Canada's Private Copying Levy - Does it Comply With Canada's International Treaty Obligations?
Intellectual Property Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 111-134, 2006
25 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2007
The Canadian private copying scheme imposes a statutory levy on blank audio recording media, to compensate composers, performers and producers of sound recordings for the private copying of their subject matter that is permitted under the scheme. While both Canadian and foreign composers are entitled to receive payment under the levy, only Canadian performers and sound recording makers, and performers and makers from a country that provides reciprocal rights to Canadians, are entitled to receive remuneration from the levy. This article examines whether the operation of the private copying levy in relation to foreign performers and sound recording makers is consistent with the requirement of 'national treatment' pursuant to Canada's international copyright obligations, current and future. The article concludes that a very strong argument can be made that the private copying levy regime is not in compliance with Canada's national treatment obligations as they currently exist under the Rome Convention and the TRIPS Agreement, and as they will exist in the future once Canada ratifies the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.
Keywords: Canada, private copying, levy, international treaty
JEL Classification: K11, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation