point was unclear.

Just because someone does a job doesn't mean they have to be paid well for it, if at all.
You're absolutely right. Nobody has to buy a painting, no one must buy a CD, nobody has to buy poetry. But, it's just silly to say that if you want it you shouldn't have to pay for it. Say you loved a certain painting (also a creative piece of art) and you just took it without paying. Did you commit a crime? Of course. But more importantly, was it an immoral thing to do? Absolutely. Consuming art without compensating the artist is an absurd idea -- unless, of course, that's what the artist wants for one reason or another. Do you disagree?

for the love of god stop saying that we "owe" you something.
That's an interesting point, as you are saying precisely what you're telling artists not to say. We're saying someone who consumes our work should compensate us for it. You're saying we owe you all the free music you want. Did I misunderstand you? Can you restate your point in a less hypocritical way?

Re:What happened... (2, Informative)

macosxaddict (559557) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797855)

That's all very nice, but I'm also guessing that you don't make your living selling your music. People feel the same way about other things they create. Hobbyists are happy just to have someone use their creation, which is fine for them, but professionals have to eat somehow.

Re:What happened... (1)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797881)

just the fact of someone WANTING to hear it would make me happy

Make you happy, yes. Provide you with a means of subsistence, no.

People want money for dedicating themselves to playing music for the same reason that they want money for dedicating themselves to playing sport; it requires a lot of dedication and input to attain the level of skill to set them apart from recreational players, which (usually) precludes them from having other jobs.

Patronage is a means around the problem, though it is rare, but in my mind anybody who has given as much (if not more) time to hone their musical/sporting talents as I give to my job, then they are deserving of recompense*

*Provided, of course, that I value the fruit of their labours.

Re:What happened... (1)

VoxCombo (782935) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797894)

many artists don't care about money, and give their music freely. That's their right. But that doesn't mean we have the right to trample on artists who choose to sell their music to make a living

Re:What happened... (1)

oldosadmin (759103) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797916)

that doesn't mean we have the right to trample on artists who choose to sell their music to make a living

Playing music at a dentists' office != trampling artists rights

This is a bad thing? (1)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797757)

I would rather hear the drill than the crap they usually play in dentists' offices.

Oh come on! (1)

bigmattana (646048) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797758)

In the words of Homestarrunner, "That's just ridiculous!"

Whenever I see something pathetic like this... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797764) makes me glad that copyright infringement happens.


if you want people to hate you you're doing a great job.

Re:Whenever I see something pathetic like this... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797874)

Fuck you. you are the kind of person who wants the terrorists to win! THE TERRROSITSTS!!!!!!!!!

"Fair use" by tradition, but not by law? (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797766)

There's a bit of an interesting situation here... the publishers are trying to assert themselves into what presently is a very murky space in copyright land.

Using a broadcast radio station as the hold music on a phone system actually requires a copyright license from the station from which the artists/publishers should be seeking their payment. Of course, since it'd take a lot of work to observe all of the places this is going on, it's one of those bits of copyright law that more or less has been nullified by simple non-enforcement, and therefore slipped into that consumer-friendly category known as "fair use".

Case law has more or less said in the past that if a radio station is being pumped through an amplifier system throughout a building, then whomever is doing that needs to pay because they're redistributing the station. However, if they set up a standalone radio in every room and tune them all to the same frequency, they get the same effective sounds throught the building but don't have to pay because they're not redistributing, but just letting the boom boxes do their thing. But again, that often ends up unnoticed and unenforced.

Major sports venues have to pay for copyright licenses... but your local high school football venue likely uses the same music without paying for it.

Seems like this is an RIAA crackdown just waiting to happen...

Re:"Fair use" by tradition, but not by law? (1)

BurpingWeezer (199436) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797937)

I thought under Canadian copyright law you could rebroadcast if and only if the original content was unaltered. Wasn't there a Canadian website around a few years ago that did just that but got shutdown because they were rebroadcasting US stations? I think it was called iCraveTV or something like that.

