Copyright - News

  • – 2013-06-12 –

    CIPPIC has been granted leave to intervene at the Federal Court of Appeal in two appeals that raise important copyright issues. National Post v. Fournier and Warman v. Fournier are being heard together. The cases raise important issues such as whether hyperlinks count as 'attribution' (a pre-requisite to the exercise of some fair dealing rights), the application of copyright law's limitation period to works published on the internet (specifically, whether something posted to the Internet is reproduced 'every day' it remains available online), whether reproducing excerpts from an original work amounts to "substantial" reproduction when assessing a non-economic claim of infringement and the nature of liability for Internet intermediaries such as online discussion platforms.

    The Court of Appeal also granted the Computer and Communications Industry Association intervener status in the appeal.

  • – 2013-02-15 –

    CIPPIC has been granted leave to intervene in Voltage Pictures LLC v. Doe. Voltage has alleged that approximately 2000 unknown individuals, identified by IP address, have unlawfully downloaded movies and thereby infringed its copyright. Voltage subsequently filed a motion asking the court to order an Internet Service Provider, Teksavvy, to hand over the subscriber identities linked to those IP addresses. CIPPIC is now able to participate in that motion.

    CIPPIC asked to intervene in order to argue for the protection of Canadians' privacy, and to ensure that all procedural safeguards were respected. As part of its intervention CIPPIC will be allowed to challenge Voltage's evidence, and question whether it is robust enough to justify handing over customers' personal details. CIPPIC will also be allowed to introduce its own evidence, and to make arguments about the proper legal tests to follow in file-sharing lawsuits. We expect to provide evidence to court by the end of this month.

  • – 2013-01-11 –

    Update: Adjournment granted. On January 14, 2013, the Federal Court agreed to adjourn the hearing of Voltage's motion to disclose the identities of TekSavvy subscribers until after a determination of CIPPPIC's motion to intervene.

    The Federal Court case of Voltage Pictures LLC. v Doe (Court File No. T-2058-12) signals the return of file-sharing lawsuits to Canada. Voltage alleges that unnamed defendants, identified by IP Address, have downloaded its films unlawfully via bittorrent. Voltage has filed a motion asking the Court to order Teksavvy, an Internet Service Provider, to disclose records that will enable it to identify the individuals associated with those IP Addresses. CIPPIC has filed a motion to intervene in Voltage's request to compel TekSavvy to identify those individuals. Voltage’s motion to compel TekSavvy to identify its subscribers is set down to be heard on Monday, January 14th. CIPPIC has written a letter to the Court asking that Voltage's motion not be heard until after the Court has had an opportunity to rule on CIPPIC's intervention application.

  • – 2012-12-17 –

    Last week, Voltage Pictures filed a motion to identify approximatel 2,000 IP addresses allegedly belonging to individuals who have infringed its copyrights by means of peer-to-peer file sharing mechanisms. CIPPIC is seeking to intervene in this matter to ensure that procedural safeguards and the privacy rights of the anonymous Does are respected.

    On December 14, 2012, CIPPIC filed a letter with the Federal Court seeking to delay the hearing of Voltage's motion to compel Internet Service Provider Teksavvy Solutions to disclose the identities of its subscribers alleged to have downloaded movies the copyright to which Voltage owns. Although supporting evidence for the motion was only filed on Tuesday, December 11, it was scheduled to be heard today (only 6 days later). While CIPPIC is not yet a party to this proceeding, its letter was intended to ensure the Court was aware of the nuemrous legal and policy issues raised by Voltage's request. The letter asked the Court to provide more time for defendants to respond to the motion, as well as to provide time for CIPPICs own intended intervention. Today, in court, Teksavvy similarly asked the Court to extend timelines for this process, which it did. The next hearing date will be January 14, 2013.

