The tariff that wouldn’t die (and didn’t)

The Copyright Board of Canada has decided to extend copyright into the Internet with a new, expansive tariff, though it stopped short of cracking down on amateur podcasts and social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. The tariff, created by prompting from SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) extends fees to commercial TV and radio station websites, gaming sites and online radio stations. Copyright Board officials described the tariff as extending to those who are already paying for music offline for use in commercial activity.

But the board was by no means unanimous regarding the tariff, with a split board parting ways with SOCAN, who favor applying the tariff to podcasters and other users who aren’t primarily focused on musical content but do occasionally use it. However, those sites can expect only a temporary reprieve, as SOCAN first introduced their proposal in 1995 and has a history of attempting to extend its reach over an ever-changing Internet. Good luck with that, SOCAN.