Copyright Board Canada
Canada



Minister’s Message

Minister’s Message Canada will continue to benefit from responsible economic policies in 2015–16, including our low taxes, free trade opportunities and responsible investment regime.

The Industry Portfolio will help sustain job creation and economic growth by effectively managing programs and services that help Canadian companies compete and innovate. Canadians can depend on our government to invest in programs that benefit them the most. In 2015– 16, the Industry Portfolio will continue to invest in world-class research and innovation that help companies compete at home and abroad.

In 2015–16, the Copyright Board of Canada will continue rendering decisions related to tariffs of general application and issuing licences where parties cannot agree or licences where the owner of the work cannot be found.

The Industry Portfolio will help deliver on our government’s commitment to return to a balanced budget by managing programs and services effectively. I am confident that we will meet our objective and that Copyright Board of Canada will continue to contribute toward economic growth and prosperity that benefit all Canadians.

James Moore
Minister of Industry

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister: The Honourable James Moore

Deputy Head: Claude Majeau, Vice-Chairman and CEO

Ministerial portfolio: Industry Canada

Year established: 1989

Main legislative authorities: Copyright Act

Organizational Context

Raison d’être

The Copyright Board is an economic regulatory body empowered to establish, either mandatorily or at the request of an interested party, the royalties to be paid for the use of copyrighted works, when the administration of such copyright is entrusted to a collective-administration society. The Board also has the right to supervise agreements between users and licensing bodies and issues licences when the copyright owner cannot be located.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Copyright Board under the Act are to:

  • certify tariffs for
    • the public performance of the communication to the public by telecommunication of musical works and sound recordings;
    • the doing of any protected act mentioned in sections 3, 15, 18 and 21 of the Act;
    • the retransmission of distant television and radio signals or the reproduction and public performance by educational institutions, of radio or television news or news commentary programs and all other programs, for educational or training purposes.
  • set levies for the private copying of recorded musical works;
  • set royalties payable by a user to a collective society, when there is disagreement on the royalties or on the related terms and conditions;
  • rule on applications for non-exclusive licences to use published works, fixed performances, published sound recordings and fixed communication signals, when the copyright owner cannot be located;
  • examine agreements made between a collective society and a user which have been filed with the Board by either party, where the Commissioner of Competition considers that the agreement is contrary to the public interest;
  • receive such agreements with collective societies that are filed with it by any part y to those agreements within 15 days of their conclusion;
  • determine the compensation to be paid by a copyright owner to a person to stop her from performing formerly unprotected acts in countries that later join the Berne Convention, the Universal Convention or the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization; and,
  • conduct studies with respect to the exercise of its powers as requested by the Minister of Industry.

Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Alignment Architecture

1 Strategic Outcome: Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works.

1.1 Program: Copyright Tariff Setting and Issuance of Licences

Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

Priority Type1 Strategic Outcome(s) [and/or] Program(s)
Ensure timely and fair processes and decisions Ongoing Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works
Description

Why is this a priority?

The requirement to have timely decisions is expressly stated in the Act: the Board is to certify and publish tariffs “as soon as is practicable.” The requirement to have fair processes and decisions is implicit: the Act gives the Board the powers, rights and privileges of a superior court; as such, the Board is required to follow the principles of natural justice which, taken together, ensure both fair processes and fair outcomes.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

To achieve this priority, the Board will need to ensure that participation costs in the hearing process are kept as low as possible, thus encouraging participation of the parties and streamlining the process. The Board will also need to provide appropriate guidance, information and analysis to the participants in order to facilitate the examination process and to foster greater participants’ satisfaction. This will be done, in particular, through telephone advisories and case management meetings with representatives. Finally, by engaging in pre- hearing consultations and information gathering, and by conducting well-organized proceedings which address key issues facing copyright-related industries, the Board will be able to issue timely and fair decisions.

The monitoring of this priority will be achieved by informally surveying hearing participants, with follow-up examination and determination of alternative procedural practices to improve the efficiency of the regulatory process. The achievement of this result is also directly monitored through the timely conduct of hearing processes and lack of interruption in proceedings due to administrative and technical delays. The Board also plans to continue to examine, for each process, how to structure and sequence witnesses and hearing stages so as to eliminate duplication and maximize time spent on relevant issues.

In addition, the Board established a Working Committee on its Operations, Procedures and Processes, comprised of key stakeholders, to examine possible improvements to the Board’s current practices and procedures, with a view to reducing uncertainty and streamlining the processes while safeguarding the fairness of the process. The Committee identified three areas amenable to significant improvements within a fairly short time frame: the identification and disclosure of issues to be addressed during a tariff proceeding, interrogatories and the confidential treatment of information. A draft discussion paper dealing with the first two areas has been finalized and a sub-committee is tackling the complex issues raised by the third. The Board plans to hold public consultations in respect of these issues in 2015-16.

The rationale underlying this priority is to minimize administrative costs to Canadians from the setting of tariffs and to streamline the process in the face of increasing complexities in hearing subject matter, thus increasing regulatory efficiency. To the extent that this also leads to fairer decision-making, the overall innovation capability of parties affected by the copyright tariff process will be improved.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome(s) and/or Program(s)
Advance the analytical framework for decisions and the regulatory processes for tariff-setting Ongoing Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works
Description

Why is this a priority?

