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5 Copyright Cases Before Supreme Court Of Canada

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Canada's Supreme Court is hearing 5-copyright cases today and tomorrow. If the Court only judges the administrative law aspects - Copyright Board of Canada actions - the practical impact is likely to be minimal. However, if it also considers questions regarding copyright itself...

* Big Week for Copyright at Supreme Court by Michael Geist, The Tyee, 06-December-2011.

The cases feature a who's who of the Canadian copyright and communications world, with the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), Canadian Recording Industry Association, Apple, Bell Canada, Rogers Communications, and leading copyright collectives such as SOCAN and Access Copyright among the litigants.

 

 

* Supreme Court hears copyright cases By Sarah Schmidt, Postmedia News, [published in Vancouver Sun] 06-December-2011.

The rights of copyright holders to be paid when consumers preview music on iTunes, download video games with music, or read photocopies of textbook excerpts are before Canada's top court this week...

...

...depending on which way the Supreme Court of Canada rules, copyright payments - and consumer prices - could rise.

 

With such high stakes, many players will be making their case over the next two days. They include groups representing copyright holders, the Canadian recording industry, the gaming industry, online musical retailers, telecom and Internet companies, provincial ministers of education, universities and school boards and consumer groups.

 

 

If interested the 5-cases are:

* SOCAN v. Bell Factum (No. 33800)

* Alberta v. Access Copyright Factum (No. 33888)

* ESA v. SOCAN (No. 33921)

* Rogers v. SOCAN (No. 33922)

* Sound v. MPTAC (No. 34210)

And the proceedings can be viewed live (or archived) via Supreme Court of Canada: Cases: Webcasts by Session

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Why not just consider additional digital downloads/copies as free marketing, since the cost of distribution is close to zero? After all, free downloads increase sales (though not rentals).

 

Yeah, it's largely debatable, but I thought that customers don't have to pay, when they preview music/video/games, just like quoting an article or a book isn't a copyright infringement.

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UPDATE:

 

The Supreme Court of Canada has released their rulings earlier today.

Supreme Court ruling scraps royalty for music downloads by Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC News, 12-July-2012. Note: this is an initial news story emphasising only one aspect of the Court's deliberations, I expect more analysis over the next week.

 

Today's decision only affects a royalty that was being collected for downloading. Until now, downloading fell under the "communication to the public" right.

The Supreme Court disagreed with interpretations by the Copyright Board and Federal Court and ruled that transmitting a single copy of a work to a single individual is not a communication to the public within the Copyright Act.

However, the top court said that streaming music over the internet is not a private transaction and should be subject to the tariff currently in place.

 

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Thanks. I don't know how I missed this in December.

 

Some of the comments on today's article are really interesting. Much higher level than typical article comments. Although I disagree with a lot of them, they were still well thought-out and presented.

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Canada is so on it. I have read so much research coming out of that country which shows that things like Network effect of P2P, and levies on blank-CDs easily covered the revnues the same band of copyright people were saying that was causing them to loose billions.

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