Copyright Board Canada

Minister’s Message

I am pleased to present the 2017-18 Departmental Results Report for for the Copyright Board of Canada.

Over the past year, through integrated work across the various organizations of the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Portfolio, the Government of Canada worked very hard to improve Canada’s global competitiveness while creating jobs, nurturing growth and strengthening our country’s middle class.

In 2017-18, the Portfolio continued to implement the Innovation and Skills Plan to promote innovation and science, including support for scientific research and the commercialization of research and ideas. The Plan also encourages Canadian small businesses to grow, scale-up, and become more productive, more innovative and more export-oriented. An important area of this work included promoting increased tourism in Canada and the creation of new opportunities in our tourism sector. The Plan’s overarching aim to position Canada as an innovation leader has been the driving focus of the Portfolio’s programs.

In 2017-18, the Copyright Board of Canada held two hearings, issued fourteen decisions and certified the corresponding tariffs related to musical works, sound recordings, literary works as well as to the private copying of recorded music. The Board also initiated fourteen new processes dealing with a number of proposed tariffs that were previously filed with it. Finally, the Board also issued decisions and licences for the use of works when the copyright owner could not be located.

Through deep collaborations and inclusive partnerships, the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Portfolio organizations have embarked on a shared journey to stronger, cleaner and more inclusive economic competitiveness that benefits all Canadians. This report documents the contributions that the Copyright Board of Canada is making towards this important work.

Minister’s Message

The Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Results at a glance

Fair decision-making processes provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works. In pursuit of this outcome, the Board completed the following activities:

  • Two public hearings were held. The first, in May 2017, concerned the SOCAN and Re: Sound Tariffs for Pay Audio Services. The second, held in September 2017, was in respect of a SODRAC licence for the reproduction of musical works by CBC. Part of this hearing was the result of a Supreme Court of Canada decision remitting the matter to the Board for redetermination.
  • Fourteen decisions were rendered. Among the decisions issued during the year, the Board set the royalties payable to SOCAN, CSI, and SODRAC by online music services that offer notably permanent downloads, limited downloads and webcasts of music and videos. The Board also certified the tariff for royalties to be paid by elementary and secondary educational institutions outside Quebec for the reproduction of literary works. This decision followed a Federal Court of Appeal decision remitting the matter to the Board.
  • Collectives filed with the Board a total of fifty-one new proposed tariffs for the years 2019 and beyond, all of which were prepared for publication in the Canada Gazette.
  • The Board initiated fourteen new processes dealing with a number of proposed tariffs that were previously filed with it. Among these are Online Music Services and Online Audiovisual Services – Music, for both of which hearings are scheduled to be held in 2019. For each of these new processes, the Board issued various rulings and orders following requests pertaining mostly to the status of participants or the nature of the issues to be examined
  • The Board rendered seven decisions and issued four licences pursuant to the provisions of the Copyright Act that permit the use of published works when copyright owners cannot be located.
  • For more information on the Board’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

    2017-18 Actual Spending 2017-18 Actual Full-time Equivalents
    $3,231,000 16

    Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

    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.

    Mandate and role

    The responsibilities of the Copyright Board under the Copyright 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 Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

    For more general information about the Copyright Board, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report.