December 4, 2003

Internet royalty case lands in Supreme Court

A landmark copyright case opened Wednesday in the Supreme Court of Canada - and at the core is the well-known practice of international
royalty payments.

Every time a radio or television station plays a song or video, musicians, composers and artists are paid a royalty. It is a system that has protected
copyright for years. In Canada alone, $160 million worth of royalties are collected each year.

But the problem isn't TV and radio - it's the internet, where music and videos are downloaded for free. No royalties are paid for the millions of
songs, and there is no copyright protection.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Canada began hearing arguments over whether Internet Service Providers (ISPs), both here and abroad, should start
paying tariffs for Canadian music downloaded by the public.


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