Copyright Board Canada


Departmental Performance Reports are part of the Estimates family of documents. Estimates documents support appropriation acts, which specify the amounts and broad purposes for which funds can be spent by the government. The Estimates document family has three parts.

Part I (Government Expenditure Plan) provides an overview of federal spending.

Part II (Main Estimates) lists the financial resources required by individual departments, agencies and Crown corporations for the upcoming fiscal year.

Part III (Departmental Expenditure Plans) consists of two documents. Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) are expenditure plans for each appropriated department and agency (excluding Crown corporations). They describe departmental priorities, strategic outcomes, programs, expected results and associated resource requirements, covering a three-year period beginning with the year indicated in the title of the report. Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs) are individual department and agency accounts of actual performance, for the most recently completed fiscal year, against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in their respective RPPs. DPRs inform parliamentarians and Canadians of the results achieved by government organizations for Canadians.

Additionally, Supplementary Estimates documents present information on spending requirements that were either not sufficiently developed in time for inclusion in the Main Estimates or were subsequently refined to account for developments in particular programs and services.

The financial information in DPRs is drawn directly from authorities presented in the Main Estimates and the planned spending information in RPPs. The financial information in DPRs is also consistent with information in the Public Accounts of Canada. The Public Accounts of Canada include the Government of Canada Consolidated Statement of Financial Position, the Consolidated Statement of Operations and Accumulated Deficit, the Consolidated Statement of Change in Net Debt, and the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flow, as well as details of financial operations segregated by ministerial portfolio for a given fiscal year. For the DPR, two types of financial information are drawn from the Public Accounts of Canada: authorities available for use by an appropriated organization for the fiscal year, and authorities used for that same fiscal year. The latter corresponds to actual spending as presented in the DPR.

The Treasury Board Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structures further strengthens the alignment of the performance information presented in DPRs, other Estimates documents and the Public Accounts of Canada. The policy establishes the Program Alignment Architecture of appropriated organizations as the structure against which financial and non- financial performance information is provided for Estimates and parliamentary reporting. The same reporting structure applies irrespective of whether the organization is reporting in the Main Estimates, the RPP, the DPR or the Public Accounts of Canada.

A number of changes have been made to DPRs for 2013-14 to better support decisions on appropriations. Where applicable, DPRs now provide financial, human resources and performance information in Section II at the lowest level of the organization’s Program Alignment Architecture.

In addition, the DPR’s format and terminology have been revised to provide greater clarity, consistency and a strengthened emphasis on Estimates and Public Accounts information. As well, departmental reporting on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy has been consolidated into a new supplementary information table posted on departmental websites. This new table brings together all of the components of the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy formerly presented in DPRs and on departmental websites, including reporting on the Greening of Government Operations and Strategic Environmental Assessments. Section III of the report provides a link to the new table on the organization’s website. Finally, definitions of terminology are now provided in an appendix.

Minister's Message

Minister’s Message I am pleased to report on the Industry Portfolio’s key activities in 2013-14.

During this period, facilitating support for business innovation, strengthening private sector investment in job creation, and creating lasting partnerships with the research community were among our most important achievements.

In 2013–14, the Copyright Board of Canada held hearings, issued decisions and certified tariffs related to the broadcasting of musical works, their communication to the public and their reproduction; the reproduction of literary works; the private copying of recorded music; the retransmission of distant radio and television signals; and the use of broadcast programs by educational institutions. The Board also issued decisions and licences for the use of works when the copyright owner could not be located.

Working together, Industry Canada and our portfolio partners will continue to improve competitiveness, cost-efficiencies and job opportunities, bolstering the Canadian economy and furthering our government’s commitment to create jobs and growth.

I am pleased to present the 2013-14 Departmental Performance Report for the Copyright Board of Canada.

James Moore
Minister of Industry

Section I: Organizational Overview

Organizational Profile

Appropriate Minister: The Honourable James Moore

Institutional Head: Claude Majeau, Vice-Chairman and CEO

Ministerial portfolio: Industry Canada

Enabling Instrument: Copyright Act

Year of commencement: 1989

Organizational Context

Raison d’être

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 licensing bodies and issues licences when the copyright owner cannot be located.


