Ottawa, Wednesday May 25, 2016

The Copyright Board of Canada: Which Way Ahead?

ALAI Canada is welcoming key stakeholders and professionals (including licensing companies and collecting societies, users, advocates, and government officials) who work in and around the Copyright Board to engage in this important discourse.

A full day seminar in which a diverse group of experts and stakeholders can examine the structure, decision-making process, and future of the Canadian Copyright Board, and propose and consider recommendations for its reform. The event would begin with a keynote address, followed by several interactive panels.

8:30 Registration
8:45-9:00 Welcome address
9:00-9:30 Keynote Speaker: Prof. Marcel Boyer
Challenges and Pitfalls in Valuing Copyright in the Digital Era
The digitization of music and books is a drastic innovation that raises new risks of copyright erosion. Such risks emerge from the difficulties to enforce IP rights in a digital world and from the challenges facing copyright reforms aimed at protecting creators while reaping the benefits of digital technologies. Music and literary works are “information” goods: once produced, they can be “consumed” by all, as one’s use (listening or reading) of a work does not prevent its simultaneous use by someone else. They also survive and accumulate: all current and past music and literary works of the world are available to all at zero marginal cost and therefore competing with each other. These characteristics raise significant challenges for the emergence of competitive valuation and pricing of copyrights in works. Hence, the need for a workable, efficient, and well-founded institutional response, capable to address the complex analytical issues at the core of digital dissemination, creators’ compensation, and business development.
9:30-10:50 Panel 1: Taking Stock of the Copyright Board
The recent government-commissioned report on delay at the Board quantifies the common perception that the Board takes too long to hear and render decisions, resulting in substantial costs and business uncertainty to stakeholders. This panel will begin with a short presentation by Jeremy de Beer about his recent report entitled “Canada’s Copyright Tariff Setting Process – an Empirical Review”, and then panelists will discuss his findings in light of: (1) why do delays at the Board exist? (2) How should they be best resolved? And, (3) what is the effect of delays at the Board, specifically do they create “barriers to business”? As an overall theme, the panel will examine the economic consequences of current tariff-setting practices.
  • Jeremy de Beer
10:50-11:00 BREAK
11:00-12:20 Panel 2: Modernizing the Copyright Board
With the implementation of the Copyright Modernization Act came no ‘modernization’ of the Copyright Board. This panel would facilitate a Town Hall discussion on how the operations, procedures and processes of the Board could be made more efficient and more productive. While widespread structural change is arguably necessary, there are procedural and non-legislative (e.g. regulatory) changes that could be adopted by the Board to create efficiencies. It is hoped that this Town Hall-style discussion would produce practical, reasonable, and solution-driven ideas for improving the tariff-setting process.
  • Mario Bouchard
1:20-2:40 Panel 3: Reimagining the Copyright Board
By drawing on both domestic (e.g. SCC, Competition Tribunal, hearings under the PM(NOC) Regulations, etc.) and international comparisons, this panel could consider how a “modernized” Canadian Copyright Board might function. The panel would examine different models from around the world, particularly tribunals of ‘last resort’ that are called upon only to arbitrate unresolved disputes between rights holders and users.
  • Ysolde Gendreau
2:45-3:15 Closing Remarks – Justice William J. Vancise
Justice Vancise served as the Copyright Board Chair from 2004 until 2013, when he retired. Given his perspective and experience over the nearly ten years her served at the helm of the Board, ALAI and its guests will be honoured to hear Justice Vancise speak at this important and timely event on the future of the Copyright Board. His reflections on the presentations and commentary made throughout the day will be an important bookend to the event, and assist the Board, its stakeholders, and government officials as they try to answer the question: “Which Way Ahead?”


Please send your payment by cheque to ALAI Canada (address below), no later than Monday, May 23rd, 2016. We cannot guarantee registrations received after this date. Similarly, any cancellation received after that date will be fully charged.

ALAI Canada
C.P. 20035, Succ. De Vinci
Repentigny (Québec) J5Y 0K6


Marcel Boyer
Marcel Boyer (M. Sc. and Ph.D. economics, Carnegie-Mellon University; M.A. economics, Université de Montréal) is presently Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Université de Montréal; Associate Member, Toulouse School of Economics; Fellow of CIRANO and of the C.D. Howe Institute; Academic Affiliate of The Analysis Group (Montréal, Boston); President of the international Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI); Director of the Competition Policy Group at CIRANO, Member of the Governance Committee of the “Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investment” AFG Chair at École Polytechnique de Paris and Université de Toulouse; and Member of the C.D. Howe Institute Competition Policy Council.

He taught economics at York University (1971-1973), UQÀM (1973-1974) and at Université de Montréal (1974-2008). He held the Bell Canada Chair in Industrial Economics in the Department of Economics of the University of Montreal (2003-2008) and the Jarislowsky-SSHRC-NSERC Chair in Technology and International Competition of École Polytechnique de Montréal (1993-2000).
Dr. George Barker
Dr. Barker is Director of the Centre for Law and Economics at the Australian National University, and President of the Australian Law and Economics Association. He was awarded the Olin Fellowship in Law and Economics at Cornell University in 2000, was Visiting Fellow at Oxford University Law School 2008, and is currently a visiting Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law London and Centre for Law and Economics, University College London. He was elected a Fellow of the Law and Economics Association of NZ 2009. He gained a DPhil in Economics from Oxford University 1992, and holds both a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Economics He has authored books, articles and given expert testimony on a wide range of matters involving the economic analysis of law.
Stephen Ellis
Stephen is the current Chair of the Canadian Retransmission Collective, President of RocketFuel Media Inc., a media production company, and President/Founder of Sellis Media Inc. The CRC collects and distributes Canadian-territory retransmission royalties on behalf of producers around the world. These royalties are collected from retransmitters (cable and satellite companies) who provide broadcast signals to their customers.
Erin Finlay
Erin is the Director of Legal and Government Affairs, General Counsel for Access Copyright. As the director of Access Copyright’s completely in-house legal team, Erin leads Access Copyright’s tariff-setting proceedings before the Copyright Board to establish the royalties payable for the reproduction of books, magazines, journals and newspapers.
Jason Kee
Jason is Counsel, Public Policy and Government Relations for Google Canada. Google has a number of services that are subject to Copyright Board tariffs. Previously, Jason worked as Director of Policy and Legal Affairs for the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.
Jay Kerr-Wilson
Jay is a partner at Fasken Martineau in Ottawa, and practices primarily in the areas of communications and public law, with a particular emphasis on copyright law. Jay represents large and small communications and technology companies in proceedings before the Copyright Board.
Casey Chisick
Casey is a partner at Cassels Brock, and is a certified specialist in IP law (Copyright). Casey brings a wealth of experience appearing before the Board, particularly as a member of the Board’s Working Committee on operations, procedures and processes.
Gilles Daigle
Gilles is General Counsel, Legal Services for SOCAN, and is responsible for leading SOCAN’s legal proceedings with the Copyright Board. He joined SOCAN in 2013 after 23 years of service as a partner with SOCAN’s external law firm, Gowlings.
Paul Daly
As professor at the Université de Montréal, Paul is an administrative law expert, and influential author/blogger (
David Kent
David is a partner in McMillan’s Litigation, Competition/Antitrust and IP Groups. His practice emphasizes complex litigation involving competition, intellectual property, commercial, regulatory and securities and governance disputes in a wide variety of industries. David has also advised Canadian and US broadcasters and cable networks and online music services on copyright issues for over 30 years, including issues arising from the use of music on the Internet.
Aidan O’Neill
Aidan is a partner at Fasken Martineau in Ottawa who practises primarily in the field of copyright law, with a particular focus on tariff-setting proceedings before the Copyright Board. Since 1987, he has acted in numerous Board proceedings to establish the royalties payable for the use of musical works, sound recordings, and published literary works.
Ariel Katz
Ariel is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, where he holds the Innovation Chair in Electronic Commerce. From 2009-2012, Ariel was the Director of the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy. 
Howard Knopf
Howard is Counsel at Macera & Jarzyna LLP, and practices in the areas of copyright, trademarks, cyberlaw and related issues. He is the Chairman of the Copyright Policy Committee of the CBA, and was recently advisor to the Law Commission of Canada on security interests in IP. Howard publishes and speaks extensively on matters related to IP.
Adriane Porcin
Adriane is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, where she teaches and conducts research on copyright law. Adriane is currently completing her doctoral thesis on copyright collectives at the Université de Montréal, Faculty of Law.
Barry Sookman
Barry is a senior partner with McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto, and is the former Co-Chair of the firm’s Technology Law Group. He is consistently ranked by authoritative Canadian and international guides as the top, or among Canada’s top, information technology and intellectual property lawyers. Barry is well versed on the regulatory process (rate-setting) in Canada and in foreign jurisdictions.
David Strickler
David is currently a Judge at the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board. David was appointed in 2013 and will serve through 2016, and has acted as the Board’s economics specialist. David brings more than 30 years’ experience as a litigator to his role, initially with the federal government and, since 1983, in private practice.
Justice Vancise
Justice Vancise was admitted to the Bar of Saskatchewan in 1961 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1979. In 1982, he was appointed a judge of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench. He was elevated to the Court of Appeal a year later. While sitting as a justice of the Court of Appeal, he was the founder and first president of the National Judicial Counselling Programme, a professional counselling service for federally appointed judges and their families. He was also Chairman of the Copyright Board of Canada from 2004 to 2013.


Jeremy de Beer
A tenured Full Professor of law at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society, Jeremy published in April 2015 a report entitled “Canada’s Copyright Tariff Setting Process – an Empirical Review”. His study (which was commissioned by the Canadian government) analyzed the process of setting copyright tariffs in Canada from a quantitative perspective only. It provided statistics, and did not suggest recommendations for legislative, procedural or other type of Board reform.
Mario Bouchard
Mario served as General Counsel to the Copyright Board for twenty three (23) years, until he retired from the federal public service in 2013. Mario now acts as a consultant on matters related to copyright in general, and the collective management of rights in particular. Mario also acts as the Facilitator for the Copyright Board’s Working Committee on the Operations, Procedures and Processes of the Copyright Board of Canada.
Ysolde Gendreau
Ysolde is a former President of the Canadian branch of ALAI (2006-2011), on whose Executive Board she still serves. Ysolde has taught intellectual property law and competition law at Université de Montreal, Faculty of Law, since 1991. Her research focuses on copyright in a comparative and an international perspective. Ysolde has also instructed at McGill University, Universités Paris II, Paris XII, Nantes, Strasbourg III, Lyon 2 and Monash University (Australia). She is the author of numerous publications both in Canada and abroad and has edited two major works: An Emerging Intellectual Property Paradigm – Perspectives from Canada (Cheltenham, Edward Elgar: 2008) and, together with Abraham Drassinower, Langues et droit d'auteur / Language and Copyright (Éditions Yvon Blais: Bruylant, 2009).


ALAI Canada
C.P. 20035, Succ. De Vinci
Repentigny (Québec) J5Y 0K6
(514) 993-1556


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