Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Will Supreme Court hear Re:Sound's Appeal re Proposed Tariff re Movie Theatres and TV ?

The Supreme Court of Canada will rule this Thursday morning at 9:45 AM whether it will hear an appeal from the Federal Court of Appeal, which confirmed - as most copyright lawyers expected - that Re:Sound (formerly NRCC)  has no basis to pursue a tariff for the use of sound recordings in films  shown in theatres or on TV.

Here's what I said about this case back in February of 2011:

Re:Sound Proposed Tariff for Use of Soundtracks in Theatres & TV Nixed (Again)

Presumably, very few copyright lawyers will be surprised to learn that the Federal Court of Appeal has just decisively (three days after the hearing) dismissed the application for judicial review brought by the collective Re:Sound (formerly NRCC) in its attempt to impose tariffs when a published sound recording is part of the soundtrack that accompanies a motion picture that is performed in public (i.e. movie theatres) or a television program that is communicated to the public by telecommunication (i.e. on TV).

Re:Sound could not overcome the language of the Copyright Act which seems quite clearly intended to prevent this very result.

The definition of "sound recording" is as follows:
“sound recording” means a recording, fixed in any material form, consisting of sounds, whether or not of a performance of a work, but excludes any soundtrack of a cinematographic work where it accompanies the cinematographic work;
(emphasis added)
The Copyright Board had previously ruled that there was no basis under the Copyright Act to impose these tariffs.

Here's the Court's decision.  

Here's the Board's decision.


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