Canadian musicians form own lobby group

Avril Lavigne, Broken Social Scene, Sum 41 and the Barenaked Ladies are some of the musicians that have formed the Canadian Music Creators Coalition to represent Canadian musicians on political issues such as copyright.

Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Sum 41 and Broken Social Scene are among a group of Canadian musicians united to form a new politically-motivated alliance.

The Canadian Music Creators Coalition says it wants to be the voice of musicians when it comes to any music-related issues.  The move comes just as the federal government is hoping to introduce new copyright legislation.

The group says it’s tired of having multinational record companies speak on their behalf.

"Record companies and music publishers are not our enemies, but let's be clear: lobbyists for major labels are looking out for their shareholders and seldom speak for Canadian artists," the coalition's statement said.

The Canadian Recording Industry Association, which represents the likes of Sony-BMG and Warner Music Group, has lobbied for years to change laws to limit the amount of free music downloading.  Some of its proposals would lead to lawsuits against fans who take songs from peer-to-peer networks.

"The labels have been suing our fans against our will, and laws enabling these suits cannot be justified in our names," the group wrote. "We oppose any copyright reforms that would make it easier for record companies to do this."

The new group also spoke out against any technological restrictions put on CDs and digital songs that would prevent fans from transferring the music to other machines such as iPods.

The Coalition is pushing for fair use laws that would allow the listener to transfer their digital music to other formats.

"That's really frustrating as a musician and a fan," Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies said on a television show. "When you make music, you want people to listen to it wherever."

The group, which includes Sloan, Blue Rodeo co-founder Bob Wiseman and Chantal Kreviazuk, is also urging the government to invest in music education along with giving artists more bargaining power over their music.