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


rhys said...

YAAAAAAY Maddy!! I knew there was something up with those nepotistic Bastards at CBC . We Love your Mum and hopefully she'll be given the order of Canada after all this torture ,She deserves it .Her creation plays inside pretty much all of us. Thank-you Michelle Runnett Edmonton,Alberta,Canada.

Adrian said...

Thanks for posting this. We live in an age of "spin" - but, the internet gives people a platform to get out the truth.

I've no doubt that people will hear what you're saying. And, those who are thoughtful will see the real picture.

Thank your Mum for the decades of excitement and special moments she's given Canadians - and will continue to give through her song.


Sláinte mhaith, Adrian

Anonymous said...

I think she made a great Jingle, made popular by HNIC and in the hearts of most Canadians. You hum that jingle in a room full of people they think of HNIC, as a kid its one of my fondest memories. I think all 3 parties in this debacle didn't care too much about canadians just the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad it won't be on CBC anymore because I grew up with it on HNIC. But, I'm happy it has been saved. I have nothing but respect for your mom because her composition is the one thing that united all of Canada. No language issues. No East vs. west. It is a song to which all Canadians can relate as CANADIAN. I hope everyone boycotts the CBC or as someone else said on Facebook, submit the theme to their stupid contest. No one will ever be accepting of any new tune for HNIC. Thank you, Madeleine, for posting your side. I can totally see that CBC were total knobs throughout the entire process. As far as I'm concerned, CBC can kiss my ass!

Anonymous said...

Glad its coming out, I knew the real story and I get so angry when people try to defend CBC because of the news or whatever other media they got it from. CBC is frankly a terrible network and now i have a feeling their ratings are gonna suffer

Anonymous said...

glad someone saved the theme song...i remember when i was small growing up every saturday nite we use to watch HNIC to that tune...sad it won't be on CBC no more...but glad they save the theme song...second national anthem for Canada..that unites all of us Canadians...but the sad thing for some of us is not everyone has TSN *sigh* but thank you for clarifying the story Maddy and your mom did great sticking to her guns..i'd have done the same thing if i was in her shoes

Anonymous said...

CBC obiovusly didnt care about us canadians in this big picture , but at least CTV picked it up and made sure all of us will be able to hear the 2nd anthem of canada , and then we'll be able to share it with our kids whenever they get older and learn to love hockey :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Madeleine.

Thank you so much for your post. When the story first broke I was already on your Mom's side. The big station was picking on the little guy. I am SO PROUD of your Mom for sticking to her guns.
I gave a big chuckle when I saw that CTV got the rights. About time the little guy screwed the big guy.
CBC looks bad. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

good for you for standing up for yourself...the song did not belong to them and they SHOULD be paying for the rights to use it!!!

Anonymous said...

I am glad it all worked out well for your mother and now I am sure her life is that much brighter.

Thanks for showing the other side (and same to Mr. Feschuk at Macleans for linking your blog)

AprilDawn said...

I knew there was more to the story than what CBC was portraying. And quite honestly I figured this was the case. Though I'm sad to see it gone from Hockey Night in Canada I'm glad it will still remain a theme for Canadian hockey.

Good luck and send love to your mum.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe the CBC would rather spend money on things like American game shows than on preserving a Canadian cutltural landmark like your mother's hockey song. Thank you for writing this!!

Jill Murray said...

No value? My friend entered her wedding reception to that song! That piece of music is beloved and the CBC is making a big mistake. This is like the "New Coke" saga.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this.. the other side of the story should really get out there.

Unknown said...

Haven't seen you in awhile. McBride comes across like a creep too, sitting on the sidelines waiting for your Mom to falter. Its nice to see music win for a change. The people have spoken and they love her song. That's the bottom line.


Anonymous said...

I think your Mom is amazing...Thanks for your side of the story... I'm glad we'll still be able to hear the song... Nothing can or will ever replace THE hockey theme... And I agree with the other poster who said, "CBC can kiss my ass"!!


Tracy from Vancouver

Anonymous said...

I would like to use your theme as my ringtone. Do you know if it's available? Thanks!

