The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) recently announced that it had successfully concluded negotiations and entered into Terms of Trade Agreements with five of Canada's largest broadcasters (Astral Television Networks, Bell Media, Rogers Broadcasting, Shaw Media and Corus Entertainment). Because the Terms of Trade Agreements are a significant development for the Canadian television industry, we have put together this lengthy primer which sets out some basic elements of the Terms of Trade. This is the first of an anticipated nine posts which will be posted over the course of the next week and which will cover the Terms of Trade in detail. Once all nine posts have been published, the archived posts will be available at this link.
What are "Terms of Trade" generally?
"Terms of Trade" is a phrase used to describe an agreement entered into between, on the one hand, television broadcasters and, on the other hand, independent producers of television programs. The "Terms of Trade" essentially function like a code of conduct or "rules of the road" for participants in the television production and broadcasting industry. They are an attempt to lay out the basic framework which will guide negotiations of individual program license agreements between broadcasters and individual independent producers. Terms of Trade are of particular interest to independent producers because they stipulate that, in exchange for a base license fee, broadcasters will only be entitled to obtain a particular suite of rights - obtaining additional rights requires payment of an enhanced purchase price.
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