Supreme Court of Canada orders sellers back-pay ringtone royalties

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal in the court case that would require ringtone sellers to make back-payments for ringtones sold between 2003-2005. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), Bell Mobility and Telus Communications versus the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) are looking for answers, but in Canadian fashion, the Supreme Court does not need to explain its reasoning.

The 3 parties claimed that a ringtone was not a “form of communication” and did not need to pay royalties. The ruling as a result – royalties payable of 6% of the price paid by the subscriber for the ringtone, net of any network usage fees, subject to a minimum royalty of 6¢ each time a ringtone was supplied in 2004 or 2005.