(We love your song here in California, too!)

Anonymous said...

I propose that you forward your text and your side of the story to the media - they really know very little about this miserable treatment. May I post it on our site: www.standonguardforcbc.ca
We are extremely concerned about CBC radio 2 and management working towars reducing Canadian classical music programing to a meaningless and unsupportive program. It will practically destroy our current way of exposure and livelihood.

Duncan Seward said...

The arguement is that the Hockey Theme is famous due to "Hockey Night in Canada."

My response is that the game is increasingly irrelevant to Canadians, while the theme has become a symbol the emotions and memories of what it was like to play road hockey in Scarborough in a time when the game defined us as Canadians. Clearly the suits at the CBC don't understand this.


Anonymous said...

I am Canadian and now live in the USA and I was trying to find the song to download for a ringtone for my Treo because I miss hearing it. I get NHL Centre Ice just so I can see my Leafs. The theme song is part of me and a huge part of the memories I hold dear, watching HNIC with my late brother, Jonathan. Changing it would destroy many fond memories all of us have growing up with hockey. A day without the theme song is like a day without Grapes.

Anonymous said...

"I gave a big chuckle when I saw that CTV got the rights. About time the little guy screwed the big guy."

CBC is a publicly-funded broadcaster. CTV isn't. There are plenty of taxpayers who feel that paying $500 per use for a 20-second jingle wasn't a proper way to spend public funds.

John Brough said...

Excellent to read this response - and I will cheer loud and hard when I hear it on CTV/TSN next year!

A victory in the eyes of all musicians.

Anonymous said...

"There are plenty of taxpayers who feel that paying $500 per use for a 20-second jingle wasn't a proper way to spend public funds."

But paying $500 per game for fifteen years, building it into a recognizable and lucrative theme, then allowing the competition to buy (and eventually profit from) it is "responsible"? If they bought it outright, they would have been able to make the money back by licensing it to others themselves. This would absolutely earn a profit in the long, if not short, run. If you can't see this - that the song would be an investment if purchase, and at a point in the future generate pure profit - never, ever handle your own money.

You know what isn't responsible? Paying for terrible shows like MVP that are cancelled in a matter of weeks. Paying for shows like jPod that are good, yet they kill it through bungling its time slot and alienating its viewers. Paying for derivative garbage like The Border, that languishes on despite being an unwatchable joke. Regardless whether or not you like or dislike any of these shows, they have nothing to do with Canadian culture, the arts, or anything else that a publically funded station should provide, and the sum of their production values is certainly greater than that of the song.

Let's not forget that if Mrs. Claman wins her lawsuit, which she almost would have certainly dropped if the song was bought outright, she'll be awarded approximately the same amount of money as the cost of buying out the song - but in that case, the CBC will have zilch to show for it.

How is any of that "responsible"?

Anonymous said...

It's a sure thing that HNIC makes plenty of money for the CBC through advertising revenues. The Hockey Theme, is not just a part of Canada's cultural fabric, it's a key element of what the public broadcaster sells to its advertisers. At only $500 a pop, Dolores Claman's song has, no doubt, paid for itself countless times over - and over. (And paid for the write-offs of shows like MVP and jpod.)

In advertising, the "branding" that the Hockey Theme provides is nigh priceless. It's not only mean-spirited but downright foolish of CBC Sports to let it go in such fashion. Such foolishness costs taxpayers.

Someone in the media need ask Terry McBride of Nettwerk Records, seeming partner in the unoriginal plan to create an "ultimate Canadian Idol" contest, what he would say if one of the artists Nettwerk represents was not paid a license fee for 25 years and then short-changed the next 15 years for use of one of their songs.

Mr. McBride would want his artist to be paid - even for a tune as wretched as "Hey Hey You You, I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend" (lifted by the Avril Lavigne team from The Rubinoos).

It's not often the "little person" being screwed by those trapped by their corporate mindset wins.

Great to see Dolores Claman be such a winner.

Glen Arthur said...

