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.