Bryan Adams was before a different audience this week. On Tuesday, September 18, the much-loved Canadian rocker, songwriter and photographer, was testifying before the House of Commons Heritage Committee on changes to Canada’s Copyright Act.
Adams, 58, who has been writing and performing for over 40 years now, was asking for a change to just one word: from death, to assignment.
“I think we can do better in Canada”
As it currently stands, Canada’s Copywright Act grants companies rights to the work of, musicians, composers, authors and other creative producers, the power to retain the rights for 25 years after the artist’s death
Adam’s is asking for an update that grants the companies rights until 25 years after signing an agreement. “I think we can do better in Canada.” he said.
In the United States, companies retain their rights for 35 years after signing.
“This would be a very big step in the right direction, to help composers and authors in Canada to own and control their work,” Adams told the assembled politicians.
He acknowledged he would benefit from the change but he said he was also speaking on behalf of a younger generation of artists now struggling to pay the rent.
And he thanked Canadians for supporting him through what he called his “blessed career”.
Bryan Adams burst onto the Canadian music scene in 1983 with his album, Cuts Like a Knife and continued on to international success with the second, Reckless, which included the mega-hits Run to You, and The Summer of ’69.
Adams went on to do 12 more albums, selling more than 70 million copies worldwide.
The Heritage Committee is in the process of a statutory review of the Copyright Act, looking at remuneration models for the contributors to Canada’s creative industries.
The committee is currently hearing from a range of stakeholders and experts.
Several of the Members of Parliament in attendance proved to be eager fans of Adams.
“I still say you were the best rock concert I’ve ever seen.” Wayne Long, a Liberal MP from New Brunswick, recounted of a concert in 2005.
Another Liberal MP, from Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Pierre Breton, described Bryan Adams as “a feather in Canada’s cap”.
On October 9th Bryan Adams brings The Ultimate Tour to India for several dates, followed by a tour of Europe in November.
Meanwhile, Bryan Adams and writing partner Jim Vallance, contributed the words and music to the Broadway musical version of Pretty Woman, which is now filling seats on the Great White Way.