I too am happy to see the other side of the story. I am still disappointed with the final result, but business is business. Simply put CBC took a gamble and lost. I'll forever remember it as an integral part of every Saturday night during the season, and thanks to your mother for composing such an anthemic song.

As for the poster who said "About time the little guy screwed the big guy." That's kinda incorrect, since CBC is the little guy, they have a miniscule budget, in comparison to a private company like CTV. Why do you think that they lost the rights to almost every single sport? (Including some Stanley Cup playoff games)

Anonymous said...

The CBC can and should pay 500$ an episode to the creator of the most popular Canadian jingle! That's equivalent to what, 7 bottles of wine served at a game? It's almost embarrassing - the "new" song is going to play, and hockey fans are going to be like, "what is this??"
Canada is about history, traditions and solidarity -
Don Cherry, Sir, put your foot down and stand up for this old lady - she's in her golden years - and save our fricken' hockey tune!!!!


Tracy Shier
Vancouver BC

Anonymous said...

Glen, I think you missed the point of the comment: "It's not often the 'little person' being screwed by those trapped by their corporate mindset wins."

The "little person" in this scenario was Dolores Claman - although she stood very tall throughout. Those trapped in the corporate mindset are the bully-boys at CBC Sports who thought they could stick it to her - and, instead, find themselves exposed as arrogant and stupid. They'll be wiping egg off their faces - for years to come, or for as long as they hold those jobs.

Anonymous said...

i almost cried when i heard the song was getting dropped, but all of the CBC and CTV websites are really unclear and i didnt really understand what was going on. This clears everything up.
Thank your Mom for writing the best song ever. And screw CBC, people across Canada love it. Its my ring tone!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling your side of the story. Mrs. Claman is Canada's Hockey Mom!

Charles Campbell said...

It's nearly 20 years ago now, but Dolores Claman had to fight for such basic respect as a credit at the end of HNIC. They begrudged her that, while listing the name of every gaffer and knob-twiddler who worked on the show.
And to Madeleine, as the former Georgia Straight editor who assigned that story, I'd like to talk to you, because I want to write a story bridging that history and the current controversy. I don't think the media coverage so far properly conveys the lack of respect CBC has shown for Dolores over the years. Please email me at contactcjc@shaw.ca.
Charles Campbell

John Ciccone said...

Madeleine, you do your Mother proud.

I know how difficult these past six years have been for all of you in your family. You know how much I love you all. Your strength and unwavering sense of fairness has been incredible.

I'm happy to see posts from the good folks here who've taken the time to think about this and ask questions.

If I may, I'd like to offer that you visit our website at www.hockeytheme.com where I've posted an Open Letter (click on "Important Announcement"). In case you get curious, it addresses a lot of the important facts not present in CBC releases.

As Madeleine alluded to, it's very challenging when you realize that the CBC has this monstrous nationwide radio, tv and internet network at it's disposal. I have... well... a fax machine :-)

But it's beyond reprehensible to watch the CBC misuse their size and strength to distribute *misinformation* and spins. And all from a federal Crown Corporation --- ostensibly our own government.

I was invited to contribute to someone's Facebook and provided more details there as well: http://www.facebook.com/wall.php?id=16015949093

Please consider continuing to ask questions as you do owe it to yourselves to get the true story.

And that would be a wonderful gift to Dolores, a truly remarkable woman.

John Ciccone - Copyright Music & Visuals

Sand Surfer said...

$500 !!! The CBC dropped the song because they didn't want to pay $500/week for it??? good lord, talk about cheap.

Gorf said...

The CBC has lost a lot more than a great theme.... they've lost me as a viewer - for their behavior, with regards to this issue.

Blaise Alleyne said...

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.

Question: how was $1 million a deal that was impossible to accept?

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing, I hate hockey, but I LOVE the song.
As Canadians living in the United States, my husband makes sure that he has every game on.
He yells at me when the song comes on and I run into the living room and we sing it together because it reminds us of HOME, the best country in the WORLD.

