CRTC Dismisses Stingray’s ‘Unfair Advantage’ Claim Against CBC

Stingray Digital Group, which operates Galaxie music services, claims that CBC in launching its free music streaming service in February, has an unfair advantage because it has access to government funding.

The private broadcaster also said CBC’s copyright licence fees are set at preferential rates and these advantages “harm private enterprise” and “inhibit competition in the online music environment in Canada.”

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission sees things differently: “The commission considers that (Stingray Digital Group) has not demonstrated that the CBC has given anyone, including itself, a preference, or that it has subjected anyone to a disadvantage.”

CBC successfully pointed out that its private licence agreements were entered into on commercially competitive terms and that it pays SOCAN fees and other copyright tariffs that are deemed fair and equitable by the Copyright Board.

Also, the public broadcaster said that CBCMusic.ca is continuously working to support itself with advertising.

CBCMusic.ca has streamed more than 7.5 million hours of music since its February 13th launch, and notes that thousands of Canadian artists have uploaded more than 130,000 songs to the site.

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