Supreme Court rules on ISP liability and copyright jurisdiction

| June 29, 2004
In a case over who should compensate copyright holders for music downloaded in Canada from foreign countries (the "Tariff 22" case), the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canadian copyright law can apply to material hosted on foreign servers, as long as there is sufficient connection between the communication of that material and Canada; and that ISPs are not liable for copyright infringement unless they "give approval to, sanction, permit, favour or encourage" the infringing content. The court stated that "knowledge that someone might be using neutral technology to violate copyright ... is not necessarily sufficient to constitute authorization [of copyright infringement]", but that "notice of infringing content, and a failure to respond by "taking it down" may in some circumstances lead to a finding of "authorization".