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Radio calls for overhaul of copyright regime

Vancouver, - Canada's private radio broadcasters have called for major changes to copyright rules and regulations they say have overburdened both radio and music industries with excessive and unnecessary costs.

"Our radio members agree with government that the rules need reforming, " said Glenn O'Farrell, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). "From the Innovation Strategy to the Speech from the Throne, government has taken the opportunity to invite creators and users of copyright to get to work. Today, we're announcing our effort to recreate the copyright roadmap."

The plan launched at the 76th Annual CAB Convention in Vancouver, calls for a joint industry and government roundtable on copyright reform to take place in the early part of 2003. Letters have been forwarded to key music industry stake-holders urging their participation.

"Both radio and music are paying millions in transaction costs that could be put into the pockets of creators and users. We believe this is an area where all stakeholders can benefit from some serious streamlining of the current process," said Paul Larche, President and General Manager, KICX 104 FM, Midland, President of the Ontario Association of Broadcasters and CAB Radio Board member named Chair of the CAB Task Force on Copyright Reform.

O'Farrell noted that the CAB's plan is concurrent with government's announced review of the Copyright Act. The Section 92 review - so named for the section of the 1997 Act mandating a review after five years has generated numerous consultations and discussion papers, including a document released by the Department of Canadian Heritage on October 12.

"The current review of the Act poses a myriad of challenges," said O'Farrell. "Our announcement today is a call to action, for radio, the music industry and government to come to the table and together start the process of positively changing a complex area of regulation."

The CAB is the national voice of Canada's private broadcasters, representing the vast majority of Canadian programming services, including private radio and television stations, networks, specialty and pay and pay-per-view services.

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