The CAB on Using Your VCR or PVR

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, in a submission to the CRTC, states:

in Canada, consumers who record TV shows for later viewing, whether on a VCR, in-home PVR or, potentially, through an NPVR, are infringing copyright. For this reason, Canadian BDUs are actively seeking an amendment to the Copyright Act to create a "time-shifting right" similar to that which exists in the US and some other jurisdictions. The creation of such a right, however, is not expected in the short-term, if at all.


  1. Lawrence says:

    If it went to court …
    I think this technical amendment would avoid a Canadian case where the similar conclusion would be found as in the US case in the Sony Betamax case. I think it would good to \”codify\” in way the acceptible behaviors \”we\” Canadian do, that actually benefit the broadcasters by distributing their content further and increasing their \”brand\” awareness i.e. a good source, so when one is not time shifting, one can use that broadcaster as a source of entertainment/news/etc.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I do not understand why then it is “legal” in Canada to sell devices such as VCRs which their main purpose is to record TV shows. For example in a country where people are not allowed to carry guns selling them is against the law.

  3. Just lawsuit avoidance
    I suspect this is just lawsuit avoidance. Cable companies in the US have had problems rolling out NPVR due to the interpretation of copyright, and are also a large provider of PVRs (usually built in to there high end digital HD boxes).

    The VCR issue is added for completeness and a helps define acceptable practive.

    By getting a (favourable) ruling from the CRTC, they can roll out new services without having to risk going to court.

  4. Also, the amount of bad press would be staggering. No one wants to be the company that starts publicly suing people for using their VCR. No amount of compensation would make up for the backlash they would receive. There is simply no situation where going to the courts over this has a positive outcome for the company involved.

  5. Andrew Lawerence says:

    I am NOT a pirate
    When I buy I blank CD, DVD, or tape, part of the price I pay is the private copying levy. According to the Copyright Board, by paying this levy I am permitted to copy copyrighted material onto this media. Someone should tell the Canadian Association of Broadcasters that they are “liars.”

  6. Anonymous says:

    JGT at CAB
    re I am not a Pirate

    Andrew: the private copying levy only applies to audio recording media, not to audio-visual recording media, so its application does not cover the recording of TV shows more acurately, the levy is not paid on media used for recordig of audio-visual materials lke TV shows).

    Ryan H: Note that the excerpt from the CAB submission which Michael quoted is accompanied by this footnote:

    “For various reasons, rightsholders have not pursued copyright infringement cases against individual Canadians who record TV shows for time-shifting purposes in their homes; however, it is fully expected that rightsholders would pursue an action against a large corporate entity that launched an NPVR service.”