1989


Copyright law. “Retransmission right” created as part of Canadian copyright reform and Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the U.S..
Start-up. CRC dispatched incorporation documents to Ottawa. Incorporation finalized May 17. CRC founded by the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), ensuring that Canadian independent producers would share in the new retransmission right. Stephen Ellis, one of CRC’s founding directors, was appointed President at first meeting of the board of directors.
Governance. Initial membership of board of directors expands to include not only CMPA representatives but also PBS, AGICOA, APFTQ, TVO, NFB. New board members reflect expanded group of constituents represented by CRC.
Affiliates. Rightsholders represented include Canadian English and French independent producers, PBS suppliers, Canadian educational program producers, as well as all producers outside North America.


1990

1990-1991 tariff. First tariff hearings before Copyright Board of Canada (59 days of hearings). First retransmission royalty tariff certified (1990 & 1991). CRC receives second-largest share (12.81%).
People. Patricia Turner (now Manager, Affiliate Relations) contracted for CRC start-up.


1991

1990-1991 tariff. CRC appeals in the Federal Court the Copyright Board’s allocation. Decision upheld.
Operations. Royalty distribution software specifications and design begins.


1992

1992-1994 tariff. Second tariff hearings before Copyright Board (35 days in hearings).
Operations. Royalty software developed and tested.
People. Carol Cooper recruited as CRC’s Executive Director.


1993

1992-1994 tariff. Second retransmission royalty tariff certified. CRC receives second-largest share (13.51%).
Royalties. Royalty distribution policies approved by CRC’s directors. First royalty payments distributed to rightsholders ($3.6 million).
Operations. Royalty distribution software completed and implemented.


1994

1994 tariff. Broadcasters’ entire schedule (compilation) recognized as copyright work to the benefit of CRC’s broadcaster rightsholders.
Affiliates. International affiliate base of 600+ rightsholders.
People. CRC’s Carol Cooper and Stephen Ellis appointed to AGICOA’s Board of Directors and General Assembly. Gives Canadian rightsholders a voice at the international table. Facilitates flow of royalties from European territories, and sharing of best practices with other rights management/collecting societies.


1995

1995-1997 tariff. Historic royalty-rate-per-subscriber agreement with retransmitters simplifies tariff hearings process. Third tariff hearings before Copyright Board (3 days in hearings).
Small Systems Litigation. CRC joins with other collectives to launch legal claim against retransmitters over disputed royalties. Seeking revised definition of small retransmission systems, and clarification of certain royalty discounts.


1996


1995-1997 tariff. Third retransmission royalty tariff certified. CRC’s share is third largest (11.92%).
Royalties. Royalty payments distributed to rightsholders bringing cumulative total to over $20 million.


1997


1998-2000 tariff. Formal filings for fourth tariff completed by March 31 deadline.
Affiliates. International affiliate base of 2000+ rightsholders.
Royalties. Royalty payments totaling $13.3 million distributed to rightsholders. Represents largest sum released in a single year. Distribution of royalties now current. (Policy of “one year in arrears” implemented.)


1998

1998-2000 tariff. Fourth tariff hearings before Copyright Board (12 days in hearings).
Royalties. Royalty payments distributed to rightsholders. 80% of royalties collected from 1990 – ’97 have been distributed.


1999

Copyright law. iCraveTV streams broadcast signals over Internet. Asks Copyright Board for recognition as retransmitter. CRC supports research by rightsholders who ultimately reach settlement with iCraveTV. iCraveTV stops pursuing this business model.
Affiliates. International affiliate base of 3000+ rightsholders.
Royalties. Years 1990 & ’91 closed out (reserves collapsed and all royalty payments distributed). Total distributed to rightsholders to date $45.4 million.
Operations. Royalty revenue rises as new direct-to-home (DTH) services (Expressvu & Star Choice) are launched. No appreciable erosion of subscribers to existing cable services.


