Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rogers, Bell, Telus & Quebecor to SOCAN: We Want Our Ringtones Money Back

Rogers, Telus, Bell and Quebecor have started what will surely be a very interesting lawsuit in the Federal Court seeking the return of $15 million dollars paid to SOCAN since 2006 on account of the certified Ringtones Tariff that was upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal.

However, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on July 12, 2012  in the ESAC v. SOCAN case that the delivery of  a file over the internet in the case of a downloaded video game did not constitute “communication” of that file and that the Copyright Board was wrong to establish a layered tariff scheme that required multiple payments for the same transaction and was inconsistent with the principle of technological neutrality and the goal of efficiency that the collective system is intended to promote.

The phone providers are asking for their money back, a declaration that the transmission of a ringtone is not a communication to the public by telecommunication, and, in the alternative, that Tariff 24 “constitutes a jurisdictional violation of and is ultra vires the Copyright Act.”

Here’s the Statement of Claim. Despite its brevity, it raises some very important issues and could have far reaching effects if the litigation is successful.


PS - The same reasoning regarding downloads of music files for songs and albums (though not streaming) was applied by the SCC in the Rogers v. SOCAN case also decided on July 12, 2012. I don't know what is happening with any money that may have been paid to SOCAN on account of this activity before July 12, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. So - if I bought a ringtone from Bell, should I be looking for any refund from them if they succeed in this?