A quick search finds this: 3&tid=129 []

There is a lot more on Slashdot's search page: author=&sort=1&op=stories []

Fair use, anybody? (4, Insightful)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797768)

I used to work at a grocery store (I believe the title was "courtesy clerk", but I likened it to being the "head b!tch....:) ), and I asked my boss one day about the music that was pumped into the store. He replied that they subscribed to a certain radio feed and that was paid through the grocery company I worked for. It was a special feed, and the store had a tuner for the specific frequency or other.....

I would assume that most of these locations (stores, lounges, etc) follow the same sort of setup. My dentist played his own music, but I figure that would fall under fair-use, right? I mean, he's listening to it while he's working -

No fair use you say? Oh.....

What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797769)

Next you're going to be telling me they're making dentists pay for their nitrous!

Teeth (5, Funny)

paulfwilliams (410508) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797770)

Perhaps the RIAA members will change their tune when they go for their dental checkups, and instead of soothing music, the dentists play recorded tracks of drilling and pulling teeth.

Whats next? (1)

g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797771)

Whats next? Are they going to charge you to have your friends listen to your music when they come over to visit? Or maybe they're going to take our money just for thinking about it.

Smart radio (2, Interesting)

usefool (798755) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797776)

Since playing radio is still legal, would it be possible to design a 'smart radio' which searches and switches to another station if the music is no longer playing (i.e. with advertisement or DJ talking).

With such radio, dentists (or whoever) can preset a couple of like-taste stations and skip all the ads and talking, it'll be like a non-stop music album.

Re:Smart radio (2, Interesting)

imkonen (580619) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797862)

Well if my experience whenever I forget to bring a CD in the car is any indicator, the flaw in your idea is that all the stations with good music have ads at the same time.

Call the above comment half joking, half tinfoil hat musings. I used to chock it up to bad luck, but I've wondered if there isn't any truth to it: it would be in the radio stations' interests to get together and agree to overlap ad time to minimize channel surfing, wouldn't it?

Listen to Narbotic (1)

Knights who say 'INT (708612) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797780)

It ain't got a fancy Creative Commons license, but the kid is alright.

Linky [] .

I particularly recommend "I couldn't find her heart" and "Alarm in the graduate school".

What about the rest of slashdotters? Non-RIAA independently released music you thoroughly enjoy?

SOCAN: The RIAA's Mini-Me (1)

meestaplu (786661) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797781)

The fee, a minimum charge of $100, has enraged some dentists.

That's exhorbitant! While I assume that the article (off a Canadian site) gives the figure in Canadian dollars, that figure translates to $76 USD at current exchange rates. Dentists and others are not making money off of playing the music -- no, it's just background sound to make patients more comfortable. I could understand the charges if dentists somehow profited directly from playing music in their offices, but this is just a money grab.

These guys will never learn -- faced with decreasing revenue and a fouled reputation, what do they do? The logical thing of course, alienate themselves further from the general public and anyone else.

I'm all for it... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797783)

... because the greedier the Music Industry gets, the more demand there'll be for a more repsonsible ogranization to replace them. The more you tighten your grip, and all...

Why dentists? (1)

kybred (795293) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797784)

Why are they picking on dentists? Somebody at SOCAN have a bad root canal?

Re:Why dentists? (2, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797887)

It's simple, they're anti-Dentites!

(Sorry, too much Seinfeld)

Re:Why dentists? (1)

RealOldGuy (565455) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797961)

If they haven't experienced that pleasure yet, they soon will. Wait until they crack down on the proctologists, though. Is there anything like a Richter Scale for screams?

the easy solution (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797787)

The easy solution? Pipe in Musak [] to your business. Totally legit, and you can choose either CD distribution or live Satellite feeds. (disclaimer: Is this available in Canada?)

