SOCAN's proposed interim application appears at first blush to be even less reasoned and substantiated than Access Copyright's controversial interim tariff application that was approved on December 23, 2010 - just 18 hours before Christmas - on the basis of no actual “evidence”, such as an affidavit not based on hearsay that would pass muster in a court. That said, the absence of evidence and other major gaps in its case did not hurt Access Copyright - and no judicial review was sought, as I keep saying. See my blog around that time for numerous comments.
In this case, there could also be substantial legal issues involving jurisdiction and extraterritoriality, not to mention liability. And the expected legislation that will likely receive fast passage in this majority Government in the next year could profoundly affect this tariff - at least re UGC. This potentially and explicitly targets such entities as Netflix, Apple TV, Sony, Facebook, and last - but hardly least - YouTube - which is owned by Google. These are potentially fierce foes that may not be amenable to the vicissitudes of the Copyright Board process, which often include notoriously unnecessary and intrusive but still mandatory interrogatories and time frames that unpredictably range from delays of several years to extremely tight deadlines of a few days. They may not welcome an interim tariff on the basis that it “would give businesses some assessment of the royalty payments necessary to run their operations” as SOCAN’s press release suggests.
… Why would any rationale entity pay potentially millions of dollars in legal fees and disbursements to be required years from now to pay large tariffs retroactively for rights that that don't even exist in the USA - and now maybe have to pay an “interim tariff’ in the meantime that may not ever be effectively refundable?
The hearing will begin on June 19, 2012. In the normal course of events, a decision will be announced 18 months or even more from then, based upon the current and recent pendency patterns. The Board currently has two important cases under advisement from April/May and June/July of 2010.