Federal Court of Appeal Dismisses Tariff 22 JRs

The Federal Court of Appeal released its decision today in several JRs in the tariff 22 case. The main holding in the decision is that a download of a music file from a online music service to a single user is a communication of the musical work to the public under the Copyright Act.

In making this ruling the Court reached the same conclusion as did a previous panel which decided the Tariff 24 Ringtones case, albeit for different reasons.

In giving reasons the Court also expressed the view that a a user of a peer to peer file sharing network can be liable under the communication to the public right.

A surprising suggestion in the case was that the Copyright Board is entitled to deference with respect to its interpretation of the Copyright Act. In a prior judicial review decision of a SOCAN Tariff 22 the Supreme Court ruled that the standard of review on questions of law under the act was correctness.

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