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Supreme Court nixes double royalties for streaming or downloading music online

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OTTAWA — Songwriters are entitled to just one royalty — not two — when their music is streamed or downloaded through an online service, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

The top court’s decision Friday clarifies the meaning of a Canadian copyright law provision dealing with communication of a work to the public online.

Canada ushered in the provision after signing on to an international treaty that obliged member countries to protect on-demand transmissions and give authors the right to control when and how their work is made available for downloading or streaming.

The Copyright Board of Canada ruled the legislative provision meant that making a song or other artistic work available was a separately protected activity for which there must be compensation.

The board said this entitled rights holders to two payments when a work is distributed online: one when it is made available on a platform such as iTunes or Spotify, and a second when it is actually streamed or downloaded by a listener.

The Federal Court of Appeal tossed out the board’s decision.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada and Music Canada, which represents major record labels, asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Court of Appeal’s decision and adopt the board’s interpretation.

Parties including Apple Canada and major telecommunications companies said the court should reject this position on the grounds copyright law does not require payment of two royalties each time a work is streamed or downloaded.

In writing for a majority of the Supreme Court, Justice Malcolm Rowe said the Copyright Act does not exist solely for the benefit of authors.

“Its overarching purpose is to balance authors’ and users’ rights by securing just rewards for authors while facilitating public access to works,” Rowe wrote.

“When this balance is achieved, society is enriched. Authors are encouraged to produce more works, and users gain access to works which they can use to inspire their own original artistic and intellectual creations.”

The court said the board’s interpretation undermined the purpose of copyright law, violating the principle of “technological neutrality” by requiring users to pay additional royalties to access works online.

“This principle holds that, absent parliamentary intent to the contrary, the Copyright Act should not be interpreted so as to favour or discriminate against any form of technology,” Rowe said.

“It protects authors and users by ensuring that works attract the same rights and give rise to the same royalties regardless of the technological means used to distribute the works.”

The Copyright Act provides authors with rights related to the reproduction and performance of their works.

“Similar to off-line distributions, downloading or streaming works will continue to engage only one copyright interest and require paying one royalty — a reproduction royalty for downloads or a performance royalty for streams,” Rowe wrote.

Under the law, a work is “performed” as soon as it is made available for on-demand streaming, he added. At that point, a royalty is payable. If the work is later streamed by a user, no additional royalty is payable because the stream is part of a continuous act of performance that began when the work was made available.

The value of these rights was not at issue in the appeal, Rowe noted. Therefore, setting the appropriate royalties when these rights come into play is a matter for the board to decide.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 15, 2022.

 

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

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Media Advisory: Premier Furey to Announce Additional Measure to Address Recruitment and Retention of Physicians – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, will announce an additional measure to address recruitment and retention of physicians today (Tuesday, August 16) at 2:15 p.m.

He will be joined by the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Health and Community Services, Dr. Sohaib Al-Asaaed, Post Graduate Medical Education Associate Dean, and Dr. Mikaela Murphy, a second-year family medicine resident.

The availability will take place in Room M5M101, Faculty of Medicine, St. John’s Campus, Memorial University.

The availability will be streamed live on Facebook.

– 30 –

Media contacts
Meghan McCabe
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
meghanmccabe@gov.nl.ca

Laura Thomas
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 727-0341
laurathomas@gov.nl.ca

2022 08 16
9:10 am

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Media Release – August 16, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service

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Male arrested in theft of watches

A Guelph male has been charged in connection with the theft of more than a dozen watches during a break and enter last month.

Police were called July 6 to a business in the area of Silvercreek Parkway North and Woodlawn Road West. An employee had arrived to work to find a rear window smashed. Approximately 12 to 15 watches each valued at $150 were stolen.

A suspect was identified through surveillance video and arrested Sunday morning. A 66-year-old Guelph male is charged with break and enter. He will appear in a Guelph court September 23, 2022.

Arrest made following assault

A Guelph male faces assault and weapons charges after another male was attacked in the parking lot of a south-end business.

On July 9 two males known to each other were involved in a verbal altercation in a parking lot on Stone Road West. During the altercation one of the males was struck twice in the head with an object believed to be a flashlight. This caused a laceration which required stitches.

A suspect was identified and on Monday turned himself in to the Guelph Police Service. A 26-year-old Guelph male is charged with assault with a weapon, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and failing to comply with probation. He will appear in bail court Wednesday.

Gassing up stolen car leads to charges

A Cambridge male who pumped gas into a stolen car in Guelph has been arrested.

On June 2, a male attended a gas station on Speedvale Avenue West driving a stolen Kia SUV. He pumped more than $49 in gas and attempted to pay using several prepaid credit cards, but was only able to cover $7.28 of the cost. The male said he would get another credit card from the vehicle but instead sped away without paying the remaining amount.

The male was identified via surveillance video and arrested Monday.

A 37-year-old Cambridge male is charged with possessing stolen property over $5,000, theft under $5,000, occupying a stolen motor vehicle and driving while suspended. He will appear in bail court Tuesday.

Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 206

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Media are invited to attend the Mentor-Apprentice Program workshop in Yellowknife on August 17 – Government of Northwest Territories

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The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is hosting a training workshop for Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) participants in Yellowknife. Media are invited to attend the last workshop taking place in the Yellowknife area, where they can experience the language program firsthand and talk to MAP participants and organizers with the Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat.

The session will take place:

Yellowknife – Dene Kedǝ, Dëne Sųłıné, Dene Zhatıé and Tłı̨chǫ languages

Location: Aurora Tours.net /Aurora Teepee Lodge (Ingraham Trail – KM 12.4)

Date: August 17, 2022

Time: 10:15 -11:45 am

To attend one of the sessions, please RSVP to ecepublicaffairs@gov.nt.ca. High-resolution photos will be provided upon request for media use.

MAP is a way of learning a language where a fluent speaker of the language (a Mentor) teaches a language learner (an Apprentice) through immersion. The goal of the program is to have Apprentices improve their ability to understand and speak their language and help with the revitalization of Indigenous languages in the Northwest Territories.

For media requests, please contact:

ecepublicaffairs@gov.nt.ca

Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

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