What would be really great, is if CTV picked up HNIC, Don Cherry and Ron McClean too. CBC is going to REGRET this for a long time. We love your mom. Tell her she did the right thing.

elkfalls said...

okay...gotta say this...if you are unhappy with what CBC is spending it's money on, write a letter to your MP, particularly if he/she is a Conservative. Their desire is to eliminate the public funding of the CBC & the CBC has faced HUGE budget cuts under the tenure of the current government! Put the blame on the right "suits"...k? thanks! nj

Anonymous said...

You say this was an issue of not letting the hockey theme die but everyone knows that it was about money on both sides of the table. 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 think that the CBC network will lose ratings you have to be in such a dream world. As important as the hockey theme is to Canadians and what it meant for all hockey fans this was never about letting the song die. It's like the singers who believe they should receive royalities everytime their song is played on a radio station. I have never seen a case of such greed from both parties of this entire event. To all you people who actually believe that you not watching CBC will change things. Don't kid yourself one person doesn't make much of a difference in the ratings game.

Anonymous said...

I'm appalled, but not surprised, by the behaviour of CBC management. Their misconduct in this case sadly reflects the crass, purblind way in which they have been systematically laying waste to CBC Radio 2.

The upside of CBC's incompetence and bad faith in losing the iconic HNIC theme is that Canadians at large can now see CBC management for what it really is!

I love the CBC but hate the people who run it--or should I say "ruin" it.

Anonymous said...

HNIC was the only thing worth watching on CBC. without the theme, its not gonna be the same. may as well go watch hockey on CTV, where i can hear the song and watch good shows.

Madeleine Morris said...

To those of you who get a message when someone new posts on this comments area, I've written a new post to thank you all, but the isn't enough room in the comments area for it, so I made a new post.



John Ciccone said...

"Question: how was $1 million a deal that was impossible to accept?"

Maybe I can answer that: on the surface copyright sometimes seems complex, but it can be simplified just by substituting the word "copyright" with the words "my paycheck".

Say to yourself "I should donate my paycheck for the good of the country". Hmmm... I love helping people, but...

Or, perhaps "My paycheck is too much money". Hmmm... that dosn't sound quite right. I did, after all go to school for this and worked hard at being good at what I do.

I don't know what you do for a living or how much you make, but I hope it's *your* decision to determine a fair value for your skills and time. Otherwise, there's nothing stopping anyone from poking you in the chest and saying "$30,000 a year? That's too much give it back". If you're a doctor, just change the number.

Even with a $10K wage, consider how much you should be given to work the rest of your life for free.

I once said to the CBC exec "Well, that's like my saying give me your fancy car and condo for 1/3 the value and stop taking a paycheck. Would you consider it?". He didn't consider it.

I will never apologize, or allow Dolores to apologize, for agreeing to $500 per 3-hour game. IMO, 'Canada's Second National Anthem' is worth more. She also forgave 25 years of unlicensed/unpaid use, and CBC saved a lot of money in that quarter century. I don't know how much CBC spends on pizza's for the multi-million dollar production truck, but it was confirmed for me that $500 is a fraction of what they pay for one net-cam. I personally don't think that everything should have a value except the theme music.

I've also read a person saying "You should just give the song to CBC". Well, I think you should just give me your shoes.

Then it's all subjective. But you've got to be getting a whiff of some level of anarchy.

My background is as a musician and I know how hard it is to be good. Sure you can do it for fun. But it's encouraging to think that if you work hard and do well at your art, you might get a chance to put food on the table from it.

Otherwise, the next Lennon & McCartney might get spooked and say "Screw that. I'm coding video games."

Nothing against coding, but would've been a drag to have nothing in the place of great musical contributions. Don't think that the Beatles weren't encouraged by the notion of a nice family vacation, or not having to worry about being broke.

I've just stumbled across a couple more CBC *gems*. Please see my post above re: misinformation and *inconsistencies*. It's nothing short of breathtaking. A couple new examples:

This one goes to your question too, Blaise: Mr. Moore has stated that it would've been irresponsible to spend $3M tax dollars on the song. What is conveniently omitted from this is:

1. It was less than $3M.

2. It was based on simple calculations used by music publishers every day when purchasing songs.

I have no experience in it, but maybe it's the same way you buy a hardware store or fish 'n chips shop... Whether it's Foo Fighters or Broadway musicals, you start by basing it on earnings. So you take your average annual income and multiply by 13 and there's your price tag. Simple as that.