Ultimately, it's probably wrong/illegal for a business to purchase a CD and then play it for its customers. On the other hand, what's the difference between this and playing the radio for them? I can't see why publicly available radio broadcasts should be surcharged for this reason; they record company plays the music on the radio for all to hear anyway, so what's the big deal?

Incidentally, a retail-type business would never do what those dentists are doing anyway. Their music is carefully selected to slow a shopper's pace down and encourage more sales.

Isn't there Muzak in Canada? (1)

gordonb (720772) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797788)

Technically, it is infringment to play music licensed by ASCAP, etc. for entertainment or business purposes in the US, as well, including playing a radio station while on hold. Many professional offices, malls, and so on pay a company, such as Muzak, to stream the music to their sound system, phones, or paging speakers. The company pays all the license fees to BMI, ASCAP, and so on, and provides several channels of content.

A buddy of mine is a district rep/salesman for Muzak in South Texas and makes a very good living at it. He gets the bonus for the sale as well as residual payments for as long as the client continues to use the service. It's really not very expensive for a small business, such as a dentist's office, and the artists may get a pittance at least.

Does Canada have a similar clause like the US does (2, Interesting)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797790)

I know here in the US, if you play music on "non-commercial equipment" (IE A small boombox from Target, etc) or don't charge a fee, you don't have to pay the fees. But the minute you upgrade to pro equipment or make it pay-to-play, you do.

I found this out whilst doing research for opening a bar, a long term life goal I've had for quite some time.
Overall, even with the fee, it's not THAT much money - especially if you put in a jukebox. I know when I finally open up a place, I'll be more then happy to pay the money - at least until I do more research and find out the artists don't get a cent of it, then I'll be screaming hehe

Re:Does Canada have a similar clause like the US d (3, Insightful)

VoxCombo (782935) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797857)

The artist gets paid only if he/she was the songwriter. Performance royalties are paid for the song only, not for the recording (two seperate copyrights), so the record company doesn't see a dime either. The only people who get paid are the songwriter and the publisher (at worst a 50/50 split, if the songwriter runs his/her own publishing, and many do, the songwriter gets it all)

Re:Does Canada have a similar clause like the US d (1)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797888)

Then I wouldn't have any problem paying the fee. From everything I've read on it, the fee is quite small compared to what it could mean to the business that pays (revenue from a jukebox, more patrons who come for the music and stay to spend, etc)

FORK Y OU! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797796)

Fuck The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. Fuck them in the ear(s).

Maybe it is just me (2, Insightful)

foidulus (743482) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797799)

but my dentist is probably the last person on earth I would want to piss off. Maybe the Canadian music execs are secretly dental masochists....

This is interesting (2, Interesting)

cluge (114877) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797802)

So if you have a radio plugged into your music on hold PBX port and the radio station already pays to play music, wouldn't that be "double dipping"? Isn't that illegal in Canada?

Whats funny is that the article states ""The distinction is that the music is not their property," he said. "And if it's being used in a public fashion or any kind of commercial fashion, then [musicians] deserve to be compensated for its use."

Considering the horrible track-record the recording industry has for paying musicians what is owed them, does anyone think that the musicians will see a dime if such monies are collected. What isn't mentioned is that this may make it illegal for DJ's to play at weddings and bar mitzvahs without paying some sort of fee. How many times do you have to pay for music before you can really enjoy it?


Something like this happened in Australia (2, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797804)

Back in the late 1980's in Australia, a group called the Australian Performing Rights Association started charging fees for each broadcast of every Australian recording. The consequence was radio stations stopped playing as much local content, people wouldn't buy what they didn't hear, no-one else declared what was being played, what was collected vanished into administration fees for APRA, the cut for artists was reduced in anticipation of broadcast fees and local performers continued to be screwed.

Why should government be a debt collector for the music industry anyway? Why should the music industry get paid several times for one product?

