Canadian Copyright Board rule on download royalties

November 2007


Canada’s Copyright Board has ruled on what publishing royalties should be paid to the Society Of Composers, Authors And Music Publishers (Socan) on download sales made between 1996 and 2006, bringing to an end a decade long dispute between the recording and publishing sectors. Socan had been pushing for a higher rate than physical royalties, at one point 25%, though during the Copyright Board hearing they gave clear indications they would settle for a royalty much lower than that, though not as low as the 3.4% awarded by the Board this week. But the record labels were looking for something much less than even the 3.4% that was awarded. They already pay a 7.9% royalty to mechanical rights body the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency, and were hoping to keep the total publishing royalty – ie the amount paid to CMRRA and Socan – within the 8% figure, to keep the royalty inline with that due elsewhere (Japan is 7.7%, UK 8% and US 9.1%). The Board ruling means they will have to pay a total publishing royalty of 11.3%. The Board now needs to consider the royalty rates for this year, which have not been set pending the 1996-2006 ruling.

From CMU Daily

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