Copyright - News

  • – 2014-12-08 –
    The Federal Court has heard Teksavvy's motion for "all reasonable legal costs, administrative costs and disbursements" arising from voltage's order that Teksavvy disclose the identies of those of its subscribers whose IP addresses Voltages alleges that it has identified downloading copyright materials.  The motion springs from Prothonotary Aalto's February 20, 2014, decision granting Voltage a Norwich order compelling Teksavvy to provide requested subscriber information provided that certain conditions and safeguards were met.  One of those conditions involved Voltage's payment of Teksavvy's "reasonable legal costs, administrative costs and disbursements".  Teksavvy has submitted a bill of costs in the amount of $346,480.68.  voltage opposes the amount as "outrageous".
     
    Teksavvy's Record
  • – 2014-06-17 –

    The Canadian government has announced that it will bring into force the Notice and Notice provisions of the Copyright Modernization Act without regulations. These provisions provide that for a notice to be valid it must meet certain form and content requirements. The government's decision not to prescribe these requirements leaves it to the various affected industries to develop their own standards. CIPPIC had participated in earlier consultations on the notice and notice system, calling for checks and balances within regulations that would curtail the potential for abuse and make the system as a whole fairer and more transparent.

    The notice and notice system will come into force six months following the publication of the Order in Council in the Canada Gazette.

  • – 2014-02-20 –

    In late 2012, Voltage Pictures sued over 2000 filesharers for sharing copies of Voltage's films over Bittorrent. To identify the alleged infringers, Voltage had to file a motion asking the court to order an Internet Service Provider (ISP), Teksavvy, to hand over the subscriber identities linked to the sharing activity.

    In early 2013, CIPPIC was granted leave to intervene in that motion. CIPPIC's interest in the case stemmed from its desire to (1) ensure that the test for disclosing identities associated with anonymous internet activity remains sufficiently robust to protect high-value speech, such as whistle-blowing and online criticism, and (2) ensure that copyright trolls did not set up shop in Canada, employing taxpayer-funded Canadian courts as tools in a shakedown scheme that has emerged in the United States and England.

    The Federal Court's decision, released February 20, 2014, offers aggrieved copyright owners a carefully calibrated tool for seeking redress for good faith claims of copyright infringement while at the same time trying to slam the door on copyright trolls. The Court has asserted that these sorts of proceedings will go forward as a "specially managed proceeding", subject to robust judicial oversight designed to ferret out abuses, protect privacy, and deter profiteering in the name of copyright infringement.

  • – 2014-02-14 –

    The National Post, followed by Richard Warman today withdrew their respective appeals of the important Federal Court decision in Warman v. Fournier, 2012 FC 803. The withdrawals occurred just five days before the appeal was set down to be heard before the Federal Court of Appeal. The decision has enormous implications for journalists, bloggers, and online free speech generally.

    The surprise move means that Justice Rennie's initial findings stand. The Appellants challenged these, arguing that:

    • hyperlinks do not count as 'attribution' (a pre-requisite to the exercise of some fair dealing rights);
    • copyright law's limitation period applies to works published on the internet is effectively renewed daily, as the content posted to the Internet is reproduced 'every day' it remains available, leading to never ending potential liability;
    • platform hosts are liable for content posted to their sites even before they receive notice from a litigang that the content in question may be infringing; and
    • reproducing general excerpts from an original work amounts to taking a "substantial part" of the work when assessing a non-economic claim of infringement.

    CIPPIC had intervened in the case and filed a Memorandum of Fact and Law supportive of the holdings of Justice Rennie at the trial level. For more information, see our resource page: https://cippic.ca/copyright/national_post_v_fournier

  • – 2013-11-08 –

    CIPPIC's submission to the Notice and Notice consultations calls for a fair system that facilitates good faith allegations of infringement while dissuading misuse of the system.

    The Notice and Notice consultations pertain to the system established in the Copyright Modernization Act for copyright owners to provide internet service providers and search engines with notices alleging infringement with respect to the activities of customers of those services. The ISPs and search engines are obliged under the law to forward the notices. The consultations seek input on the implementation of the system.

    CIPPIC's submission calls for clear identification of the party making the allegation and the works involved, clarity that the notice is merely an allegation - not a determination - of infringement, and penalties for misuse of the notice system.

  • – 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.