Howard Knopf reports that the Federal Court of Appeal took just 24 hours to render its decision in the iPod levy case, quashing the Copyright Board of Canada's decision to certify a tariff on iPods. It was clear during yesterday's hearing that the court reacted favourably toward the argument that this case covered the same terrain as its 2004 decision that rejected the iPod levy. Howard quotes the court as stating that
I read that case as authority for the proposition that the Copyright Board has no legal authority to certify a tariff on digital audio recorders or on the memory permanently embedded in digital audio recorders. That proposition is binding on the Copyright Board. . .
While this kills the application of the private copying levy to iPods (subject to a possible appeal by the CPCC), it also means that Canadians who copy music from their CDs to their iPods are not covered by the exception and thus arguably infringe copyright. The issue therefore moves from the Federal Court of Appeal to Industry Minister Jim Prentice who must decide whether he will amend the law by creating a clear, uncompensated exception to format shift (as the United Kingdom has just proposed) or leave millions of Canadians in legal limbo.