Copyright Board of Canada Admits to “Palpable Error” in Music Tariff Decision

The Copyright Board of Canada has released a decision in which it admits to palpable error that resulted in a hugely inflated tariff. The case involved a tariff for SODRAC for reproduction of music works in cinematographic works for private use of for theatrical exhibition.  The Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters had proposed a tiered tariff approach of a maximum of 2 cents per copy containing 30 minutes of music or more (less music would result in a lower tariff). The Copyright Board mistakenly established a tariff of three cents per copy, mistakenly treating three tiers as three cents. As the Board now notes:

CAFDE was seeking a rate of 2 cents per DVD copy containing over 30 minutes of SODRAC music; the Board’s interpretation leads to royalties that are 15 times higher or even more.

While SODRAC argued that the Board could not correct its error, the Board concluded that it could noting that this resulted in palpable error. Moreover, since the erroneous Board decision actually resulted in higher tariffs than those even requested by SODRAC, it also concluded that procedural fairness was breached. The Board has now suspended the tariff and advised that will issue a new decision in the future.


  1. Gee …
    Erroneous inflated math figures involving the creative industry? Say it isn’t so …

  2. This is that tariff on blank DVD & CD media, right?
    So.. if we are paying a fee because we copy content onto media, doesn’t this mean that a) we are allowed to do so, and b) they can’t sue us when we give said media to friends (after all we paid for it when we purchased the blank media)?

    So BRING BACK MY 3C tariff! Let’s open up a media exchange center. Buy blank media from us or bring your own. Trade with friends.

  3. Thomas Welch says:

    T aiff
    That figures, 1st of all SODRAC was awarded the royalties from my work, regardless of my superseding right, and when a Tariff that they set up mind you, was going finally work for you They pull the plug

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