Online Music: Supreme Court of Canada Ends Double Royalty Payments

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Online Music: Supreme Court of Canada Ends Double Royalty Payments

The Supreme Court has clarified with its decision one of the provisions of the Copyright Act.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that singer-songwriters and singer-songwriters will now only be entitled to one royalty payment – ​​not two – when their music is streamed or downloaded on an online platform. line.

This court decision clarifies the meaning of a provision of the Copyright Act relating to the communication of a work with the public online.

Until now, the Copyright Board of Canada's interpretation was that rights holders of a song could receive two royalty payments when their work was streamed online: one payment when the song found its way on a platform like iTunes or Spotify, and a second when it was actually listened to or downloaded by an Internet user.

The Commission had thus concluded that making a work available to the public was a separate protected activity justifying remuneration.

The Federal Court of Appeal subsequently overturned the Commission's decision, a conclusion which the Supreme Court concurred with. According to the latter, the Commission's initial interpretation went against the Copyright Act, violating the principle of technological neutrality by asking Internet users to pay additional royalties to access a work online.

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