|Provincial and Territorial Governments Tariff Update
In a decision issued on March 22, 2018, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Access Copyright’s application for judicial review of the Access Copyright Provincial and Territorial Governments Tariff (2005-2009 and 2010-2014).
The Federal Court of Appeal determined that the findings of the Copyright Board of Canada, which issued its tariff decision in May 2015, were reasonable and within its mandate. Access Copyright applied for judicial review of the decision due to concerns regarding the Copyright Board’s exclusion of digital copying from the tariff and errors allegedly made in its assessment of fair dealing. A hearing was conducted by the Federal Court in June 2016.
The royalty rates certified by the Board for the Tariff were 11.56 cents per employee per year for 2005-2009 and 49.71 cents per employee per year for 2010-2014. With the Federal Court’s decision, these rates remain unchanged.
Although disappointing, this decision is in line with a trend in recent Federal Court of Appeal decisions concerning judicial review of Copyright Board decisions, which have shown a high level of deference to Board decisions. This highlights the importance of the Federal Government’s consultation on reforming the Copyright Board that is currently being conducted to increase the efficiency and predictability of tariff proceedings.