Decision in judicial review of 2010-2015 K-12 Tariff

Monday, January 30, 2017

Toronto, Jan. 30, 2017 – Canadian content creators and publishers have received a disappointing decision in the Federal Court of Appeal’s judicial review of the Copyright Board’s K-12 Tariff for 2010-2015.   

The K-12 Tariff covers the copying of published works in Canadian public schools (outside Quebec) and establishes the royalties to be paid for that copying. In February of 2016 the Board certified a K-12 royalty rate of $2.46 per student per year for the years 2010-2012, and $2.41 per student per year for the years 2013-2015.   

In the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision, released Jan. 27, the Court agreed with Access Copyright that the Copyright Board had erred in failing to consider certain evidence, which Access Copyright argued resulted in the Board underestimating the royalties payable under the tariff.

While this decision paves the way to increase the royalties payable for the copying of published works in K-12 schools, other key aspects of the decision are disappointing for creators and publishers.

The Court of Appeal declined to disturb the Board’s findings with respect to fair dealing, which resulted in the Board excluding 87% of copying from books in its tariff valuation.

“We are concerned about the impact this has on incentives to create and publish for education in Canada,” said Roanie Levy, President and CEO of Access Copyright. 

“We have already seen publishers exit the Canadian K-12 market, which has a lasting impact on the availability of high-quality, contemporary, Canadian content for our students and teachers.”

In the coming weeks, Access Copyright will continue to review the decision and assess its full implications for the Canadian content and educational ecosystem.