The responsibilities of the Copyright Board under the Copyright Act (the "Act") are to:

  • certify tariffs for
    • the public performance and the communication to the public by telecommunication of musical works and sound recordings;
    • the doing of any protected act mentioned in sections 3, 15, 18 and 21 of the Act, such as the reproduction of musical works, of sound recordings, of performances and of literary works; and,
    • the retransmission of distant television and radio signals or the reproduction and public performance by educational institutions, of radio or television news or news commentary programs and all other programs, for educational or training purposes.
  • set levies for the private copying of recorded musical works;
  • set royalties payable by a user to a collective society, when there is disagreement on the royalties or on the related terms and conditions;
  • rule on applications for non-exclusive licences to use published works, fixed performances, published sound recordings and fixed communication signals, when the copyright owner cannot be located;
  • examine agreements made between a collective society and a user which have been filed with the Board by either party, where the Commissioner of Competition considers that the agreement is contrary to the public interest;
  • receive such agreements with collective societies that are filed with it by any party to those agreements within 15 days of their conclusion;
  • determine compensation to be paid by a copyright owner to a person to stop her from performing formerly unprotected acts in countries that later join the Berne Convention, the Universal Convention or the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization; and,
  • conduct such studies with respect to the exercise of its powers as requested by the Minister of Industry.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

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

    1.1 Program: Copyright Tariff Setting and Issuance of Licences

Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

Priority Type1 Strategic Outcome
Ensure timely and fair processes and decisions Ongoing Fair decision making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works
Summary of Progress

The requirement to have timely decisions is expressly stated in the Act: the Board is to certify and publish tariffs “as soon as is practicable”. The requirement to have fair processes and decisions is implicit: the Act gives the Board the powers, rights and privileges of a superior court; as such, the Board is required to follow the principles of natural justice which, taken together, ensure both fair processes and fair outcomes.

In 2013-14, the Board took several steps which resulted in a reduction of the regulatory burden. For instance, the Board held combined hearings for the tariffs of SOCAN, CSI and SODRAC pertaining to online music services. The Board also held a single hearing process in connection with five different tariffs in relation to commercial radio. This contributed to cost savings for the participants.

In 2012-13, the Board established a Working Committee on its Operations, Procedures and Processes. The Committee, comprised of key stakeholders, examines possible improvements to the Board’s rules of practice and procedure, with a view to reducing uncertainty and streamlining the procedures while safeguarding the fairness of the process. In 2013-14, the terms of reference of the Committee were finalized. The Committee identified three areas amenable to significant improvements within a fairly short time frame: the identification and disclosure of issues to be addressed during a tariff proceeding, interrogatories and the confidential treatment of information. By the end of the reporting year, a draft discussion paper dealing with the first two areas was being finalized and a sub-committee was tackling the complex issues raised by the third. Preparation of a document fleshing out possible solutions to the other issues identified in the terms of references had also started.

The Board gathers data on the number of months between the date when a particular tariff proceeding is complete, and the date when the tariff is certified. In the Report of Plans and Priorities (RPP) for 2013-14, a target of 12 months was set, with a complying percentage of 70 per cent.

Seven decisions were rendered by the Board during fiscal year 2013-14, of which three were final decisions, three were interim decisions, and one was a decision on an application to vary. Of these seven decisions, seven (or 100 per cent) were issued within 12 months of completion of the proceedings. Hence, our target was successfully met.

In addition, pursuant to section 77 of the Act, the Board may grant licences that authorize the use of a published work, a fixation of a performer’s performance, a published sound recording, or a fixation of a communication signal if the copyright owner cannot be located. The Board’s objective with respect to this activity is to issue licences in a timely manner. Therefore, data is also gathered on the number of months between the date when a particular licence file is complete, and the date of issuance of the licence. In the RPP for 2013-14, a target of 45 days was set between the file completion date and the issuance of the licence, to be met in at least 70 per cent of the files.

Nine licences were delivered during fiscal year 2013-14. Eight of the nine licences, or 89 per cent, were issued within 45 days. Our target was thus successfully met.

The Board commissioned a public opinion research firm to survey people who had applied to the Board for a licence when the right owner cannot be located. The survey, in which about 100 applicants were contacted, took place between June and August of 2013. Among the questions measured in the survey was the level of general satisfaction with the process of applying for a licence. The level of satisfaction obtained is 72 per cent. The target of 70 per cent set by the Board was thus successfully met.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Advance the analytical framework for decisions and the regulatory processes for tariff-setting Ongoing Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works
Summary of Progress

The Board is required, under the Act, to give reasons for its decisions. In keeping with the modern principles of judicial review, the Federal Court of Appeal typically defers to the Board’s expert understanding of the facts before it. The Board can only maintain this deference by constantly advancing its analytical frameworks.

As a key tool in addressing the challenges of changing technology and the impact of global events, the Board is encouraging the active participation of its staff and Members in international initiatives, events and conferences. By discussing and comparing experiences across different countries, the Board can gain early warning of significant developments and their likely impacts on the Canadian situation.

Among the international conferences of copyright specialists which the Board Members and staff attended in 2013-14, the following are noteworthy: the Twenty-First Annual Conference of the Fordham Intellectual Property Law Institute (New York, April 2013) and the Annual Conference of the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI) (Cartagena, June 2013). The Board was also represented at numerous similar national meetings in Canada. The rationale for the Board’s “screening” activities is to identify and assess industry trends.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Improve management practices Ongoing Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works
Summary of Progress

The Board needs to improve management practices on a continual basis, as any other Departments.

