Friday, June 13, 2008

Some thank-yous and some explanations

At the risk of sounding ingratiating, I can't all of you enough for taking the time to read my side of the story. Whether you agree with my points or not, it just feels good to know that I've been heard out. Everyone has a right to their point of view. I know that my mother feels the same way.

A special thanks to Adrian who blogged my post to kingdom come.

To Anonymous who pointed me to Scott Feschuk's blog. What a brilliant writer that guy is. I'm now madly in love with him.

To Steve who hasn't seen me in a while. Good lord, Steve who????

To Anonymous whose site is Please, be my guest.

On the "little guy screwed the big guy debate". I really don't feel good to know that anyone was "screwed". It's a lousy feeling.

To Arecibo. As far as I know, my mother isn't planning to pursue any lawsuit with CBC. Lawsuits are really the last move when 'cease and desist' fails. The point of it was always to force them to abide by the license agreement. Now that they no longer have one, it seems a little pointless, doesn't it?

To John Ciccone. Good lord! You found it! Notice I linked to you? Any writer in search of an agent who doesn't bang at your door is insane. And again, thank you for sticking with us, and standing by us through the grim, miserable times, John. You're one in a billion.

To Blaise Alleyne. The CBC never offer one million to buy the song. I have no idea where that number is coming from. By the time they offered to buy the theme, for a good deal less than that, my mother was pretty convinced that they were wanting to buy it to bury it.

To NJ. The CBC has the right to spend money on whatever they feel is best for the CBC. However, they don't have the right to bully and threaten people. I know it's popular for people to pride themselves on being tough negotiators and "up for a good fight", but there is a limit to how "tough" you can be before no one can do business with you. If you get too rough in your tactics, the person you negotiate with is just likely to shrug their shoulders and leave the table.

To Anonymous who said "everyone knows that it was about money on both sides of the table". I'm not going to repeat what I said in the first post, because the more I deny that it was about money, the more false that is going to ring. So, if that's what you believe, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. However you wrote: "It is also pretty ridiculous that you are blaming an entire network for what happened instead of the few individual people I am sure hand their hand in it." You know what? You're absolutely right. There are many, many people working at the CBC, and the vast majority of them are brilliant, wonderful people who do a fantastic job on, by all accounts, tiny budgets. You are absolutely right to point out that I was tarring many people who didn't deserve it with the same brush and I apologize profusely.

At the same time, I don't just want to lay the blame wholly at the door of Scott Moore, because he has superiors who are clearly supportive of his style, his methods and his decisions. I don't know who those people are. All I know is that they work at the CBC.

When Scott Moore spoke to the press, on his own television network and other places, he talked on behalf of the "CBC". I addressed my response in the same way, but that was clearly not fair.

Again, thanks to all of you who commented here. For those of you who were critical, I appreciate the fact that you criticized in a civilized and straightforward manner.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Hockey Theme

I just wanted to thank you, on behalf of my mother, for your support of the hockey theme. I also wanted you to know my side of the story, because it's important to me. What I hope you will acknowledge is that the CBC has had an exclusive media platform on which to air its side of the story.

First, to clear up some misconceptions. For 25 years, CBC paid my mother no license fees at all for the music. It was only in the last 15 years that they began to pay any license fee at all.

Last week, after more than a year of CBC bullying, threatening and endless changing of positions, we offered the CBC the following deal: forget the lawsuit - just pay our legal fees (which we incurred because of CBC's breach of usage as agreed in the license deal) and let's keep the same licensing deal as before. That's it...same as before. $500 per episode of HNIC. They did not accept.

They kept bullying us, telling us the song was worthless, threatening to drop the song altogether if we didn't give them exactly what they wanted, absolutely on their terms. If not, they'd hold a national contest and replace the song. Honestly, it became increasingly clear to us that this was their plan all along - to offer deals that were impossible for us to accept, so they would have the excuse to drop the song without being blamed for doing it. On Thursday, they sent us an email rejecting the offer and saying that it was sad we could not come to an agreement.

Then on Friday, Scott Moore of the CBC announced the Song Contest to replace the theme. So, it was clear, for sure, that this was over for us.

My belief is that when it started to become clear to the CBC that the public wasn't happy with their decision, they announced that they would negotiate further. Frankly, my mother was so depressed, she just said - no, they don't really want the song. It's better at least if it dies a dignified death.

When CTV made an offer, they promised that they'd use the song, and they'd use it in association with Canadian hockey. Of all the things, this mattered most to my mother.

I know you are probably upset that we didn't resolve our differences with the CBC, but no matter what they say publicly, they really, clearly, didn't give a shit about the theme. Their only concern was they should not be seen to be the villains in getting rid of it. My mother became a very convenient scapegoat.

To a composer, their music is like their baby - they don't want to see it buried, or forgotten, or sidelined. And my mother, being a rather strong woman, just wasn't willing to be bullied and threatened any more. A lot of people are going to call her greedy and opportunistic. Well, they just don't know her at all. It's going to sound trite if I say that "it wasn't about the money". But ask any composer of music if they want to see their work buried, and never played again. It's easy to focus on the money. But it was never, ever about the money. Life, and people, are just a lot more complex than that.

That's my side of the story, for what it's worth.

Madeleine Morris