Home Music Publishing Canadian Supreme Court Decision Opens Door for Fair Compensation for Music Creators

Canadian Supreme Court Decision Opens Door for Fair Compensation for Music Creators

music-canadaMusic Canada welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in the CBC v. SODRAC case which reaffirms that a copy of a recording has value for which creators must be fairly compensated.

The Supreme Court has determined that broadcasters must pay royalties on reproductions of audiovisual works – in this case known as incidental or ephemeral copies, which are used in the preparation of broadcasts – because they add value to the final product. The decision also ensures that Canada meets its international treaty obligations in this area. The Court further determined that rights holders are free to license their rights as they see fit, in this case, separately licensing television producers and broadcasters. And the Court noted that the principle of “technological neutrality” entitles copyright holders to larger royalties where the use of technology enables greater value to be obtained from use of a copyrighted work.

“Today’s decision by our highest Court is an affirmation for Canada’s creative middle class,” says Graham Henderson, President & CEO of Music Canada. “The creative community should have access to a fair and functioning market that rewards them based on demand for their work. This is critical for Canadian artists whose livelihoods depend on earning fair compensation from their profession and for the companies that invest in them and their careers.”

Today’s Supreme Court decision confirms years of precedents that support the growth and development of the music industry. The ruling rejects the argument that when a rights holder exercises one right, all other rights disappear. While the Supreme Court has decided to remit the matter to the Copyright Board to revalue SODRAC’s tariff, the Supreme Court has made it very clear that the judicial system will not be used to subvert clear statutory rights.

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