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Canadian Music Publishers Land Landmark Agreement with Record Labels and Online Distributors

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Canadian music publishers have entered into a landmark agreement with record labels and online distributors of sound recordings. In a breakthrough agreement signed On October 9 by David A. Basskin, president of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) and Brian Robertson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), CMRRA has agreed to issue licenses to Internet music distributors. The agreement establishes the framework for standard terms and conditions under which CMRRA will do business with these important new services, and opens the door to their launch in the Canadian marketplace.

CMRRA will be entering into licensing agreements under this framework with Napster, MusicNet and Puretracks., Puretracks, a Canadian-owned service, will launch on October 14. MusicNet and Napster are scheduled to debut shortly thereafter with others expected to follow. Each of the services will offer upwards of 250,000 CD-quality songs on both a streaming and a la carte basis with prices starting at 99 cents.

"This agreement sets up a solid, practical system to enable these new on-line services to obtain the rights they need to do business in Canada," said Basskin. "Music publishers and songwriters are vitally important members of the music industry, and this agreement ensures that their rights will be respected – and that they'll be paid for the use of their songs. We've all suffered the plague of unauthorized file 'sharing'.The best response is a legal, attractive alternative that will give the customers all of what they want – the world's best music – and none of what they don't want – spyware, porn and viruses."

"This is truly a defining moment for the Canadian music industry," noted Robinson. "After four years of devastating retail losses to on-line piracy, we finally have the opportunity to positively embrace the technology with a dynamic new legal on-line retail experience. It will be rewarding for all concerned, including consumers, artists, songwriters, music publishers, record companies and the thousands of Canadians whose livelihood depends on a healthy music industry".

CMRRA is Canada's largest music licensing agency. Founded in 1975, CMRRA represents more than 10,000 music publishers, from the world's largest firms to individual copyright owners. On their behalf, CMRRA licenses the reproduction of their songs on CDs and cassettes, in films, television programs and commercials, for distribution via the Internet and in a host of other settings. CMRRA is a subsidiary of the Canadian Music Publishers Association.

CRIA is a non-profit trade organization that was founded in 1964 to represent the interests of Canadian companies that create, manufacture and market sound recordings. CRIA's membership is comprised of the major record companies, leading independent labels and all manufacturers of compact discs and tapes. In all, they represent 95 per cent of the sound recordings that are manufactured and sold in Canada. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner