Previews of Music as Fair Dealing (Redux)

Further to this earlier post about the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision in Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v Bell Canada, et al., 2010 FCA 123, which held that an online “preview” of a music track constitute “fair dealing” for purposes of research, Emir Aly Crowne-Mohammed and Yonatan Rozenszajn have written a nice little summary of the decision over at the charmingly-named JIPLP (otherwise known as the “weblog of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice”).  As Crowne-Mohammed and Rozanszajn note,

Given the nature of the ‘research’ involved in users listening to the 30-second clips or previews of songs online, the court felt that research be given its primary and ordinary meaning, this being the use of previews to help consumers in their search for a particular song as to ensure its authenticity and quality before purchasing it. In this context, ‘research’ included consumer research.

The court then examined whether a 30-second preview, or less, was fair. The Federal Court of Appeal agreed with the Copyright Board in holding that the amount of the dealing is presumptively fair, given the length of the complete work.

Subscribe and stay updated
Receive our latest blog posts by email.
Bob Tarantino

About Bob Tarantino

Bob Tarantino is Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP and focuses his practice on the interface between the entertainment industries and intellectual property law, with an emphasis on film and television production, financing, licensing, distribution, and IP acquisition and protection. His clients range from artists and independent producers to Canadian distributors and foreign studios and financiers at every stage of the creative process, from development to delivery and exploitation.

Full bio