There is nothing I hate more than being used and I think everyone, from the media, to the bloggers, to the average joe fan, has been used the past few days by the write of the Hockey Night in Canada theme song. It was the day of game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, the final game of the NHL season, that the owners of the HNIC theme song, Copyright Music & Visual, put out a press release saying that CBC had decided not to renew their license to the song and thus that night would be the last time it will be heard.
The press release tried to make it clear that this was a CBC decision:
“The CBC has been offered a new license on terms that are virtually identical to those that have existed for the past decade (the cost to CBC to use the theme is approximately $500.00 for each game broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada). However, the CBC has chosen to move in a new direction.”
But was it? We now find out that the CBC is being sued for a ridiculous $2.5 million because they used the song in ways there were not licensed to do so. If CBC did use the song in ways they shouldn’t have they should pay up, but it seems pretty clear that the sum of $2.5 million is outright ludicrous. CBC is accused of using the song in “commercials for Hockey Night in Canada, an advertisement for Ford Motor Co. and broadcasts including the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, curling competitions, the Royal Canadian Air Farce, a Guy Lafleur tribute, and a Rick Mercer special.” So lets say the CBC used it 50 times more than they should have. At $500 a shot, that would only amount to $25,000. So at $2.5 million the lawsuit seems downright ridiculous at best and I don’t blame CBC one iota for not wanting to deal with such a greedy and overzealous group of people.
As for myself, I feel used. I was first outraged that the CBC would just ditch the theme song either to save a few bucks or to rebrand a Canadian television staple just for the sake of rebranding it. But I now feel used because it seems clear to me that it was the goal of Copyright Music & Visuals to create this fan outrage and to force CBC’s back to the negotiation table and to negotiate not only a new license agreement but a settlement to their ridiculous $2.5 million lawsuit. I hate being used and because of that I have decided to support CBC in ditching the song and going in a new direction. I hope the owners of the song never make another penny off of it. CBC and HNIC made this song what it is and made the creators of the song a whole boatload of money and if the creators of the song choose to bite the hand that feeds them then I can only hope they they never get fed again. It’s time for CBC and everyone else to ditch the song and its greedy overzealous owners.