In a win for Apple Inc., Federal Court of Appeal limits royalties for songwriters

Appeal court overturns double royalties ruling, Canadian Press reports

In a win for Apple Inc., Federal Court of Appeal limits royalties for songwriters

The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that songwriters are not entitled to royalties when music is first posted online, but only after it has been downloaded.

The decision overturns an administrative body ruling from 2017 that found composers and publishers are entitled to two royalties: one when a song is made available on a platform such as iTunes or Spotify, and a second when the piece is downloaded or streamed.

Justice David Stratas wrote that the Copyright Board of Canada ``skewed its analysis in favour of one particular result'' and relied on ``leaps of reasoning'' that clash with precedent and federal legislation.

The decision hinged in part on the definition of ``communication'' of a musical work, which the Supreme Court of

Canada has ruled refers to streaming or downloading, but not to theact of posting it for purchase online.

The ruling comes as the music industry continues to reel from the COVID-19 crisis, which has led to cancelled concerts around the globe and made royalty revenue all the more important.

The judicial tribunal's case was between Apple Inc. and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada along with more than 30 other respondents.

 

The Canadian Press

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