Artists represented include Sum 41, Rush.
Six leading Canadian independent labels have resigned from Canada's music
trade association, the Canadian Recording Industry Assn. (CRIA). The six companies are: Anthem Records, True North Records, Linus Entertainment, and The Children's Group all in Toronto; Aquarius Records in Montreal; and Nettwerk Records in Vancouver.
Among the top Canadian artists represented by these labels are Rush (Anthem), Sum 41 (Aquarius), Bruce Cockburn (True North) and Sarah McLachlan (Nettwerk).
CRIA is a nonprofit trade organization that was founded in 1963 as the Canadian Record Manufacturers Assn., with 10 founding members to represent the interests of Canadian companies that create, manufacture and market sound recordings. It was renamed as CRIA in 1972 with expanded membership.
Today, CRIA operates with four Class A members: Universal Music Canada, EMI
Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, and Warner Music Canada; and 22 Class B members including labels and manufacturers.
While Class A members have voting privileges and pay a significant unspecified annual membership; Class B members paying an annual $600 membership do not have voting privileges.
The six labels—all Class B members of CRIA as well as being members of the Canadian Independent Record Production Ass. (CIRPA) which specifically represents independent label interests in Canada—have exited CRIA in dispute with the trade body's March 15 filing to Canadian regulatory body the Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for its Commercial Review of Radio Policy.
An April 12 letter sent to CRIA president Graham Henderson and signed
by representatives of the six labels said: "Having had the opportunity to
review CRIA's filing for the CRTC Review of Commercial Radio Policy, we do not
feel we can remain members given CRIA's decision to advocate solely on behalf of the four major foreign multi-national labels."
The labels specifically objected to CRIA calling for restrictions to Canadian
Talent funding to the Foundation To Assist Canadian Talent On Records and also objected to a proposal to make changes to CRTC regulations covering domestic recordings that "would have a material negative effect on the future growth of Canadian independent music."
The labels requested that CRIA clarify to the CRTC that those artists referred to within its Review of Radio submission that are actually produced by independent labels, but are identified as CRIA artists and calculated within CRIA's market share as a result of local distribution.
Says CRIA's Henderson, "I understand the labels' concerns and I see this move
as evolutionary as our industry grows. We won't always agree on industry
matters. However, we will continue to try to protect the interest of all rights
holds in the matters of copyright and other rights."