Use broadcasts instead (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797805)

The way around this in the US is to use broadcasts.
And no... you don't have to use AM/FM radio broadcasts.
Hook up an iBook to your DSL connection and audition some internet radio streams, if you can't find a reliable stream with content you like, you can also use the broadband radio stations on Cable/Satelite TV tuners, I know a couple local restaraunts that use those to get around licensensing and the music can be pretty good. And while I haven't checked it out, XM (satelite) radio might have some good alternatives as well.

I don't have the right to play my own music? (2, Interesting)

TyrranzzX (617713) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797807)

I buy a CD, I'm buying the ability to use that disk, which means reproducing the sound of that music. I don't care what these assclowns say, but if I buy their music, I can play that music, weither I hear it or I and 500 people hear it.

This just shows how much this really isn't about lost profits or dwindling sales, but about control. They want control over the industry, which is going away. But the harder they squeeze, the harder we fall through their fist. Already another industry of alternative music is rising up, and if that kind of legislation goes down, they'll completly lose to the alternative industry who doesn't charge gobs of money for their music.

And since I'm up here, I might as well plug Tales from the afternow ( , free download on the site, 24 and 128kbps). If you listen to that, from beginning to end, you'll know how they're going to try to implement the control.

Re:I don't have the right to play my own music? (1)

Fortress (763470) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797943)

You're right on the money (pardon the cheap pun). It always has been about control. If you follow the trend, pretty soon they would have us paying for person-songs: You pay based on the song played times the number of people who will hear it. Every time you play it. Forever.

Chiros too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797808)

My chiropractor got a call from the canadian recording industry association. They wanted to know the square footage of his clinic, and then tried to send him a bill for about 100 dollars a month for his "public performace" of the music (radio usually), or CD's.

I'm not sure what actually came out of it, but this isn't new.

Perhaps we could have synthesised music... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797814)

For steady soothing music, surely it would be possible to have synthetically created music by machine?

Alternatively, dentists could always provide patients with a CD player and a set of headphones (my Canadian dentist used to do that).

Alternatively, they could always charge anyone from the music industry an additional "music played while undergoing treatment charge".

dentists can afford it (but that's not the point) (0)

jdkane (588293) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797818)

Any dentist I've ever gone to sure makes enough money: big house, lots of property, nice cars ...oh, and the big in-ground swimming pool -- that's a must. I've known a couple of dentists. I realize I'm stepping outside the main point, but if there's one profession that can afford to pay the petty few hundred bucks for music it's most definitely the dental profession. Of course if a precedent is set then everybody will be affected, both rich and poor.

Radio? (2, Insightful)

jebiester (589234) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797823)

Every time I've gone to the dentist the radio has been playing. I've always thought that's the case with most dentists.

Since the Radio is already payed for by radio advertising (which the dentist is subjecting his customers to), this shouldn't really be a problem. And I'm sure if this is enforced, dentists who currently play CDs would just use the radio. I doubt any royalties would be made.

Appropriate Acronym (1)

jhealy (91456) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797829)

It's great that The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada stands for:

The SCAM Publishers of Canada!

Acronyms (1)

irenetheno (643089) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797830)

Does it anyone else find it peculiar that the word "scam" is in the name of such a high profile organization?

What's worse is it spells scam-PC.. Like they're pioneering new and politically correct forms of extortion.

What makes an artist? (5, Insightful)

Fortress (763470) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797836)

I read all kinds of stories on Slashdot like this about someone being upset that someone else is enjoying some form of art without paying for the privilege. It always makes me wonder about the goals of the artists.

It seems to me that a true artist would want as many people as possible to enjoy their creation. The internet and file-sharing should be a great enabler for this, as anyone anywhere with internet access can see, hear or read their art. It is truly liberating and democratizing, making art available to all instead of only those who can afford it.

Whenever I hear an artist complain that too many people are enjoying their work without paying, I smell a rat. If you are creating art to get rich, you're not really an artist, at least by my admittedly narrow definition. Art should be its own reward. A true artist would create and distribute their work even if there was no compensation for it and they had to work a day job to make ends meet. There are countless examples of this. The passion for their craft drives them, not a desire for monetary gain (though this sometimes is a byproduct).

