Songwriters and Music Publishers Appeal Canadian Copyright Board’s Decision on the CSI Online Music Services Tariff

On August 25, 2017, the Copyright Board of Canada (“Board”) released its decision certifying the royalties payable to songwriters and music publishers for the reproduction of musical works by online music services operating in Canada, including services that offer music downloads, on-demand streaming and webcasting. CMRRA-SODRAC Inc. (“CSI”), the music collective that represents the vast majority of music rightsholders in Canada, is greatly disappointed by the decision and has filed an application for judicial review before the Federal Court of Appeal on a number of reviewable errors.

“CSI does not agree with many aspects of the Board’s decision, including the very dramatic reduction in the royalty rates for streaming services and the virtual elimination of minimum rates for subscription services and services offered on a free or ad-supported model,” said Alain Lauzon, President of CSI and General Manager of the Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (“SODRAC”). “If applied, these rates would significantly decrease royalties payable to songwriters and music publishers, and provide no compensation at all in some cases.”

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