Association of Research Libraries (ARLĀ®)

Copyright & Intellectual Property Policies

International Activities

Information about Canadian Court Rulings, the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty, and other international trade agreements can be found in this section.

Canadian Court Rules in Favor of ISPs

In a 9-0 decision on June 30, 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are "intermediaries" thus not responsible for paying royalties to performers and composers of music downloaded by the ISPs' customers. The Court noted that although ISPs provide hardware and the technology required for access to the Internet and the World Wide Web, ISPs are not responsible for content, thus what their customers download.

In a vastly different approach than in the U.S., where the recording industry has sued individual users and P2P file sharing services, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) sought to make the ISPs liable for music downloaded by their customers. The Canadian Association of Internet Providers representing the ISPs argued that SOCAN should seek royalties for downloaded music from the websites that provide access to those works.