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Canadian carriage fee debate heading to Supreme Court

Rogers Communications is going to the highest court in the land to stop the country's broadcasters from collecting retransmission fees.
March 2, 2011

Canadian┬ácable company┬áRogers Communications is going to the highest court in the land to stop the country’s broadcasters from collecting retransmission fees.

“Rogers will be seeking leave to appeal the decision,” Rogers spokeswoman Jan Innes told realscreen sister publication Playback Daily.

Canadian telecom Telus is to join Rogers in taking their case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

No word on whether rival cable and phone giants, including BCE and Shaw Communications after they scooped up conventional TV assets of their own, will join the Rogers appeal to the high court.

The legal move follows Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal earlier this week siding with conventional broadcasters on retransmission fees from cable and satellite TV operators.

Cable and satellite TV operators took heart from the Federal Court of Appeal judges splitting on the question of the CRTC’s jurisdiction in allowing a fee-for-carriage regime for the industry.

The lower court’s dissenting opinion from Justice Nadon held that the Copyright Act disallows royalties to be paid for the retransmission of local signals, and so limits the CRTC’s power to impose its will under the Broadcasting Act.

(From Playback Daily)

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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