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Under Canadian copyright law a television signal distributor, like a cable TV or satellite TV system, would ordinarily need authorization from the owners of the copyright in the programs and other content on the signals that they distribute. However, Canadian retransmitters of “terrestrial” over-the-air signals enjoy an exemption from this requirement if they meet the requirements set out in the Copyright Act, including paying royalties and complying with the other terms and conditions of the Retransmission of Distant Television Signal Tariff certified from time to time by the Copyright Board of Canada (see link below). This exemption applies to conventional television signals that are retransmitted in Canada, regardless of their country of origin. It does not apply to pay and specialty services.


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