Consultations launched on reforming Copyright Board of Canada

News Release

Aim to boost jobs and business opportunities by making Board decision making more timely and transparent 

August 9, 2017 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Canadian Heritage, Copyright Board of Canada 

Getting the Copyright Board system right will enable creators to get paid properly and on time. It will create new business opportunities in the current fast-moving economic environment. It will also mean more money for creators and users and less money being spent on legal fees. 

To reach that goal, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, jointly with the Copyright Board of Canada, today launched consultations on proposed legislative and regulatory changes to the Board’s decision-making processes. 

The Copyright Board of Canada establishes royalties for the use of copyrighted content in a broad range of areas where the administration of such copyright is entrusted to a collective management organization. This includes music streaming, the public performance of music, educational copying and the retransmission of television signals. 

Several consultations and recent research have identified the need for timely decisions on the use of copyrighted content, particularly in light of rapid technological advances.

A government discussion paper presents 13 possible options for legislative and regulatory reforms. The government will also consider any other reform options that would help address the Board’s challenges outlined in the discussion paper.

The consultations will be open from August 9 to September 29. Those interested can share their views until September 29 by emailing

In addition to the consultations, the ministers announced the launch of open, transparent and merit-based selection processes to fill upcoming vacancies at the Copyright Board. The Vice-Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer and part-time member positions will be filled in accordance with the government’s Governor in Council appointment policy. 

To maintain continuity during this time of transition, the ministers announced the one-year extension of the term of the current Copyright Board Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Claude Majeau, effective August 3.


“The Copyright Board of Canada plays a critical role in our copyright regime. In order to thrive in the digital economy, we need to create a more efficient and effective tariff-setting process to facilitate innovation and business growth. A modern Copyright Board will better support both creators and users of copyrighted content by providing them with an efficient, transparent, stable and predictable regulatory environment.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“The Government of Canada recognizes the invaluable contribution of Canadian creators to our economy and society and is committed to ensuring fair remuneration for artists. Through these consultations, we seek concrete improvements to the Copyright Board that enable creators to efficiently access new, diverse and stable streams of revenue. I invite anyone concerned with these issues to engage in this important consultation.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The Board looks forward to input from all stakeholders, including copyright owners, creators, users and consumers on the Board’s role in preserving the public interest by regulating efficiently and fairly the process of establishing copyright royalties in a modern and innovative economy.”

 – Claude Majeau, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Copyright Board of Canada

Quick Facts

  • The Copyright Board of Canada was established in 1989. Since then, new technologies, landmark court decisions and two major rounds of copyright reforms have impacted both the nature and the quantity of its work.

  • According to a study by Professor Jeremy de Beer that was commissioned by the Government of Canada, between 1999 and 2013, it took an average of 3.5 years after filing to certify a tariff. On average, royalties were certified 2.2 years after the beginning of the year in which they became applicable.

  • The House of Commons (2014) and the Senate (2016) studied issues related to the Copyright Board, particularly the length of time to render decisions.

  • A statutory Parliamentary review of the Copyright Act is expected to begin sometime after November 7, 2017. This will provide parliamentarians with an opportunity to examine the copyright landscape in Canada.

  • In 2015, $435 million in royalties were paid to rights-holders pursuant to the Board’s decisions.


Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED
Follow Canadian Heritage & Minister Joly on Twitter: @CdnHeritage

Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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