Do you agree with the Supreme Court's copyright decisions?
The Supreme Court of Canada has settled a number of battles between songwriters, music publishers and internet giants over copyright royalties.
The top court issued decisions in five different copyright-related cases, three of which involved the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers (SOCAN) and their fight to collect royalties on music heard and downloaded over the internet.
Below you will find the decisions, in brief. (For all the details, please see our latest news story and primer.)
Case 1: Videogames
Decision: No new fee will apply when a game is sold over internet. It does not count as communicating works to the public. (5 to 4 decision)
Case 2: Music streaming and downloading
Decision: Court decision upheld tariff on streaming music, which constitutes "communication for the public," but removed tariffs on downloads. (Unanimous)
Case 3: Movie and TV soundtracks
Decision: The Copyright Board decided that soundtracks incorporated into movies and TV shows are no longer separate; unless soundtrack is sold separately. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, so no new tariffs apply.
Case 4: Musical previews
Decision: Copyright Board decided that listening to previews falls under fair dealing for research purposes, and that no royalties are required. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, so no new tariffs apply. (Unanimous)
Case 5: Photocopying textbooks
Decision: The use of the works by students for study does not infringe the Copyright Act. The court allowed the appeal, said the tariff should apply, and sent the case back to the Copyright Board with a set of reasons to guide them. (5 to 4 decision.)
Have you been following any or all of these cases? What do you think of the court's verdicts?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' replies.)
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