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Music Industry Coalition Secures Leave to Intervene before Supreme Court of Canada in York University v. Access Copyright


By order dated March 26, 2021, Justice Karakatsanis of the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to intervene to a coalition of Cassels clients, consisting of Music Canada, Music Publishers Canada, the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la video (ADISQ), and Association des professionnels de l’édition musicale (APEM), in the forthcoming appeal of York University v. Access Copyright.

At issue in the appeal are a number of pivotal issues in copyright law, including the role of institutional guidelines to help both institutional and individual users determine when their use of copyright-protected material qualifies as fair dealing under the Copyright Act. The music industry coalition sought leave to ensure that the SCC appreciates the broader implications of its decision, including the potential impact on the creative industries as a whole as opposed to merely the educational sector. The coalition will argue, among other things, that the fairness of a fair dealing policy cannot be assessed without reference to how it is implemented and applied.

Cassels represented the music industry coalition in their leave motion and will continue to represent them at the appeal, which will take place on May 21, 2021.

This will be the sixth SCC appearance in recent years for our copyright litigation team, which has also made important contributions to the decisions of the court in Entertainment Software Association v. SOCAN (2012), Rogers Communications v. SOCAN (2012), SOCAN v. Bell Canada (2012), Alberta v. Access Copyright (2012) and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v. SODRAC (2015).

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