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ISPs ruled not liable for music communications in SOCAN case

News | 07/13/2004 4:00 am EDT

Internet service providers dodged a bullet June 30 when the Supreme Court of Canada found they aren’t liable for music communicated online. The court ruled in the Tariff 22 case that ISPs are merely conduits for content passing through their pipes, and that the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) can’t pursue a tariff from them. The court’s unanimous decision puts to rest a dispute that dates back to 1996, when Tariff 22 was first filed. SOCAN was originally pursing a licence fee of 3.5% of ISPs’ revenues as compensation for the pirated music traversing their networks.

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