SOCAN welcomes Copyright Board approval of internet tariffs

Illustration: Renjith Krishnan/
July 22, 2014

On July 18, 2014, the Copyright Board of Canada issued its decision concerning SOCAN Tariffs 22.D.1 (Audiovisual webcasts) and 22.D.2 (Audiovisual user-generated content), both for the years 2007-2013.

These new tariffs for the use of music in streamed movies, television programs and other audiovisual works on the Internet will allow authors, composers and publishers of music to receive royalties for previously uncompensated uses of their works by Internet services such as Netflix. They will also ensure an uninterrupted flow of royalties from those services which have been paying SOCAN pursuant to recent agreements between the parties.

“This is another important step for SOCAN members as we continue to address the complex challenges and opportunities posed by digital services,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “There is much work to do, but we are getting there, step by step.”

“SOCAN is particularly pleased with the legal conclusions reached by the Copyright Board on a number of issues, including appropriate limits on the scope of the fair dealing exception in the context of free trial subscriptions,” said Gilles Daigle, SOCAN’s General Counsel and Head of Legal Services. “While the courts may have broadened the interpretation of fair dealing in recent years, it is important for stakeholders to remember that it remains an exception to the general principles of copyright liability. With its reasons in the Netflix case, the Copyright Board has reminded users that attempts to advance interpretations that over-reach will most likely be rejected.”