Unless you've been living on another planet, you've caught some of the buzz…
- Posted on Sep 14th 2012 12:45PM by Jason MacNeil
Nova Scotia-based musician Dave Gunning recently created a fundraising penny drive in order to offset an unforeseen fee he was going to have to pay the Royal Canadian Mint regarding his new tribute album No More Pennies, which comes out next Tuesday (Sept. 18).
According to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald Gunning said that while promoting the album at shows over the summer a fan employed by the Royal Canadian Mint spoke to him. The fan said the national money-maker might be interested in supporting the album which pays tribute to the small coin. The album cover shows Gunning with a cup of coffee at a lunch counter with change (including pennies) on the table to pay for it. The back of the album shows a setting sun with the penny at the center.
"He (the fan) thought they might support the project and sell copies in their Ottawa gift shop," Gunning said. "He pitched the idea to co-workers and soon contacted me, feeling terrible as I was soon to be in breach of copyright by using the image of our Canadian penny."
By the time Gunning was notified of the breach, the album was already manufactured and ready for distribution. The musician contacted the Royal Canadian Mint hoping they would endorse the album.
"The woman in charge forwarded me an application and told me that my case would be discussed at a meeting," Gunning said, adding the Mint didn't want Gunning to "incur any financial loss."
The woman later phoned Gunning back to say "the mint was going to make an exception, allowing us to sell the initial run of units, but that we would be required to pay a mechanical rights fee for every CD produced."
The Royal Canadian Mint had waived the $1,200 in royalties for the first 2,000 CDs but Gunning would have to pay the Mint the rights fee for any subsequent CDs.
Just yesterday, though, the Mint reversed its decision and Gunning will be free to honor pocket shrapnel everywhere without penalty.
"The Mint will allow Mr. Gunning to use the image of the penny on subsequent reprints of his CD's artwork at no cost," the Mint said in a statement that was posted on Gunning's site. "We wish him the very best in his career."
The Mint also said it would "assess its current intellectual property policy to determine if changes need to be made to ensure that it is being applied fairly on a case-by-case basis."
Gunning was appreciative of a big government organization doing a nice for the little guy.
"They were just trying to do their jobs and my case was an odd one that fell between the cracks," he said. "They reacted very quickly and I'm very thankful for that as well. I'm impressed that such a large organization was able to change its policy so quickly and, furthermore, consider reviewing their rules.
"Earlier I had said that I would accept pennies from my fans to help pay for these royalties,'' he added, "and many folk have been calling me to say they have pennies for me, and I know that when I start my tour people are going to bring me their one cent coins.
"I'm going to accept them -- and forward them to support the Izaak Walton Killam Hospital for Children in Halifax."
Gunning has a string of Maritime dates in the coming weeks before continuing his tour in Ontario and Western Canada before more East Coast dates in late November and early December.