Canadian case sets global precedent for internet transmissions
May 8, 2002
The music industry has won a court case in Canada that will help clarify global licensing rules for the transmission of music on the internet.
The case, establishing that national copyright law applies to online transmissions of music even when they originate from outside the country, helps to establish a healthy legal environment in which record companies can launch new online services.
IFPI, representing the international recording industry, and CRIA, the Canadian recording industry association and IFPI national group, have welcomed this ruling by Canada's Federal Court of Appeal in the 'SOCAN 22 Tariff' case.
The case sets an important precedent for the international recording industry in three main ways:
In the appeal, CRIA argued that internet transmissions of music to end users in Canada qualify as 'communications to the public' and are covered by Canadian copyright law even if they originate outside Canada. The Federal Court of Appeal of Canada, in a decision released on May 1, agreed.
The Federal Court of Appeal overturned a previous ruling by the Canadian Copyright Board, which found that internet transmissions were not 'communications to the public' in Canada if they originated from servers outside the country.
Internationally, the ruling fits well with the systems of global music licensing that are developing for the internet, in particular the network of 'simulcasting' agreements promoted by IFPI under which broadcasters can now get international internet licences in 32 countries.
The judgement also paves the way for Canada to implement the WIPO Treaties, the WCT and the WPPT, which confirm that copyright applies in the online environment, that producers control the making available of their recordings online, and that technical protection devices should not be hacked.
The Federal Court of Appeal's full 78-page opinion can be obtained in format by clicking here.
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