2000

1998-2000 tariff. Retransmission tariff certified (1998 – 2000). Small downward adjustment of SOCAN’s royalties increases royalty pool for all. CRC’s share increases to 11.96%. FWS (major league sports) files appeal with Federal Court disagreeing with their allocation.
2001-2003 tariff. Formal filings for fifth tariff completed by March 31st deadline.
Copyright law. Before streaming broadcast signals over the Internet, JumpTV requests Copyright Board recognize them as a retransmitter within the context of the retransmission royalty tariff, and asks them to determine a royalty rate and structure. Copyright owners and broadcasters opposed (want to retain control and be fairly compensated for Internet use) and JumpTV withdraws request. CRC and others moved to legislative arena with the matter of Internet streaming of broadcast signals. Federal government begins Copyright Act amendment process to formally address the concerns raised by those in the audiovisual community.
Affiliates. CRC begins to represent television programs transmitted by stations licensed in countries outside North America. The first is RFO (Radio-France Outremer), retransmitted by companies in St. Pierre & Miquelon.
Royalties. All reserves for 1992, 1993, 1994 collapsed and final payments made to rightsholders.Total royalty payments for the year $10.6 million. Total since inception now $56.1 million.
Operations. CRC administration costs kept to just 8.5% of revenues.


2001

1998-2000 tariff. The Federal Court of Appeal was not persuaded by FWS case concerning their share of royalties, and the application for judicial review was dismissed. FWS takes the issue to Supreme Court of Canada.
2001-2003 tariff. Writers Guild of Canada formed the Canadian Screenwriters Collective Society (CSCS). Filed a claim with the Copyright Board for a share of royalties beginning in the 2001 royalty year. Represent authors, writers, creators of script material in television programs that are retransmitted.
Copyright law. Concerning amendments to the Copyright Act to address the JumpTV & iCraveTV issues, CRC remains vigilant, in concert with others. The Canadian Government tabled Bill C-48 in the House of Commons in response.
Small systems litigation. Action started in 1995. Mediator helped parties reach an agreement on formula for evaluating individual claims with retransmitters. Next step, to evaluate precise dollar implications of this formula, so that parties may agree to accept as basis for settlement, or proceed to litigation.
Royalties. Royalties undistributed by CRC to rightsholders steadily decreasing (at lowest level ever: $13.8 million, the equivalent of less than two year’s worth of royalties).
Operations. Surpassed $8 million in revenues collected – a record for a single year’s collections. Continue to be managed in cost-effective manner – administration costs held at just 8% of revenues.


2002

1998-2000 tariff. Supreme Court of Canada dismisses FWS's application for leave to appeal with costs. No reasons given.
2001-2003 tariff. All matters dealt with satisfactorily outside of a formal hearings process including claim made by the Writers’ Guild of Canada (WGC) via their collecting society, CSCS, which was settled by agreement. CRC is a collective representing producers using the services of WGC members. CRC will pay CSCS royalties for their writer members.
Small systems litigation. Collectives and retransmitters disputed the definition of ‘small systems’ and associated discounts. Settlement reached in 2002, with payments to collectives for the years in dispute, 1990 through 1994. CRC share reflected in 2002 revenues.
Copyright law. Addressing the issue of streaming over the Internet, co-ordinated efforts by like-minded industry organizations, including CRC, lead to amendments of Copyright Act. Internet retransmission was not outlawed, but not licensed either. Such retransmitters must negotiate permissions and payments directly with rightsholders. Supreme Court of Canada confirmed unauthorized use of satellite signals is illegal. Coalition Against Satellite Signal Theft (CASST) formed to assist RCMP’s efforts to enforce the law, and to educate both consumers and dealers. Public awareness campaigns and lawsuits against dealers underway. Given annual losses in retransmission royalties from black and grey market satellite activities, CRC Board supports move to join CASST, and to support education initiatives.
Royalties. CRC’s 10th anniversary of distributions to rightsholders. Royalty distribution is $7.1 million dollars.
Operations. Operating costs as a percentage of revenue reduced to 7.7%.
People. Carol Cooper now 10 years with CRC.


