CBC's popular new music-streaming website is stirring debate over what royalties artists should receive, as the agency that collects royalty fees reviews just how much the national broadcaster should be paying.
It's an illustration of the complexity of licensing music online in this country, which, according to one expert, likely has been the biggest barrier to date to bringing new services to Canada.
"We've seen a number of the larger foreign services like Pandora indicate that entering the market place is just too difficult," said Dr. Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-Commerce Law and a law professor at the University of Ottawa.
Last month, the broadcaster launched CBCMusic.ca, which offers 40 free genre-specific channels. The service has attracted hundreds of thousands of listeners.
Unlike competing streaming music services, it does not pay a per-song royalty.
That's upset some artists who say that they're not getting their fair share.
"This is important because royalties are the pensions of musicians," said musician and author Michael Wood, who teaches Introduction to Music Industry Arts at Algonquin College in Ottawa.
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