Copyright Board

The government has announced consultations on reforms to the Copyright Board. A discussion paper accompanying the consultation identifies 13 possible options for legislative and regulatory reforms for the Copyright Board to address timely decision making. The consultation is open until September 29.

The consultation announcement (link) includes an executive summary and details of the proposals and of the accompanying member selection process. The proposals for addressing the systemic delays at the Copyright Board for the tariff-setting process are categorized under the four main topics listed below.

Also announced was the launch of “open, transparent and merit-based selection processes” for members of the Copyright Board. The term of Copyright Board Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Claude Majeau was extended by a year, to August 3, 2018 to maintain continuity through the transition process.

  1. Better enable the Board to deal with matters expeditiously:
    • Streamline certain aspects of the Board’s decision-making framework
    • Implement case management
    • Empower the Board to award costs between parties
    • Require parties to provide more information at the outset of tariff proceedings
  2. Reduce the number of matters that come before the Board each year:
    • Expand the existing option for some collective societies to establish individual licensing agreements with prospective users independently of the Board
    • Lengthen the effective time periods of tariffs
  3. Prevent the retroactivity of tariffs or limit the impact of retroactivity:
    • Require longer lead times in tariff filing
    • Allow for copyrighted content use and royalty collection pending the approval of a tariff in all cases
  4. Clarify the Board’s framework, mandate and decision-making processes:
    • Codify specific Board procedures
    • Include a mandate for the Board in the Copyright Act
    • Specify decision-making criteria for the Board to consider
    • Harmonize different tariff-setting regimes