On January 10, 2008, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) issued its decisions in the case of Apple Canada Inc. et al. v. Canadian Private Copying Collective et al. and Retail Council of Canada v. Canadian Private Copying Collective et al.

The issue before the FCA was whether or not the Canadian Private Copying Collective ("CPCC") had the legal authority to impose a tariff on digital audio recorders (i.e. MP3 players). The CPCC had proposed a levy on the sale of MP3 players, ranging anywhere from $5 to $75, depending on the storage capacity of the device in question.

Opponents of the CPCC had filed motions with the Copyright Board seeking an order preventing the tariff from being imposed. However the Copyright Board dismissed that motion; accordingly, the opponents filed an appeal to the FCA.

In a very short decision, the FCA, relying on its decision in the Canadian Private Copying Collective v. Canadian Storage Media Alliance (C.A.), [2005] 2 F.C.R. 654 case, affirmed the "proposition that the Copyright Board has no legal authority to certify a tariff on digital audio recorders or on the memory permanently embedded in digital audio recorders". The FCA went on to indicate that the "Copyright Board erred in law when it concluded that it has the legal authority to certify the tariff that CPCC has proposed…and in dismissing the applicants’ motions." Finally, the FCA ordered that the Copyright Board re-hear the opponents’ motion and dispose of such hearing in accordance with the FCA’s decision in this case. As such, the proposed levy was effectively struck down.

More information available at:

http://tinyurl.com/2egfh3  

The FCA’s decision is available at:

http://tinyurl.com/25m38b