2003

2001-2003 tariff. Retransmission royalty tariff certified by Copyright Board Canada. All matters dealt with satisfactorily outside of formal hearings process, and no material impact on CRC’s position stemming from this. Formal filings for next tariff met. CRC and other collectives jointly tackle major issue: case for an increase in retransmitter rates, which at 70 cents per subscriber per month, unchanged since 1990.
Affiliates. Vast repertoire of international works, copyright owners and every type of production imaginable: CRC now represents approximately 3600 rightsholders worldwide.
Royalties. Royalty distribution is $9.1 million. Cumulative royalties at $79 million. By end of year, all royalty payments and close-out reserves up to and including 1999 distributed. Undistributed royalties total just $13.8 million, the equivalent of less than 2 years of royalties.
Operations. Unique broadcast signals retransmitted in Canada CRC tracks annually: 170. RDS software redesign substantially complete and development underway. As with first royalty distribution system developed and implemented with CCC, sharing ideas and costs.


2004

2004-2008 tariff. Negotiations on rate increase between collectives and retransmitters continue (cost of doing this outside formal Copyright Board hearing process much lower). New collective, Direct Response Television Collective Inc. (DRTVC), representing infomercial producers, asserts a claim. And FWS continue to make a case for an increase to their percent share.
Governance. CRC’s board of directors addresses governance issues, including a repositioning of its officers.
Royalties. Royalty distribution this year totals $10.1 million dollars. Total collected since inception surpasses $100 million. Royalty distributions for 2000 and 2001 were closed. Close of 2001 a major moment in CRC’s history: full implementation of CRC’s close-out policy now complete (all royalties and reserves are now released no more than three years following year of retransmission).
People. Directors Stephen Ellis and John Robinson -15 years service on CRC’s board. McCarthy Tetrault and Peter Grant -15 years of legal counsel.


2005

2004-2008 tariff. Five-year settlement reached with retransmitters. Commencing in 2004, 15 cent increase (Three cents a year over five years. By 2008, 85 cents per subscriber per month).
Governance. Bylaw amendments approved by board of directors, CRC’s founding member, CMPA, and government (Industry Canada), making Cooper President & CEO, and Ellis Chair.
Royalties. Cumulative royalties released since CRC’s inception just over $97 million. Catch-up of distributions complete, CRC moves into a “normal” rhythm. Year includes one close-out for 2002, and one first general distribution for 2004. Significant milestone.
Operations. CRC celebrates 15 years of operation. Royalty distribution software development and testing on target. Data migration and implementation planned for 2006/2007. Administration cost-to-revenue ratio just 8.6%.
People. Pat Turner, Manager, Affiliate Relations, CRC and Affiliates benefit from 15 years with CRC.


2006

Tariff. Rate per subscriber now 79 cents. Starting in 2004, increase of three cents a year for five years per subscriber, translates to 4.5 million more royalty dollars over the five years to the CRC and, more importantly, the rightsholders CRC represents.
Rightsholders. Since CRC founded, more than 5000 represented worldwide. 2700 active accounts.
Royalties. Total royalties distributed to affiliates since inception tops $100 million.


2007

Royalties. Total collected on behalf of rightsholders since inception $127 million. $9.5 million distributed this year to affiliates.
CRC's low cost-to-revenue ratio at 8-9% remains consistent with previous years.
CRC entered into an agreement to adjust the allocation of retransmission royalties throughout the term of the 2004-2008 tariff; new collective DRTVC, representing infomercial producers, succeeds in establishing claim and FWS loses ground. All factored in, CRC's share increases from 11.96% to 12.03%.
People. Vanda Macura, Special Projects, 10 years service with CRC.


2008

2009 - 2013 Tariff. First filings for next tariff made by the March 31, 2008 deadline.
2004 - 2008 Tariff. Copyright Board certifies tariff December 13, 2008. Rate per subscriber per month paid by retransmitters now 85 cents - approximately, $90 million annually. CRC's allocation confirmed at 12.03% retroactive to 2004 or $10.8 million annually.
Royalties. 2008 marks 15 years of royalty distributions to rightsholders worldwide.
ISAN. Doors open for registration agency, ISAN Canada. CRC board members Stephen Ellis, Stephen Stohn, and, President & CEO, Carol Cooper, are the applicants for the incorporation. ISAN - International Standard Audiovisual Number - provides a unique, internationally-recognized and permanent reference number for each registered audiovisual work. Widespread adoption of ISAN will facilitate the tracking and identification of works and greatly enhance CRC's ability to do the same for affiliates.


2009

Operations. CRC celebrates 20 years of operation.
Royalties. Cumulative royalties distributed to rightsholders since CRC's inception just over $135 million. Royalties collected top $150 million.
2009 - 2013 Tariff. Quantum: CRC, with all the other collectives, proposed an increase in the rate retransmitters pay, and have entered into negotiations on this point with retransmitters. The goal is to obtain a rate increase from the current 85 cents per subscriber per year, meaning more royalties for the programs owned by our affiliates. Allocation: A study initiated together by the CRC and Canadian Broadcasters' Rights Agency will update data for submission to the Copyright Board about how royalties should be shared amongst the nine collectives (last one done for the 1995 - 1997 tariff). The television retransmission landscape has changed, and we believe this review will lead to a meaningful increase for the CRC. An interim tariff is in place with royalty payments from retransmitters continuing at 2008 rates and allocations.


2010

February 2010. CRC annual general meeting provides occasion to celebrate CRC's 20th year anniversary. Stephen Ellis, one of CRC's incorporating directors and CRC's Chair since inception, honoured.
2009 - 2013 Tariff. Quantum: December 2010 a negotiated settlement with the retransmitters was agreed. The rate increased by 5 cents in 2009 and 2 cents a year for the following 4 years - 2010 through 2013, growing the total rate from 85 to 98 cents per subscriber per month, and translating to total retransmission royalties surpassing 100 million annually.
People. Sara Waldie, CRC's Manager, Accounting, for 14 years, retires, having contributed much to CRC and the affiliates it serves.
People. Menka Domotor marks 5 years with CRC. Receives promotion to Manager, Accounting role.
People. Sharon Hicks starts with CRC as Assistant Manager, Accounting.
People. March 2010 marks 20 years with CRC for Patricia Turner, Manager, Affiliate Relations. CRC and affiliates alike are indeed fortunate to have such tremendous depth of experience available.


2011

2009 - 2013 Tariff. Allocation: Viewing studies were initiated by the each of the sports collectives, FWS and MLB, to compete with the study undertaken jointly by CRC and CBRA.
Industry. Terms of Trade implemented. Canadian English broadcasters can no longer obtain routinely assignments of royalties and with CRC's expected increase in share, retransmission royalties to producers are more meaningful than ever.


2012

2009 - 2013 Tariff. Allocation: Settlement reached amongst the collectives as to allocation of royalties with the result that CRC's share increases from 12.03% to 14.85%, securing 23.5% more in retransmission royalties, which is $3 million more annually and nearly $17 million in total per year. This allocation agreement extends to end of 2015. Payor collectives do not want to pay interest though on the sums owing retroactively. Matter to be determined before the Copyright Board.
Copyright Modernization Act - bill C-11 became law in November 2012, updating the rights and protections of copyright owners in the digital age and bringing copyright laws in line with international standards. No direct impact on retransmission regime.
Royalties. $10.4 million distributed during the current year, for a total cumulative distribution since inception of $165.9 million.
Operations. Project initiated to develop new royalty distribution software (RDS) to replace the previous version implemented in 1993. It has served us well! Contract awarded to Synaptic Systems, the company that developed the original RDS, so they bring much knowledge and experience to the task.
People. The Board of Directors celebrate Carol Cooper and her 20 years with CRC. Vanda Macura marks 15 years.


2013

2009 - 2013 Tariff. Written submission made by all collectives on the question of interest on amounts owing retroactive to 2009. Tariff finally certified by the Copyright Board Canada November 30, 2013 and retroactive interest was specified. The Copyright Collective of Canada (representing MPAA) however applied to the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) for review of the Copyright Board's decision on the question of retroactive interest. 2013 royalties are collected at the new agreed allocations but collection of the 2009-2012 retroactive amounts waits the resolution of FCA. In the meanwhile, CRC took the lead on preparing the retroactive royalties owing and to be paid amongst the collectives as a result of the new allocations.
2014 - 2018 Tariff. First filings for next tariff made by the March 31, 2013 deadline. The Collectives seek an increase in royalties from retransmitters.
Royalties. $12.3 million distributed during 2013, for a total cumulative distribution since inception of $178.2 million.
Operations. Royalty Distribution System (RDS) software development progresses well. Testing in house commenced with goal to implement with the distribution of 2013 royalties during 2014.
People. Grace Lo starts as Assistant Manager, Affiliate Relations. Extra hands needed in this area to assist with upcoming RDS implementation, assistance with tariff work and to support Pat Turner, who wants to continue her work at CRC but not quite so much of it.


2014

2009 - 2013 Tariff. Federal Court Appeal was discontinued. The provision of interest on retroactive amounts owing prevails. All retroactive amounts collected by CRC for 2009-2012, nearly $12M in royalties and $400k in interest.
2014 - 2018 Tariff. Quantum: The onerous interrogatory phase commences, where collectives and retransmitters are able to ask questions of each other that will ultimately help to support their respective cases.
Governance. With the introduction of the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (Act), CRC had to file for continuance under that new Act by October 17, 2014 or face involuntary dissolution. All of the required documents were filed with the necessary approvals in place and so CRC's continuing corporate status and life is ensured!
Industry. There is lots of potential for change in the traditional broadcast model/landscape as we see viewers change their habits and watch programs served up via an ever-increasing array of delivery systems and interfaces. We have seen a levelling of the subscriber numbers in 2012 and 2013 and a very slight drop in the numbers reported in 2014. Have we reached the high water mark for the number of subscribers receiving their TV content through traditional subscription models?
Royalties. Record $29 million distributed for a total cumulative distribution since inception of $207 million. Royalties collected retroactively as a result of the certified tariff were released for 2009, 2010, 2011 together with a first distribution for 2013.
Operations. CRC celebrates 25 years of operation. The long awaited replacement for the original RDS system implemented - all went exceptionally well when it came to distribution time in the fall of 2014. After 22 years of distributions, the previous RDS will be phased out by end of 2015.
People. Stephen Ellis feted for 25 years as CRC director and Board Chair.
People. Pat Turner scales back to 3 days per week.


2015

2014 - 2018 Tariff. Quantum. Statement of Case filed jointly supporting big increase in rate per subscriber to be paid by retransmitters. Hearings before Copyright Board November 2015 will decide. Allocation. FWS initiates Viewing Study to review allocation of royalties amongst Collectives.
Industry. As part of its comprehensive review during 2014 of its regulatory framework for TV (known as the "Let's Talk TV" proceeding), the CRTC proposed to allow conventional TV stations to drop their over-the-air (OTA) transmissions, and switch instead to direct-to-BDU feeds (purpose: to save money for the broadcasters). If this were to happen, the compulsory licence regime under s.31 of the Copyright Act (the legal framework for retransmission royalties) would no longer apply to their signals (Canadian OTAs only and not those originating from US), resulting in a potential loss in distant signal royalties flowing to CRC. In the final analysis, in a decision released January 2015, the CRTC decided to maintain the OTA transmission obligation for conventional broadcasters, so the feared impact on distant signal royalties will not occur.
Operations. Having successfully migrated to the new RDS system, CRC is positioned to take on some enhancements not previously able to do with old software and technology. Design conversations commence.
People. Menka 10 years. Sharon 5 years. Pat Turner marks quarter century with CRC.


 

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