The Board has adopted its own Value and Ethic Code, consistent with the Public Sector Code. The Board also adopted its appointment policies to bring them in line with the requirements of the Public Service Employment Act. The Board has also continued to work and implemented its Performance Measurement Framework.

The Board continued to develop and implement key IM/IT initiatives in support of business development and enhancement activities.

The Board continued to progress on all public service renewal commitments that respond to challenges related to planning, engagement, recruitment, building capacity, and providing supportive human resource management architecture. Accomplishments include a more integrated, inclusive and horizontal approach to planning.

Risk Analysis

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
Technology risk
  • Systematically monitor relevant journals, other publications and web sites, and to attend industry seminars and conferences.
  • Risk was identified in the 2013-14 RPP.
  • No modifications to the risk mitigation strategies.
Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works.
Reversal risk
  • Issue fair and equitable decisions.
  • Risk was identified in the 2013-14 RPP.
  • No modifications to the risk mitigation strategies.
Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works.
HR risk
  • Run well-organized job competitions, designed to target a significant share of the pool of potential candidates.
  • Take measures to encourage a large number of applications.
  • Create a stimulating working environment conducive to a high retention rate among its employees.
  • Risk was identified in the 2013-14 RPP.
  • No modifications to the risk mitigation strategies.
Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works.

Among the most significant risks which the Board faces in achieving its strategic outcomes is the potentially disruptive impact of new technologies (i.e., in terms of how copyright material is utilized, distributed and monitored). The Board’s approach to managing the technology risk is to systematically monitor relevant journals, other publications and web sites, and to attend industry seminars and conferences, as described before in this report.

The decisions the Board makes are constrained in several respects. These constraints come from sources external to the Board: the law, regulations and judicial pronouncements. Others are self-imposed, in the form of guiding principles that can be found in the Board’s decisions.

Court decisions also provide a large part of the framework within which the Board operates. Most decisions focus on issues of procedure, or apply the general principles of administrative decision-making to the specific circumstances of the Board. However, the courts have also set out several substantive principles for the Board to follow or that determine the ambit of the Board’s mandate or discretion.

A smaller risk, which the Board faces in achieving its strategic outcome, is reversal risk. While decisions of the Board are not appealable, they are subject to judicial review. The ability to schedule a number of cases in a year could be impaired if a case from a previous year were reversed on judicial review. The Board’s principal strategy to mitigate this risk is issuing fair and equitable decisions.

There is always a risk of not being able to hire or retain the staff with the necessary technical expertise to achieve required results. To mitigate this risk, the Board runs well-organized job competitions, designed to target a significant share of the pool of potential candidates. The Board also takes measures to encourage a large number of applications. The Board also works at creating a stimulating working environment conducive to a high retention rate among its employees.

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013-14 Main Estimates 2013-14 Planned Spending 2013-14 Total Authorities Available for Use 2013-14 Actual Spending (authorities used) 2013-14 Difference (actual minus planned)
3,127,995 3,127,995 3,191,634 2,779,672 348,324
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2013-14 Planned 2013-14 Actual 2013-14 Difference
(actual minus planned)
16 16 0

Budgetary Performance Summary for Strategic Outcome and Program

Strategic Outcome Program and Internal Services 2013-14 Main Estimates Planned Spending 2013-14 Total Authorities Available for Use Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2013-14 2012-13 2011-12
Copyright Tariff Setting and Issuance of Licences 2,533,676 2,533,676 2,524,214 2,531,447 2,585,224 2,251,535 2,032,160 2,058,104
Strategic Outcome Sub-Total 2,533,676 2,533,676 2,524,214 2,531,447 2,585,224 2,251,535 2,032,160 2,058,104
Internal Services Sub-total 594,319 594,319 592,099 593,796 606,410 528,137 476,679 482,765
Total 3,127,995 3,127,995 3,116,313 3,125,243 3,191,634 2,779,672 2,508,839 2,540,869

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2013-14 Actual Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2013-14 Actual Spending
Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works Copyright Tariff Setting and Issuance of Licences Economic Affairs An innovative and knowledge-based economy 2,251,535
Total Spending by Spending Area
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs 2,533,676 2,251,535
Social Affairs
International Affairs
Government Affairs

Expenditure Profile

Departmental Spending Trend

Expenditure Profile

Actual spending has increased by about $270,000 in 2013-14. This is a reflection of higher spending on professional services along with additional positions that have been staffed. Additional staffing of vacant positions is also planned for 2014-15.

Estimates by Vote

For information on the Copyright Board of Canada’s organizational Votes and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2014 on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.