The Supreme Court of Canada rejected an appeal by the Society of Composers, Composers and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), confirming a second-tier ruling that declared royalties to be paid for distributing content on the platforms inadmissible. Online.
The litigation arose from a lawsuit against the Canadian Copyright Board, for its decision to charge royalties for the use of intellectual works: one for the distribution of material and the other for its transmission or download.
After its acceptance, it was appealed by SOCAN, which argued that the WIPO Treaty and new amendments to Article 2.4 (1.1) of the Copyright Act allow such fees, because the availability of works on the Internet implies that the services flow They pay extra each time they publish or distribute the work.
In its substantive considerations, the Court states that “(…) authors are entitled to receive royalties for the use of their works when an activity involves a copyright. Nothing in the text of Article 2.4 (1.1) indicates that the legislator intended to allow authors to collect Two royalties for one protected activity. The interpretation of the council is totally inconsistent with jurisprudence.”
She continues her reasoning, noting that the council’s decision is contrary to the principle of technological neutrality, as it imposes an additional, unjustified burden on Internet users. It states that “(…) what matters is what the user receives, not how they receive it.”
In the end, the Court concludes that “(…) the new section of Copyright Law It simply shows that a job is reported when it is available or uploaded online. If individual users broadcast the same work, no additional revenue will be accrued. Broadcasting is part of a work in progress that began when the work became available online. For this reason, streaming something that has already been uploaded online requires only one royalty payment, not two.”
Based on the foregoing, the Supreme Court decided to reject the appeal and uphold the lower court’s ruling which declared the inadmissibility of charging two fees for the use of works subject to Copyrights.
See the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada.