Tuesday, October 10, 2006

SODRAC + RAAV + CARFAC are going to kill Canadian Visual Art


I've mentioned it in passing before, but now it is getting way out of line. But Diane Juster, Daniel Lafrance, Paul Baillargeon, Frédéric Weber, Robert Vinet, Max Amphoux, Jehan V. Valiquet, Philippe Leduc, Marc Ouellette and Alain Lauzon (the board of directors of SODRAC and its General Manager) are about to do to Visual Arts in Canada what CRIA has done to music in Canada (or in plainer language: In 1999 there were about $700 million worth of CD sales in Canada. In 2004 it had declined to $562 million, a $138 million decline in absolute dollars. All due to the behavior of CRIA and its members). Unfortunately, the Canadian Visual Arts industry is not even large enough to be called 'cottage.' I would guess it is worth something along the lines of $70 million, annually. If it declines by $138 million then artists are going to have to be paying museums and galleries and collectors to buy their art.

According to their website, SODRAC represents 'more than 25,000 Canadian and foreign artists.' I would like them to make sure in advance of threatening other people that every one of the 'more than 25,000 Canadian and foreign artists' that they represent understands and respects copyright law and intellectual property laws.

If you still have no idea of what I am talking about SODRAC has started to send very threatening letters to a variety of people. These people are threatened using common elementary schoolyard techniques by bullies and thugs because they are trying to promote Canadian Art, and in doing so need to publish reproductions of artworks.

Right now (October 10, 2006) I can think of three exhibits in Montreal of contemporary Canadian Art that are in flagrant violation of the Canadian copyright act. SODRAC needs the support of RAAV and CARFAC in order to even begin to approach 'representing 25,000 Canadian artists.' It is all fine and dandy to think that by supporting bill C-42 artists will become richer. In actual fact, it ain't the artists that benefit, it is the children of the artists, the grandchildren of the artists, and companies who have bought the rights to the art (for pennies) from the artists that will become rich.

Before SODRAC bullies another person, I would like them to agree to verify that each and everyone of their members is not in violation of bill C-42, then and only then will I agree that their defense of intellectual property is kosher. As they cannot currently even give someone a complete and up to date list of who they represent it might afford a pause of a couple of millennia before we need to worry about publishing a picture from a Mike Hoolbllom video.

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