The Board is required, under the Act, to give reasons for its decisions. In keeping with the modern principles of judicial review, the Federal Court of Appeal typically defers to the Board’s expert understanding of the facts before it. The Board can only maintain this deference by constantly advancing its analytical frameworks.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

Among the most significant risks which the Board faces in achieving its strategic outcomes are the potentially disruptive impact of new technologies, in particular on how copyright material is utilized, distributed and monitored. Fair and equitable decisions critically depend on the Board’s ability to identify, understand and assess the industry issues before they adversely impact existing copyright regimes. The Board’s approach to managing the technology risk is to systematically monitor relevant journals, other publications and websites, and to attend industry seminars and conferences.

Knowledge of the international experience is also a key tool in addressing the challenges of changing technology and the impact of global events. By comparing experiences across different countries, the Board expects to gain early warning of significant developments and their likely impacts on the Canadian situation.

Leadership in copyright matters will continue to build on the groundwork performed in the past. The Board plans to continue its leadership role in the establishment and expansion of international activities such as sharing of procedures, data, analysis and other information. With a view to further this leadership, the Board will also continue to be involved with the international organization Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues in 2015-16.

By its involvement in international activities as they relate to copyright tariff setting in other parts of the world, the Board ensures that its own tariff-setting processes and decisions are cognizant of developments outside of Canada.

 

Risk Analysis

Key Risks

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
Technology risk
  • Systematically monitor relevant journals, other publications and web sites, and to attend industry seminars and conferences.
  • Risk was identified in the 2014-15 RPP.
  • No modifications to the risk mitigation strategies.
Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works.
Reversal risk
  • Issue fair and equitable decisions.
  • Risk was identified in the 2014-15 RPP.
  • No modifications to the risk mitigation strategies.
Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works.
HR risk
  • Run well-organized job competitions, designed to target a significant share of the pool of potential candidates.
  • Create a stimulating working environment conducive to a high retention rate among its employees.
  • Risk was identified in the 2014-15 RPP.
  • No modifications to the risk mitigation strategies.
Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works.
 

Among the most significant risks which the Board faces in achieving its strategic outcomes is the potentially disruptive impact of new technologies (i.e., in terms of how copyright material is utilized, distributed and monitored). The Board’s approach to managing the technology risk is to systematically monitor relevant journals, other publications and web sites, and to attend industry seminars and conferences, as described before in this report.

The decisions the Board makes are constrained in several respects. These constraints come from sources external to the Board: the law, regulations and judicial pronouncements. Others are self- imposed, in the form of guiding principles that can be found in the Board’s decisions: for instance, the coherence between the various tariffs, their ease of administration and the need for some stability in the tariffs.

Court decisions also provide a large part of the framework within which the Board operates. Most decisions focus on issues of procedure, or apply the general principles of administrative decision-making to the specific circumstances of the Board. However, the courts have also set out several substantive principles for the Board to follow or that determine the ambit of the Board’s mandate or discretion.

A smaller risk, which the Board faces in achieving its strategic outcome, is reversal risk. While decisions of the Board are not appealable, they are subject to judicial review. The ability to schedule a number of cases in a year could be impaired if a case from a previous year were reversed on judicial review. The Board’s principal strategy to mitigate this risk is issuing fair and equitable decisions.

There is always a risk of not being able to hire or retain the staff with the necessary technical expertise to achieve required results. To mitigate this risk, the Board runs well-organized job competitions, designed to target a significant share of the pool of potential candidates. The Board also takes measures to encourage a large number of applications. The Board also works at creating a stimulating working environment conducive to a high retention rate among its employees.

Planned Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2016-17
Planned Spending
2017-18
Planned Spending
3,110,713 3,110,713 3,104,640 3,104,640
 
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
18 18 18
 
Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcome(s) and Program(s) (dollars)
Strategic Outcome(s), Program(s) and Internal Services 2012-13
Expenditures
2013-14
Expenditures
2014-15
Forecast Spending
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2016-17
Planned Spending
2017-18
Planned Spending
Strategic Outcome 1: Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works
Copyright Tariff Setting and Issuance of Licences 2,032,000 2,251,535 2,524,213 2,519,678 2,519,678 2,514,758 2,514,758
Subtotal 2,032,000 2,251,535 2,524,213 2,519,678 2,519,678 2,514,758 2,514,758
Internal Services Subtotal 477,000 528,137 592,099 591,035 591,035 589,882 589,882
Total 2,509,000 2,779,672 3,116,312 3,110,713 3,110,713 3,104,640 3,104,640
 

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2015-16 Planned Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework (dollars)
(Dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2015-16 Planned Spending
Fair decision-making to provide proper incentives for the creation and use of copyrighted works Copyright Tariff Setting and Issuance of Licences Economic Affairs An innovative and knowledge-based economy 2,519,678
 
Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending
Economic Affairs 2,519,678
Social Affairs
International Affairs
Government Affairs
 

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

(dollars)

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

Actual spending was $2.8 million in 2013-14, an increase of about $300,000 over 2012-13. This is mainly a reflection of some vacant positions at the Board that have been staffed. As the Board filled some other vacant positions in 2014-15, forecast spending for that fiscal year is about $3.1 million.

Over the next three fiscal years, total planned spending will be about $3.1 million, the same as the 2014-15 forecast spending.

Estimates by Vote

For information on the Copyright Board's organizational appropriations, consult the 2015-16 Main Estimates on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.