This new move to set royalties for internet music streaming and sound recordings is a small but fundamental step that secures copyright holders. Toronto lawyer and partner of Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP Mark McMackin says: “In my view, we are starting to win the war, and when I say we, I mean right holders- artists, musicians and even authors- and I think it really makes a big difference”.

The firm has represented a production company named Voltage Pictures LLC in a case that orders the ISP TeckSavvy Solutions to issue the names and addresses of suspected illegal downloaders. Voltage Pictures is representing films among which Oscar winning films, such as The Hurt Locker and Dallas Buyers Club could be found. Both these films were greatly affected by illegal downloads in box office.

The board set royalties payable by CBC and webcasters. The rate for commercial webcaster was 10.2 per 1000 plays and for large streaming services the royalties payout will be about $7000. For CBC this rate was 13.1 cents per 1000 plays and for non-commercial use it was $25 per year.

MacMackin says: “This makes it concrete that there is a fall back to artists” he also says: I am sure what they are trying to do is not hammer people to begin with and put companies out of business. I think that number can only get better as people become more accountable to paying for these services. Artists may not be completely happy about the rates right now, but it is a start”.

MaMackin further says that this resembles to putting tax on somebody so don’t want to make them close the doors… it keeps things accountable so it is very positive. He also says: “it is gone sort of unchecked. The government is basically playing catch up, and they are doing something that gives artists a boot in the door, which may not be a massive win but it is a little with win”.

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  1. Hermione Shou | June 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm |

    As a musician myself, I was very excited when I came across your post! Thank you for sharing this! I am happy with this decision that the Copyright Board of Canada released earlier in May, which enforced royalties that Internet music streaming services must pay. I believe that music copyright holders, especially the indie musicians, will benefit from this revenue stream, however small it may be at first as the world adapts to this initiative. I do have a feeling that these rates may change over the next few years though, as some licensing companies might not be happy with the tariff rates set…

    For those of you who are just as interested in this issue as I am, here is a link to the official decision by the Copyright Board of Canada from May 16, 2014:

  2. Harkirat Singh Kang | June 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm |

    Piracy, internet streaming and downloads has always been a problem for the artists, musicians, authors etc. It’s not only the industries that is loosing but also the government which can generate revenue through taxes. Royalty is going to solve this problem. But a strict enforcement of the law is required. There are already existing laws but the parallel illegal industry is still running. The real problem is it’s difficult to identify source and those who use it through internet. It will take some time to see the results but surely the artists, musicians etc. are going to get their long awaited reward through royalty.

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  4. Lester Tong | June 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm |

    Putting this idea into practice is an intelligent move by the Copyright Board of Canada, as it gives artists a much more reliable source of revenue for their works, even in the face of rampant piracy. Royalties from streaming services will ensure that they get paid without having to involve themselves with the entire “fight illegal downloads” thing, which might in fact cost them. While not a solution to it, this revenue will provide them with powerful mitigation for their losses due to piracy.

  5. Ho Cheung Chan | June 8, 2014 at 9:10 pm |

    What a great post! =P
    I am a big radio listener myself especially while travelling in cars. I wonder how the rates will compare to a service like Spotify? I believe the rates on Spotify may not be all that great either! Anyhow, I believe it is a good beginning for artists of music or indie video because it is a legitimate avenue to continue their artistic talents. The link below may give other readers some idea of how much artists make on Spotify.

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