Broadcast Reproduction Fees: SODRAC vs SRC / CBC

13 March 2017

On June 20, SODRAC returns to the Copyright Board of Canada, as ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada in November 2015, to review the value of broadcast reproduction royalties payable by the CBC since November 2008, taking into account the principle of technological neutrality. This review was made mandatory despite the fact that SODRAC succeeded at the first hearing before the first hearing of the Board in 2012 and then won its appeal at the Federal Court of Canada in 2014, since the CBC was the only one to challenge the right of rights holder to be paid a fee that is less than 1/5 of the value paid to SOCAN and about 1/10 of 1% of the CBC’s average revenue.

The upcoming debate will focus mainly on the financial aspect, as the Supreme Court (i) confirmed in 2015 that (i) ” The Board was correct in finding that broadcast‑incidental copying engages the reproduction right, consistent with this Court’s decision in Bishop and the context of the statutory scheme set out in the Copyright Act “, (ii) did not invalidate the economic model put forward by SODRAC back in 2010 and, (iii) even stated that when the value of the copies for the user is higher from one technology to another, the principle of technological neutrality warrants a higher royalty and finally concludes by stating that, the value will never be void regardless of the outcome of the decision.

SODRAC is therefore preparing to defend its business model a second time before the court in order to finally perceive what we believe to be the fair and reasonable value of your audiovisual reproduction right as derived from the use of your musical works by the Crown Corporation.

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