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Canadian Broadcasters Seek Overhaul of Radio Copyright Fees Post-C-11 & Fair Dealing Decisions

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters has applied to the Copyright Board of Canada for a radical overhaul of the current fees paid by radio stations for commercial radio reproduction of music. The CAB argues that in light of copyright reforms in Bill C-11 and the Supreme Court of Canada's rulings on fair dealing, there is no legal basis for several tariffs proposed by CMRRA-SODRAC (CSI), AVLA, and ACTRA and that the rate on earlier approved tariffs should be significantly reduced.

The CAB position on the impact of the law is that:

The result of the changes to the Copyright Act made by the Copyright Modernization Act, when combined with the fair dealing right as applied in ESA, is to eliminate or significantly reduce the liability of radio broadcasters for the reproductions made by them in the course of their broadcasting activities. Even the reproduction collectives agree that the legislative changes alone will eliminate most liability of radio broadcasters for reproductions of music. 

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U.S. Republican Study Committee Releases Progressive Copyright Document Only To Withdraw Hours Later

The story of the weekend was the publication by the U.S. Republican Study Committee of a progressive report on copyright, only to withdraw the paper hours later (coverage from Techdirt (1, 2), Volokh Conspiracy, the American Conservative, Politico, CNET, and Macleans). The paper - which can still be found online - identifies several copyright myths and contains several notable proposed reforms including expanding fair use, reforming U.S. statutory damages rules, creating copyright misuse penalties, and limiting copyright terms. 

Interestingly, Canada has already begun to move in this direction with Bill C-11, which reformed statutory damages and created a non-commercial user generated content provision. Moreover, Canadian law features a shorter copyright term than that found in the U.S.  Given the rush to take the paper down, the fear is that even modest reform recommendations face opposition from copyright lobby groups, who exert enormous influence with U.S. politicians. As Canada jumps into the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations in the next few weeks, Canadian copyright reforms will undoubtedly face tough scrutiny as the U.S. pressures us to undo many positive reforms and make further changes that the Canadian government previously concluded did not strike a reasonable balance.
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Canada To Support Concept of a WIPO Treaty for the Visually Impaired

Howard Knopf reports that the Canadian delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright, which is meeting in Geneva this week, will endorse the concept of an international treaty for the visually impaired.
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AUCC Releases Model Fair Dealing Policy

Last week, I posted on the emerging consensus within the Canadian education on the scope of fair dealing. The AUCC has now become the last major educational association to adopt a fair dealing policy, which largely mirrors the approach of the ACCC and K-12 schools.
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