I have repeated complained about the runaway copyright and trademark laws — and the failure of politicians to protect the public from draconian penalties and thug-like actions by the industry. Now, the industry is targeting weddings — retroactively — to impose fees for playing that rendition of “Because You Loved Me” to be sure that Celine Dion gets her cut from the happy couple.
The Copyright Board of Canada has long been accused of being an extension of the industry and approved new fees to play recorded music at large gatherings, including weddings. For events with fewer than one hundred people, you will pay $9.25 per day. For a reception of 400 guests, the fee will be $27.76. However, that is only if you want to save money by barring your guests from dancing. If anyone dances, the fee goes up to $55.52. Now you know why Carrie Underwood says “I hope you dance.”
The industry is looking at bringing in an additional $100 million in new fees by raiding weddings and other events.
The new fees are retro-active to 2008 and Canada will now be dispatching an army of wedding crashers — inspectors who will enforce the fines.
One would think that the industry would not want the public backlash over retroactive and future fines for wedding songs, but the industry has learned that it has nothing to fear with politicians falling over themselves to curry favor with lobbyists around the world. Groups like the RIAA appears to have an open revolving door for members or staff who help it out in hammering citizens. For example, Mitch Glazier, Senior Executive Vice President, is heralded on the RIAA website as responsible for the draconian laws being used against citizens. The website states that “[b]efore joining RIAA, Glazier served as Chief Counsel for intellectual property to the influential Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he helped draft and steer into law a series of copyright reforms including the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and the 1997 No Electronic Theft Act, among other key intellectual property laws.” RIAA then gave him a job and a huge amount of money. The RIAA was long criticized for its lavish expenditures on members of Congress. Congress has not only given the RIAA what it has demanded but has put its lawyers on the federal bench. In the meantime, legislators are falling over themselves to give more powers to RIAA lawyers.
It is not clear if there will be a fine if the wedding couple stays in their seats and merely hums a few tunes.