We understand that the Leiber & Stoller catalogue (Jailhouse Rock, Coasters, etc.) recently sold for a multiple of 23 (not 13). I can make a pretty good argument that the Second National Anthem is worth more than average. But we've always proposed average. That fairness is how everyone here should be remembering Dolores.

Foo Fighters, Sondheim, anybody... no matter how big a song is, after a few months, it basically goes away. After 39 years, the Hockey Theme is only getting stronger. And as can be seen by the national opinion expressed this past week, doesn't seem to be going anywhere. If folks have their way. I will not allow Dolores to be ashamed for creating something that wonderful.

It starts to sound like people are saying that only an artist should not be allowed to earn fair value. Is this where people are going?

Here's an important one: while every major (and some indie) music publisher was expressing interest in buying the song this past year --- all using the aforementioned price tag formula --- I was also suggesting to the CBC that they might consider owning it themselves.

In that presentation, I showed the CBC, with facts and data, how the song *could in fact earn money*. And *save* money. How they could eventually *recoup* their cost! This, I suggested, might be approved by us taxpayers. Nobody told the CBC to go throw their money in a hole in the wall.

The CBC said we overvalued the song regardless of industry practises, and that nobody cared, and if they cared, it'd be a small upheaval but then they'd forget, and that "I can give a kid in his basement with a synthesizer twenty grand and own the song for life", or just about anything else that could hopefully run down your spirit.

IMO, the CBC was resentful that they could not control the sheet music, or CD, or whatever that brought in a bit of dough. They never bothered to request exclusivity or right of refusal that most others in the world do. We still tried to be generous. But CBC seemed to prefer muscling and interfering with our ability to make a living cuz that's what they wanted. I'm afraid I don't understand that thought process. I want it to rain manna over the poorest parts of Africa. Unfortunately, that's not going to make it happen.

So the other part of this is that if I can get the song to earn a decent income with the CBC piano on my back, imagine what the CBC can do! They have huge resources in marketing, promotions, air time, etc. Don Cherry holds up a cell phone and they'd recoup in an hour (ok, exaggeration to make the point).

In fact I'm not even sure where your $1M figure comes from. The CBC offered considerably less than that notwithstanding everything I've written above. AND that was to include all of our legal bills and losses sustained from their breaches and interference (which they have now admitted to under oath as a matter of public record... which everyone should look up. They'll be shocked). And the remainder would be for the purchase of the song.

There were a number of 'zingers' in what they wanted. The way things are going, I'll soon find a statement about them and will have to set the record straight again.

IMO, I think Mads is bang on. They simply wanted to shamelessly low-ball, then paint us as villains if we didn't accept. They thought we'd cave. Never thought we'd be prepared to let them go with their contest and watch it die a dignified death.

For reasons I prefer not to detail my personal income has been limited for quite some time. I was ready to say goodbye to the major part of my income before letting them rip the purse off this good woman's arm and watch them smirk while doing so. This is not a stickup in a lane-way. Not on my watch.

Finally, and I hope this isn't putting folks to sleep (the sound of a thousand foreheads smacking against their keyboards), but I read another Mr. Scott Moore quote about always having paid the richest license fee in the country. What's cleverly omitted here is that they do more than 100, 3-hr. episodes each year.. And it sure does spin it into sounding like a lot more than $500.

They don't want you to think that about most episodic tv series averaging 12 1-hr. episodes each year.

I mean, hopefully there isn't some poor cameraman at the CBC making 12¢ per hour just cause he got hired onto HNIC and now has to divide his annual salary by the number of shows he's working on!

It's this brazen shell game that Mr. Moore is playing with half-facts or misinformation that really gets my goat. That is an utter lack of respect for the intelligence of the Canadian public. Not to mention a reprehensible misuse of a national broadcasting network in order to spread it.