As to record companies and other copyright holding entities, I understand that for their business to survive, they must try to protect their assets. I just happen to think that their business model is hopelessly outdated in the midst of the digital revolution.

We are at a turning point of the information age. Will information become truly free or will access to it be controlled by "information barons"?

Re:What makes an artist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797945)

If artists don't concern themselves with payment, how would they feed themselves? If I enjoy doing work, should I be paid less because of that?

Way to go (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797837)

Lets hope that they push it even harder. Yes, I when they are fleecing everybody, then we can point to the politicians that gave us this wonderful situation and oust them.

commence operation! (1)

l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797847)

commence operation: keep our business model floating! The harder they resist change, the harder it'll be for them to embrace it when their resistance crumbles.

Next... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797850)

They'll want a tax on amplifiers and subwoofers, because if you have a loud stereo in your car all kinds of people will be able to hear the music without paying for it.


I'm going to hope... (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797858)

I have to hope that no dentist is playing Weird Al's song, that's about dentists, and features drill noises and screaming in the background.

Because besides having to pay SOCAN now, they'd be chasing people away.

Had this happen to my employer (2, Interesting)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797864)

For a few years we stuck an old am/fm radio with a headphone jack plug into our phone system. It'd play the radio on the hold music.

Someone reported us / they figured out we'd been doing it and sued the employer. They 'offered' to settle if they were contracted to write up a commercial type thing. That was part of the legal 'settlement'. Complete gang rape RIAA style in the early 90s.

It's about time someone drilled denstists!!1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797867)

For years and years, denists have been causing massive waves of pain in my mouth, needlesslly drilling holes in abnornmally soft teeth that don't even have enamle from use of powerful teeth cleaning devices in use by said dentists... GO DRILL THE DENTISTS CDI!!! Make them hurt!
err.. *cough cough*
sorry, I hate dentists just slightly more than I hate the music copyright industry. Normally I would be all for defending these guys, but the tools they used to clean my teeth invariably lead to the need for drilling. Regular brushing can only do so much when you have no enamle on your teeth anymore...

I'm going to hum a tune... (4, Insightful)

Slashcrunch (626325) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797871)

I'm going to hum a tune, and you can pay for the pleasure of hearing it. Then again, maybe its no longer even legal for me to hum the tune to start with, unless I bought the album, and its being hummed on an approved playback/humming device....?

This is just plain greedy.

I think we already have this kind of thing here in Australia?

One artist's opinion (2, Insightful)

SuperDry (636335) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797892)

I only know of one artist personally that gets ASCAP/BMI royalties. His opinion was that this stuff was indeed important to him. He wasn't a star by any means, playing mostly local gigs and had a small number of albums out on a minor label. He wasn't getting rich by being a musician, and considered these quarterly royalty checks an important part of his work as a musician.

Bruce Wilde's next dental appointment... (1)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797900)

Dentist: Hello there, mr... what was it again?
Bruce: Bruce Wilde
Dentist: Hmm.. where have I heard that name before... you work for SOCAN?
Bruce: Uh huh.
Dentist: (wringing hands) Eeeeexcelent. Mr. Wilde, your root canal today is going to be a very special one you will remember for a long time.
Bruce: (Suddenly sweating profusely) Gulp.

Re:Bruce Wilde's next dental appointment... (1)

jlanthripp (244362) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797921)

damn you, hitting the submit button just moments before me!

Ah, to be a dentist... (2, Funny)

jlanthripp (244362) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797903)

and to have one of these scumbags sitting in my chair for a root canal...

