As part of our weekly Meet the Publishers interview series, we spoke with Jodie Ferneyhough, owner of CCS Rights Management in Canada, Vice President of the Canadian Music Publishers Association and ICMP Board Member.
How did you get into music publishing?
I fell into publishing. I managed a band that got signed to peermusic in Toronto. When the creative director of peermusic left a couple of years later, the Managing Director asked if I would like the job. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into but it seemed like a good idea, so I took the gig.
What concerns do you have in your market?
I would say the erosion of income by users. To make matters worse, Canada is a country of only 36 million people and we are often one of the last places new companies venture into. As our laws and deals are different than those in the US, this often confuses people, as does the fact that we have two official languages. On top of this, we have a tariff system that is regulated through a copyright board that often takes many years to make decisions.
What’s a typical day like for you?
No two are the same. Every day is interesting. It could start off as a day of needing to listen to one of the artist’s new demos or records and then turn into searching for songs for another artist or TV production. Often I find myself dealing with an artist on any number of their issues, concerns and often triumphs. As a small operation with only a couple of employees there is always lots to do. The days tend to turn into nights and often continue straight through the weekend, when I often catch up on the week that just got away from me.
What is your relationship with your local collective management organisation like?
Good all around. I sat on the board of SOCAN for close to 10 years. On the mechanical side with the CMRRA I have been a Board Member for 14 years and currently am the Chair of the Strategic and Governance Committee. Any legislation coming up in your market? There is nothing on the immediate front, however there is the ongoing dialogue about Canada adopting new copyright term policy. We currently have a 50-year policy, which is out of step with everyone else in the world, except for Japan, but that soon may change.
How do you see your market evolving over the next ten years?
The bulk of our sales/music delivery is still through iTunes and physical CDs, as the streaming services have not fully gotten a foothold in the country, but as they do and it matures I think we will likely see these becoming the predominant means of music dissemination. This is disconcerting as income will likely decrease further.
We are currently also seeing a dramatic drop in the money available for sync use and I think this trend will continue for some time. As is the case worldwide, we will need to fight to make sure that the people that use our music fairly compensate us for it. Music is used and consumed more than ever before, it is the thing people are building businesses on, what they use to sell their product. I am sure we will find a 'Made in Canada' solution to address the current discrepancies.