Doesn't matter if you're renting a drill, or hiring a swimming teacher, many things today end up charging by the hour, day or time that it is being used. Mr. Moore has only underlined how generous Dolores has been. Rumoured that the Who already make thousands of dollars for one episode of CSI. Certainly more than $500, I'm sure. I'm also sure that if they did 100 episodes of CSI instead of 12, that annual fee doesn't stand still :-)

I continue to encourage everyone to voice their opinion, but here's mine: I take exception to anonymous' note that "You say this was an issue of not letting the hockey theme die but everyone knows that it was about money on both sides of the table"

Why can it only be one and not the other, and not both? When have you been grocery shopping when it wasn't a matter of money?

Sorry if I've been boring with a nuts 'n bolts businessy post. But I was there. And I can tell you that Maddy speaks the truth: with Dolores, it never was just about the money.

And I can also tell you that after a breathtaking display of forgiveness and sensitivity towards the other guy, watching the song and it's composer in her 70's get dragged through the mud for six years has been rather sickening.

I do want some kind of justice, I do want the conduct of the CBC to be completely exposed, and I do want my central nervous system back.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered contacting The Globe and Mail to do an interview?

cyclisme said...

The CBC executives that treated your mother this way should be fired on the spot. This will also surely be documented in marketing textbooks as a screw-up by the CBC. What a bunch of overpaid fools they are.

I'm glad the song will live on at CTV.

Adrian said...

Thanks, Mr. Ciccone - for aiding Ms. Claman, and serving as guardian to a song that, clearly, Canada loves.

A thoughtful press is reflecting the bigger picture, you'll find in How CBC Lost Its Hockey Theme

And, for music-lovers, this is really cool: Hockey theme song taps Canadians' primal needs

Happy Father's Day weekend, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Considering the CBC's CEO is appointed by the Conservative party I'm not all that surprised. Frankly I think she should have been fired for making this decision. Dropping the Hockey Night in Canada Theme song is the wrong choice.

Anonymous said...

CBC execs are high flyers
Economy class too lowly for Canada's taxpayer-supported network
March 18, 2008

HMMMMMMMM did these guys get any sort of investigation done into them?

Anonymous said...

"[Hubert Lacroix] was appointed president and CEO of the CBC, effective January 1, 2008, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in November 2007 replacing the current president Robert Rabinovitch."


Anonymous said...

The CBC has always been an old-boys network showing little respect for women, let alone creative people. On top of their antiquated way of doing business, CBC is now Torontocentric, suffering from that myopic notion that Toronto is the centre of the Canadian universe. I'm happy to see your mother stood up to those thick-headed old fogeys who obviously have no manners.

Anonymous said...

I love watching canadian hockey games and love the jingle. Like i was, i wake my son up for every one of his early morning games by approaching him loadly with your song. I've been doing this four five years now and he still wakes up excited and i know that that song inspires him.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

To add my opinion, particularly in response to John Ciccone's (long) post above (I did read all of it) -- what he leaves out in comparing artists to other trades, is that artists are in fact the only ones that can get paid over and over for doing a job once.

Think about it -- does an electrician get royalties again and again from a single installation they've done? No, even if a family lives in that house for generations and has hundreds of friends over who use those lightswitches and outlets, the electrician got paid once, and that's fine with everybody. If a bricklayer paves a walkway used by a thousand people a day, even they don't get to sit back and not do any more jobs -- they get paid once, and that's it. If you want more money, go pave another walkway.

I don't think a single song or jingle is worth a lifetime of not creating anything further. I don't feel very sympathetic to the position that this one song was this person's livelihood.

If it sounds like I don't believe in copyright, you're right, I don't.

And before you take my head off about it, I'm a writer myself, and everything I produce goes straight into the public domain. If people feel like sending me occasional money because they like my work, that's nice, but I'm not going to quit my day job and try to live off of it.

Unknown said...

