Music biz loses Net royalties fight in Canada

The music industry's efforts to recoup money lost from Internet piracy were thwarted yet again Wednesday.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Internet service providers don't have to pay royalties to composers and performers for music downloaded or heard via online radio by web customers.

In a 9-0 judgment Wednesday, the court said companies providing wide access to the web are merely "intermediaries" who are not bound by federal copyright legislation.

At issue was an effort by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) to force Internet service providers to pay a tariff -- known as Tariff 22 -- for music accessed in the online world whether downloaded or streamed for online radio.

The case dates back to 1995, a few years before Napster revolutionized the way fans get their hands on tunes.

The judges noted, however, that Canadian copyright law is archaic and invited Parliament to update it to meet the needs of the modern information age.

View: Read more at Canoe

News source: Canoe.ca

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