What the Supreme Court's copyright rulings mean for you
Peter Nowak, CBC.ca
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a raft of landmark copyright decisions that will affect how Canadians listen to and buy music online.
It also kept open the doors to the kinds of research materials, primarily photocopies, that will be available freely to students.
With the large number of simultaneous decisions — five in total — and a considerable amount of legalese to wade through, experts on all sides of the arguments are still figuring out what everything means.
Here, though, is a quick summary of what the rulings appear to mean for the average consumer and student.
In what is perhaps the most wide-ranging of the decisions, the Supreme Court decided against an industry plan that would have authorized the collection of additional royalties on music downloaded through services such as Apple's iTunes.
The court said that downloading a copy of a song is essentially the same as going to buy it in a store — so no additional royalties should be added beyond what the artist already gets through existing licensing agreements.
Had the original decision by the Copyright Board, the first arbiter on such matters, been upheld, there would have been new fees for the artist on downloaded materials, and experts say that music download services would have either had to swallow these costs or, more likely, raise prices.
So the Supreme Court's decision is good news for consumers. But the just-approved C-11 copyright law contains a provision that couldultimately invalidate this ruling. Observers say the entire battle over this particular aspect of royalties may therefore have to be fought again and that could take years to resolve.
To read the full article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/07/12/f-vp-nowak-copyright-ruling-consumer.html