Copyright Board Canada

Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome : Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works

The Board’s strategic outcome is to ensure fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and uses of copyrighted works. The achievement of this outcome relates to innovation, which is a main source of competitive advantage in all areas of economic activity.

The use and re-use of cultural and entertainment content (such as musical and audio-visual works) have become widespread with the advent of new media and online services, new playback and editing technologies and new uses in conventional media. These matters relate to some of society’s most complex and contentious issues, including the downloading of content over the Internet using file-sharing software and the proliferation of duplication technologies which have the capability to make digital copies of CDs and DVDs. At the same time, new opportunities for streaming video and audio files, whether interactively, semi-interactively, or passively have emerged. Personal video recorders and other similar devices used in conjunction with television sets have begun to blur lines between the broadcasting sector and the entertainment rental/purchase sector. Personal audio players have the capacity to store entire libraries of music, literally thousands of songs. It is in this environment that the Board must operate to achieve its strategic outcome.

The Copyright Board of Canada recognizes the need to ensure an effective and efficient copyright regulatory regime in order to attain the maximum productivity in those sectors that create and use copyrighted works. Further, the performance of the Copyright Board will promote a fair and competitive marketplace as well as reasonable opportunities for Canadian firms to export copyright protected goods and services in the music, for content creation and programming areas, as well as for the broadcasting, publishing and entertainment industries.

Program Activity: Copyright Tariff Setting and Issuance of Licences

The Board is an economic regulatory body empowered to establish, either mandatorily or at the request of an interested party, the royalties to be paid for the use of copyrighted works, when the administration of such copyright is entrusted to a collective-administration society. The Board also has the right to supervise agreements between users and collective societies and issues licences when the copyright owner cannot be located.

2011-12 Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
2,514 2,465 2,058
2011-12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
14 12 2
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Performance Status
Fair and Equitable Tariffs and Conditions Percentage of tariff decisions published within 12 months 70% of tariff decisions will be published within one year 83% of cases
Fair and Equitable Tariffs and Conditions Percentage of licences issued within 45 days 70% of licences will be issued within 45 days 71% of cases

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

In 2011-12, the Board held a single hearing, relating to the Crown immunity claims asserted by some of the users of Access Copyright’s Provincial and Territorial Governments Tariff. This hearing took place on September 27, 2011.

The Board issued three final decisions during the fiscal year. The first one dealt with the right to reproduce and perform works by educational institutions; the second dealt with the right to play sound recordings to accompany dance; and the third dealt with musical works and sound recordings as broadcast by CBC’s conventional radio.

In addition, the Board issued nine interlocutory decisions, either interim, on applications to vary, or on a preliminary issue. These decisions related to an arbitration between SODRAC and ARTV, an interim tariff for private copying, an interim tariff for some Internet uses (SOCAN Tariffs 22.D on audiovisual webcasts and 22.G on audiovisual user-generated content), an application to vary Re:Sound’s dance tariff, the Crown Immunity application mentioned above, and three applications to vary as well as an interim tariff in respect of the Access Copyright Post- Secondary Institutions Tariff.

In the last fiscal year, seven licences were also issued under the provisions of the Copyright Act which permit the use of published works for which the copyright owners cannot be located.

What follows is a brief summary of these activities listed according to the legal regime that applies to each category. For further detail, and information on the nine interlocutory decisions issued by the Board, please refer to the Board’s 2011-12 Annual Report which can be found at

1. Public Performance of Music

On July 8, 2011, the Board issued a decision dealing with the public performance of musical works and sound recordings on CBC radio for the years 2006 to 2011. This decision certified a new formula for royalties payable by CBC radio, replacing the previous formula which related those royalties to those payable by commercial radio stations. In addition, the decision examined the question of how royalties should be adjusted for inflation and how interest should be charged on royalty payments due for periods in the past.

On July 15, 2011, the Board issued a decision dealing with the public performance of sound recordings to accompany dance for the years 2008 to 2012. The decision severed the dance tariff from a tariff relating to sound recordings to accompany fitness activities. The dance tariff is closely related to the dance tariff certified for musical works.

2. Collective Administration (General Regime)

During fiscal year 2011-12, the Board held a hearing (on September 27, 2011) to examine the question of whether the concept of Crown immunity relieves provincial and territorial governments from the requirement of paying royalties for reprographic reproductions of protected works.

3. Arbitration

During fiscal year 2011-12, the Board did not hear any applications for arbitration, but received five requests for arbitration. In addition, on January 5, 2012, the Board issued an interim decision on SODRAC v. ARTV.

4. Educational Rights

In 2011-12, no hearing were held in respect of educational rights.

On December 24, 2011, the Board certified the Educational Rights Tariff, for the years 2012- 2016. The tariff is essentially identical to the tariff certified by the Board for the years 2007- 2011. It provides two options: reproduction rights are cleared on a transactional basis unless the educational institution elects to comply with a comprehensive tariff.

5. Private Copying

No hearings were held during the fiscal year. The Board rendered one decision on December 19, 2011 in respect of the interim tariff for private copying for the years 2012-2013.

6. Unlocatable Copyright Owners

In 2011-12, 28 applications were filed with the Board for the use of published works for which rights holders could not be found and seven non-exclusive licences were issued for the use of such works.

7. Agreements Filed with the Board

In 2011-12, 144 agreements were filed with the Board pursuant to section 70.5 of the Act.

Access Copyright which licenses reproduction rights such as digitization and photocopy, on behalf of writers, publishers and other creators, filed 46 agreements granting educational institutions, language schools, non-profit associations, copy shops and others a license to photocopy works in its repertoire.

The Société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction(COPIBEC) filed 97 agreements. COPIBEC is the collective society which authorizes in Quebec the reproduction of works from Quebec, Canadian (through a bilateral agreement with Access Copyright) and foreign rights holders. The agreements filed in 2011-12 were concluded with various educational institutions, municipalities, non-profit associations and other users.

Finally, a single agreement was filed jointly by Access Copyright and COPIBEC with regard to the Bank of Montreal.

Lessons Learned

The Board has been facing increasing workload pressures leading to unnecessary delays in issuing decisions and creating a backlog in the certification of uncontested tariffs. The Board recognized the need for stability to overcome the challenges it was facing. The first step taken by the Board was to establish its succession plans, which are crucial for the orderly continuation of the Board’s activities.

The second step was to more directly deal with the delays and the backlog. In that respect, the Board is still in the process of hiring additional staff that would be able to address the backlog. Because the Board is a very small agency however, this process is being challenged by the departure or retirement of key persons at the Board.

Program Activity: Internal Services

Internal services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

2011-12 Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
611 600 483
2011-12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
2 2 0
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Performance Status

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

This activity deals with financial and materiel management policies, systems, processes and standards. In implementing these policies, compliance with Parliament’s requirements for financial stewardship and integrity is ensured. This activity also encompasses the responsibility of providing human resource services.

The Board receives timely support from the services mentioned above.