"Oops, sorry, thought I'd given you the anesthetic....too late now, let me turn on some soothing music to take your mind off the pain....oh, wait, sorry, can't do that anymore"

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797911)

People pay for the right to advertise other's products all the time.

musicians need dentists too (1)

Ari_Haviv (796424) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797912)

...and when it comes for a checkup I guarantee only heavy metal at full blast will be able to silence the screaming hehehe

Soon enough... (1)

fractaltiger (110681) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797917)

every front desk shall run this script:


It's largely the publishers. (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797929)

The poster asks:

Are any composers and authors actually in favour of this, or just the publishers?

My experience in talking to musicians for my radio show is that this is largely the publishers -- the large corporate publishers, at that. Smaller publishers and the musicians I've spoken with are overwhelmingly interested in increasing exposure and driving up sales through increased exposure.

This tends to jibe with the push for extending the term of copyright in the US and the advocacy for the status quo during the Eldred v. Ashcroft US Supreme Court case. It was publishers (most notably Disney) and organizations of publishers (such as the MPAA) who want longer and longer terms of copyright so they don't have to publish as much new work but can continue to capitalize on commercially successful works from the past.

Boy Scouts (4, Informative)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797946)

I once read that the Boy Scouts in the US have a list of copyrighted campfire songs they are forbidden from singing because ASCAP took them to court over it.

THAT is scraping the bottom of the litigious barrel. Seriously.


It seems a bit backwards... (5, Funny)

blix5 (679908) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797954)

<sarcasm>Yeah, I would *love* for my bands' music to forever be associated with dentist drilling and pain.</sarcasm>

If you look at it that way, the music industry should be paying the dentists to not plays their music.

Is this limited to musicians/publishers within... (1)

vuvewux (792756) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797957)

the consortium? Most music, I would imagine, falls outside of it.

A standard shake-down in the U.S. (5, Insightful)

sillivalley (411349) | more than 9 years ago | (#9797966)

This is a standard shake-down in the U.S. Entertainment and IP lawyers get calls all the time from business owners asking "Can they do that? Do I have to pay these bastards money for playing my fsking radio?"

The answer is usually, yes. The exceptions are very narrow.

(Ever wonder why restaurant chains sing hokey made-up songs instead of the nominal "happy birthday?" Licensing fees -- money -- that's why.)

One exception, in the U.S. at least, is to play only material that is in the public domain, not subject to (ascap/bmi) licensing. As an example, Fry's in Sunnyvale plays classical piano music which is free of licensing. In the U.S., there are collections of CDs full of such material.

Of course when a business takes such an approach, the licensing authorities (sic) will make the assumption that you are a crook, and they will watch carefully and wait for you to screw up -- and then sue your ass (arse, in Canada).

Consult an attorney familiar with these rackets. I imagine that there exists or will soon exist a standard set of recommendations for Canadian businesses who wish to remain free of licensing fees (and don't expect that guidance to come from the licensing societies).

Real musicians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9797968)

...especially young musicians hate, and I mean *HATE* the music industry; the notion that our art, the thing we spend the bulk of our lives trying to get inside and understand, the thing we dedicate ourselves to so completely to the exclusion of almost everything else, should be controlled by a bunch of pencil pushing nitwits is rediculous.

Canadian musicians, and by musicians I mean people who dedicate their lives to music not the idiots who try out year after year for "Canadian Idol" (yes, we have an "Idol" show too... yes, it sucks just as much here as it does there), look forward to the access that the internet affords us; we (and I speak for myself as well as my professional colleagues who are consumed with the creation of music, not just selling it) don't see the internet as a hinderance to our earning potential, we see it as a platform for expression.

We think of it as a big megaphone that everyone gets to use, one that music executives CAN NOT CONTROL.

They hate it, we love it. What's more, we love that they hate it AND CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

Keep sharing, keep talking to each other, keep looking for content, keep creating content.

Keep listening.

And if you want to support the artist who created music you love, *then* buy the album, or better yet *GO SEE THE MUSICIAN'S WORK PERFORMED LIVE*. *THAT'S* where *real* musicians live; in the concert halls, jazz clubs, bars, garages, etc... We don't hide in the studio.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account