The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

Senate banking committee examines Copyright Board

November 4, 2016

Ottawa - Copyright experts testified in Ottawa before a Senate committee that is seeking to better understand how the Copyright Board of Canada works.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce is studying the operations of the Copyright Board, which is the regulatory body that establishes and manages royalties paid for the use of copyrighted works. World-renowned artists like Justin Bieber, Drake and Céline Dion as well as lesser-known members of Canada’s creative community are affected by the board’s decisions. Culture in turn makes significant contributions to the Canadian economy.

Senators’ decision to examine the board comes after the committee did a June 2016 study of Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities). That bill’s goal was to ensure greater access to reading material for 800,000 visually-impaired and print-disabled Canadians while making sure copyright owners are protected.

Hearings for the study on the Copyright Board of Canada were held on November 2 and 3, 2016. Witnesses included members of the board, licensing bodies, legal experts, content creators and users, academics, and government representatives.

The committee is expected to submit its report before the end of November 2016.

Quick Facts from Witnesses

  • The Copyright Board of Canada was established in 1989 as the successor to the Copyright Appeal Board.

  • It is an economic regulatory body with a mandate that includes establishing royalties to be paid for use of copyrighted works.

  • Cultural industries contribute $46 billion and 640,000 jobs to the Canadian economy.


“Hearing from experts who deal with copyright issues daily will give members of our committee a better understanding of how the Copyright Board of Canada works and how the creators of intellectual property get paid.”

- David Tkachuk, Chair of the committee.

“The Copyright Board of Canada plays an important if little-known role in helping creators of intellectual property collect their royalties. After delving into copyright issues while reviewing Bill C-11 — which facilitated access to reading materials for visually-impaired Canadians — our committee is eager to look deeper into the board’s inner workings.”

- Senator Joseph A. Day, Deputy Chair of the committee.

Associated Links


For more information, please contact:

Raphaël Melançon
Communications Officer (Committees)
Senate of Canada
(613) 302-9148