  • – 2012-07-12 –

    The Supreme Court of Canada has released its long-awaited decisions in the Copyright Pentalogy - five cases (CIPPIC intervened in all five) spanning a range of troubling issues in Canadian copyright law, from the scope of fair dealing in the educational and consumer contexts to the liability implications of offering a download service. All in all, the day was a big win for rational, flexible copyright law (fuller descriptions after the jump):

    • Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37 - In a 5-4 majority decision, Justice Abella lays out a spirited defence of fair dealing.
    • Entertainment Software Association v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 34 - Another 5-4 majority. The majority articulated a strong defence of the principle of technological neutrality.
    • Rogers Communicaitons Inc. v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 35 - Given the majority decision in ESA v. SOCAN, the issue of downloads has been ruled moot. However, the majority deals with "on demand" services and comments on the nature of 'communications to the public' in the context of online transactions.
    • Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Bell Canada, 2012 SCC 36 - The iTunes case: Is it legal to offer 30 second previews of songs without payment? Yes! The Court unanimously finds that consumer research may qualify as fair dealing
    • Re:Sound v. Motion Picture Theatr Associatino of Canada, 2012 SCC 38 - The most curious of the 5 cases, in that no one is sure why the Court wished to hear this appeal. The issue was whether performers could get a tariff for music in public performances of movies, despite the Act's clear definition of "sound recording" excluding soundtracks of films. The mystery remains: the Court unanimously dismissed the appeal in 53 short paragraphs.
  • – 2012-06-01 –
    If you're interested in learning more about Open Educational Resources (OER), copyright, and Creative Commons licenses, don't miss the opportunity to participate in the OER Foundation's upcoming online workshop, Open Content Licensing for Educators.  CIPPIC is helping facilitate this course along with numerous other knowledgable experts in the field.
     
    This workshop is entirely free and runs from June 20 to July 3.  Register online at http://www.wikieducator.org/OCL4ED.
  • – 2012-04-12 –

    CIPPIC has filed a Statement of Defense on behalf of its client, Geolytica, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Canada Post Corporation in the Federal Court of Canada (File No. T-519-12) claiming that it owns copyright in its database of postal codes and that Geolytica has infringed that copyright by "crowd-sourcing" data for its own database of postal codes mapped to street addresses.

    The case raises fundamental copyright issues, including the scope of protection afforded compilations of data, the subsistence of copyright in factual address identifiers such as postal codes, and the availability of defenses such as fair dealing to developers of research tools such as Geolytica's Canadian Postal Code Geocoded Dataset.  The case will have significant implications for downstream innovators and analysts looking at using datasets for research and to facilitate the research of others.

     
  • – 2012-01-19 –

    If you visited our website yesterday, you most likely noticed the following black-out page covering the entire cippic.ca site:

     
    CIPPIC.ca joined countless other websites in going entirely dark, or at least notionally censoring, our web pages for the day.  This action was part of a worldwide protest against the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA). The black-outs aimed to give web users a feel for what the internet could become under the purview of the proposed U.S. legislation -- that is, an internet where you might attempt to visit your favourite website, only to find that it was censored and blocked on the basis of aggressive U.S. content policies.
  • – 2011-12-05 –

    All too often, the crux of a legal case becomes an argument between large organizations over minute points of law. However, make no mistake about it: the copyright cases before the Supreme Court of Canada tomorrow will directly impact the everyday activities of most Canadians.  Our interns produced several excellent videos to illustrate the ramifications of these appeals:

  • – 2011-12-02 –

    Next Tuesday, CIPPIC will make oral arguments in the "Copyright Pentalogy", a set of five copyright case that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear from December 6-7.  These cases are likely to have a major impact on the scope of your fair dealing rights, as well as on how much you will pay in the future for online music, videos, and video games.  You can watch CIPPIC's oral arguments online on Tuesday at the Supreme Court of Canada's live webcast.

    The Supreme Court already granted CIPPIC leave to make written submissions on these important issues. CIPPIC provided the Court with advice in the following factums...