I will miss the song on HNIC, no doubt about that. How can I not, I grew up with it but I understand your stance and respect it totally. I remember when Ron Mclean's contract was up and CBC was hedging on resigning him.
It wasn't until we all got together to pressure CBC then they finally signed him.
I wish we could have done the same to keep the song on HNIC.
It seems traditions are less important now to the suits at CBC.
I second the motion to have your Mum into the order of Canada!
Thanks for the memories, I will never forget them!

Anonymous said...

I simply do not believe your account of what happened.

Common sense question, what is more likely:

That a composer represented by an aggressive literary agent started a lawsuit, asked for millions, and insisted on the rights to ringtones, or

that that CBC decided to do this instead of paying $500 per airing.

I think you are lying.

Madeleine Morris said...

I hesitated to publish this comment, but felt it was only fair to do so in the spirit of acting in good faith.

This person accuses me of lying about what happened, but offers no proof that I am lying.

Furthermore, they feel free to accuse me of lying while wanting to remain anonymous themselves. This doesn't say much for the credibility of your position or the veracity of your allegation.

At least when I want to publicly accuse someone of lying, I have the balls to sign my name to the statement.

Erich said...

Only a person who can't read, or, can't comprehend what they read, could genuinely claim to believe the CBC spin on this story.

There's so much online that details what's gone down.

You and your Mom deserve thanks and respect for maintaining integrity throughout and for taking the high road.

Anonymous said...

To "Anonymous September 3, 2008 7:35 AM"

Here's an idea: ask them.

CBC didn't hesitate to claim publicly that their only option was to spend millions that they couldn't afford. I see no reason why the CBC wouldn't also admit that they could've kept the song for $500 per game. Unless of course they've got something to hide from the public. But the CBC wouldn't do that, would they?

Here's another idea: check out your Teamaker's blog at


originally set up by CBC employees during the lockout and still visited primarily by CBC employees. Transcripts from some of the examinations for discovery of CBC executives were posted there by the moderator. Read what they themselves say under oath. It’s just the beginning.

You can also visit www.hockeytheme.com and click on "Important Announcement" where I had no choice but to correct CBC statements by referring to specific dates and correspondence including my own which offered the 'status quo' scenario of $500 per game. Summarily dismissed by the CBC.

In other words, try basing your accusations on facts rather than conjecture. You don't appear to be very successful at the latter. (BTW, I don't even know what a "literary agent" is likely making me undeserving of the title.)

If you actually stop to think about it, you can also piece the real story together on your own:

- Feb-19-2002: first friendly request to CBC to help clarify issues;

- Nov-18-2004: lawsuit.

More than 2.5 years. Two-and-a-half years before realizing that we'd have to turn to the courts to help us get answers from the CBC. You have the audacity to call this "aggressive"? I suggest many wouldn’t have put up with it for two-and-a-half weeks.

Might as well point out that you're also off the mark about "insisted on the rights to ringtones". The CBC never had any rights to ringtones. You’ve clearly misunderstood that part of the claim.

And you expect people to believe your accusation that someone is "lying".

If you don’t have the balls to state your name, at least have the decency to get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous June 23, 2008 7:30 PM", I'll try not to repeat myself or look for another analogy as I'm sure no-one will benefit from it. You and I disagree and that's fine.

But many artists don't have the luxury of a day job as you do. They can't or won't while their primary focus is what they do as an artist. Understandably, this puts a different perspective on what constitutes a fair return.

There are also full-time artists who believe, as you do, that their work should immediately go into the public domain. (Don't know how they pay the rent, but that's none of my business.) The only thing that really matters, IMO, is that the artist is the one to choose. Whatever provides the means or the incentive to keep art alive. That's all copyright was supposed to be about dating back to the Statute of Anne in the early 1700's.

Also, those who use these works usually do have a choice of either licensing (paying smaller amounts in 'installments'), or doing a buyout and paying once like you would a "a walkway" as you point out... provided of course that the walkway never breaks down. Alternately, it might also be available for complete ownership. If all of these scenarios are priced reasonably, all parties concerned are satisfied and can move on.

But mostly I was puzzled by your perception that "one song was this person's livelihood". No-one has ever stated that it was.