The Copyright Board of Canada was formally established in February 1, 1989.

In addition to the powers that were previously bestowed upon the former Copyright Appeal Board, the newly formed Board was assigned two new areas of jurisdiction, namely the collective management of rights other than the right to perform musical works, as well that the granting of licences for the use of works whose copyright owners are unlocatable.

Since then, the mandate of the Board has evolved over time to take into account the political, technological and economic changes that have influenced copyright.


  • 1925

    The first Canadian copyright collective society, the Canadian Performing Rights Society (CPRS), is created.

  • 1931

    The Act to supervise the activities of the CPRS is amended. The CPRS has the obligation to deposit a list of all works comprising its repertoire and file tariffs with the Minister.

  • 1932-1935

    Inquiries into the activities of the CPRS underline the importance of creating an independent body to examine the tariffs for the public performance of music, continuously and before they were effective, in order to protect the public interest.

  • 1936

    The Copyright Appeal Board is created.

  • 1989

    The Copyright Board is commissioned and takes over from the Copyright Appeal Board.

    The implementation of the Canada-US Free Trade Implementation Act vested the Board with the power to set and apportion royalties for the newly created compulsory licencing scheme for works retransmitted on distant radio and television signals.

  • 1997

    Bill C-32 amending the Copyright Act expands the mandate of the Board by adding responsibilities for the adoption of tariffs for:

    • the public performance and communication to the public by telecommunication of sound recordings of musical works (the "neighbouring rights")
    • private copying of recorded musical works, recorded performances and sound recordings (the "home-taping regime")
    • off-air taping and use of radio and television programs for educational or training purposes (the "educational rights")
  • 2012

    The Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11) provides for new rights and exceptions that modifies tariff setting to include new paradigms in the creation, distribution and consumption of recorded works, such as user-generated content and online consumer habits.

  • 2018-2019

    The Budget Implementation Act, 2018 No 2 introduces several measures to address the procedural and structural challenges faced by the Board with respect to timelines, predictability and clarity of its proceedings, and to add the public interest criteria to its mandate.

    End of the compulsory regime for the right of performance and of communication. The collective societies responsible for these rights which previously had to file a tariff request (section 67.1 of Part VII of the Act) can now come to an agreement with the concerned parties without having to go through the Board.