Canada’s Supreme Court rules media must pay for audiovisual recordings

Canad’s Supreme Court’s has made a ruling which reaffirms that a copy of a recording has value for which creators must be fairly compensated.

The decision, which came last week in the the CBC v. SODRAC case, 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 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.

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.

“This decision is an affirmation for canada’s creative middle class.”

Graham Henderson, 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.”

The ruling rejected 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.Music Business Worldwide

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