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Government of Canada Launches Consultations on Reforming Copyright Board of Canada

August 9, 2017

Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today  launched consultations on proposed legislative and regulatory changes to the Copyright Board of Canada’s decision-making processes.

The Copyright Board of Canada establishes royalties for the use of copyrighted content in a broad range of areas where the administration of such copyright is entrusted to a collective management organization. This includes music streaming, the public performance of music, educational copying, and the retransmission of television signals.

Several consultations and recent research have identified the need for timely decisions on the use of copyrighted content, particularly in light of the rapid technological advances.

A government discussion paper presents 13 possible options for legislative and regulatory reforms. The government will also consider any other reform options that would help address the Board’s challenges outlined in the discussion paper.

The consultations will be open from August 9 to September 29. Those interested can share their views until September 29 by emailing CBconsultations@canada.ca.

The discussion paper A Consultation on Options for Reform to the Copyright Board of Canada outlines 13 options for reforms:

Enabling the Board to Deal with Matters more Expeditiously

Streamlining the Decision-Making Frameworks of the Board

1. Explicitly require or authorize the Board to advance proceedings expeditiously.

2. Create new deadlines or shorten existing deadlines in respect of Board proceedings.

Limiting the Contributions of Parties to Delays

3. Implement case management of Board proceedings.

4. Empower the Board to award costs between parties.

5. Require parties to provide more information at the commencement of tariff proceedings.
(a) Require collective societies to include additional explanations with proposed tariffs.
(b) Require objectors to include additional information with objections.

Reducing the Number of Matters Coming Before the Board Annually

6. Permit all collective societies to enter into licensing agreements of overriding effect with users independently of the Board.

7. Change the time requirements for the filing of proposed tariffs.

Preventing Tariff Retroactivity or Limiting its Impact by Other Means

8. Require proposed tariffs to be filed longer in advance of their effective dates.

9. Allow for the use of the copyrighted content at issue and the collection of royalties pending the approval of tariffs in all Board proceedings.

Further Clarifying the Board Decision-Making Processes

10. Codify and clarify specific Board procedures through regulation.

11. Stipulate a mandate for the Board in the Act.

12. Specify decision-making criteria that the Board is to consider.

13. Harmonize the tariff-setting regimes of the Act.

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