Its ship has now come home. But spoiler alert: the ending was not a happy one for Access Copyright. The ship was not full of riches as expected. Instead, the Copyright Board has awarded only 11.56¢ - that's indeed ¢ and not $ and not a typo - per employee per year or 0.0077, i.e. less than 1%, of what Access Copyright asked for. That is for the period of 2005-2009. The rate goes up to 49.71¢ per employee for 2010-2014. But that is in turn only about 2% of the $24 per employee that Access Copyright asked for.
In the Board’s words:
According to the Board:
Another number that is bound to loom large in this proceeding is the amount which the Government of Ontario agreed to when it settled with Access Copyright. According to the Board:
The Board states regarding Ontario that:
This is the second time in less than a year that the Board has issued a tariff in favour of a major collective that clearly will not cover the costs of obtaining it. The other instance was the
There can be little doubt that there will be collective consternation on this lovely May weekend and much cacophonous kvetching to come. It’s frankly rather difficult to see how Access Copyright can spin this event into a victory.
I and no doubt others will have much more to say about this decision and its possible impact – which could be immense.
Meanwhile, read all about it from the Board itself, including the 179 page decision, here.
I have other interesting material about the Board in the works, and all eyes now eagerly await a puff of white smoke announcing the appointment of a new Chair of the Copyright Board, since the post has been vacant for more than a year. But meanwhile, have a nice weekend and curl up with the decision, as I hope to do.