Sunday, May 3, 2009

Note to readers: It is difficult to keep current while writing for a weekly paper. After I wrote this and before the impending deadline I got some news. Well, well, well, look who's just sold the broadcast rights of her song to CTV/TSN. The following still holds true. In my view.

Random Thoughts-39
June 8th, 2008

If any of you are regular viewers of the CBC's “Just For Laughs”show you will be aware of the little green mascot that comes on at the end of every program to declare, in a crying voice, that “It's Over.”
That's exactly how I felt after the final game of the 2007-2008 National Hockey League season and playoffs. Some of you may have been exulted after the final game, and your, “It's Over”, would have been more thankful than pitiful.To each their own.
After viewing what seems like a couple of hundred playoff games, it will take some getting used to not tuning in to a hockey game every other night for weeks on end. I may get over it. I guess I'll have to get over it.
Not only am I saddened by its ending, but I am also saddened by the fact that word has come out that CBC and Dolores Claman have not been able to negotiate a new contract to renew the CBC's use of her “The Hockey Theme" song. The two sides could not resolve disagreements over a 2004 lawsuit and licensing rights to continue airing the famous musical intro.
Apparently, the latest contract had Claman receiving $500.00 per airing for the famous tune. I am no mathematical wizard, but seeing as she wrote it in 1967 and the CBC has played it on every broadcast since1968 she has received more than chump change for her efforts.
Is it Dolores Claman or Copyright Music and Visuals, the Toronto agency representing Claman, that are holding out? In a standard case of “He said, she said”, Copyright Music & Visuals say the CBC doesn't want to renew the contract and the CBC says it's the other way around.
Either way, when does fair compensation turn into greed? If Dolores had been told, in 1967, that she would be receiving royalties for the next 40 years for her tune, how would she have reacted?
I just wonder how many times someone has sat down with an idea and said, “Great, I'll write this or that, invent this thing or make a few of those and then...viola! I'll get rich.” Maybe it's a lot, but I would question the success rate.
My theory is that the primary reason for following through with any good idea is the actual idea itself, not the cash that can sometimes be the result of that idea. Monetary gain is usually secondary. When the secondary motivation becomes the primary motivation, then it's greed. Clear as mud? I thought so.
According to my #1 source of all information, Wikepedia, they say that-“Greed denotes desire to acquire wealth or possessions beyond the needs of the individual, especially when accumulation of possession denies others legitimate needs or access to those or other resources.”
I have listened to the Hockey Night In Canada theme song hundreds of times since 1968 and, in fact, it's the ring tone on my cell phone, (a little obsessive? I'm seeing someone about that), and I don't think I'm alone when I feel that my “legitimate needs” are being denied.
If the impasse continues, and the CBC cannot renew the contract, will it stop me from tuning into the first game of the 2008-2009 National Hockey League telecasts from the CBC? No. Will it alter the way the game is played and presented? No. Will it be lacking something? Yes.
“One of the weaknesses of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish our need from our greed.”-Author Unkown.

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