Archive for the ‘Copyright’ category

Google ordered by BC court to block websites: Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack (Updated)

July 23rd, 2014

In an important decision rendered on June 13, 2014, a Canadian court ordered Google to block a website that was selling goods that violated the trade secrets of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs obtained a default judgment against the defendants. But, the defendants continued to sell the offending goods over the Internet. The plaintiffs, unable to enforce their judgment, asked for Google’s help in blocking the website. Google voluntarily de-indexed specific URL’s requested by the plaintiffs, but this “whac-a-mole” process was ineffective. When Google refused to de-index the offending websites from its search results, the plaintiffs brought a motion against Google for interim relief requiring Google to de-index the websites. Over Google’s objections, in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack 2014 BCSC 1063, Madam Justice Fenlon of the British Columbia Supreme Court granted the injunction.

YouTube, Facebook, Netflix liable to pay for music in Canada rules Copyright Board

July 21st, 2014

On Friday, the Copyright Board released a decision and certified two SOCAN tariffs, Tariffs 22.D.1 (Internet – Online Audiovisual Services) and 22.D.2 (Internet – User-Generated Content). The years covered by the tariffs are 2007-2013.

The tariffs were certified based on agreements reached between SOCAN and objectors. Between the objectors and other entities which filed submissions, the heavyweights affected by the tariffs participated including Apple, Yahoo!, YouTube,  Netflix, Facebook, Cineplex, the members of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), and the Canadian ISPS Rogers, Bell, and Shaw.

Aereo: SCOTUS rules its service infringing

June 26th, 2014

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a 6 to 3 opinion yesterday that Aereo’s Internet retransmission service infringes copyright. Aereo had tried to architect its television restransmission system to avoid paying copyright royalties or license fees by “renting” dime sized antennae to subscribers. Judge Chin of the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals had called Aereo’s service  “a Rube Goldberg-like contrivance, over-engineered in an attempt to avoid the reach of the Copyright Act and to take advantage of a perceived loophole in the law.” In  American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc., the SCOTUS agreed telling Aereo essentially, it looked like a cable retransmitter, it acted like a cable retransmitter, Congress had specifically amended the Copyright Act to ensure that cable retransmitters publically performed when they delivered programming to subscribers, and that Aereo’s service was indistinguishable in any meaningful way from those services.

Notice and notice regime under C-11 coming into force

June 17th, 2014

The Government announced today that the notice and notice regime established under C-11 is coming into force in January 2015. The delay in bringing these provisions into force was a consultations on possible regulations that the regime permitted. The Government announced that the provisions are coming into force without regulations.

The regime permits copyright owners to send notices to internet service providers and other internet intermediaries claiming infringement of copyright. The notices must be passed on by these service providers to their users. Because there are no regulations, the notices must be processed and passed on by the internet intermediaries without any fees payable by copyright owners.

Mihály Ficsor on Svensson and communications to the public

May 11th, 2014

The Svensson opinion of the CJEU has gained considerable attention. The focus has primarily been on the controversial topic of whether hyperlinks to a work on the Internet should be considered as making the work available and hence be part of the author’s right of communication to the public. However, the opinion also further extends precedents of the CJEU how to determine whether communications are “to the public”. In a seminal paper, Dr. Ficsor the former Deputy Director General of WIPO carefully examines these precedents and points out errors in the opinions. A summary of his paper is below.

APIs protected by copyright; copying for compatibility not an absolute defense to infringement: Oracle v Google

May 10th, 2014

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit released an important decision yesterday in the ongoing battle between Oracle and Google over copyright protection for the Java APIs Goolge used in developing Android. In Oracle America, Inc. v Google Inc. 2014 WL 1855277 (CAFC. May 9, 2014), the Court reversed the District Court on practically every legal finding made by that court and ruled that, subject to a possible fair use defense, that Google infringed Oracle’s copyright.

Fordham’s debate about Canada’s unlocatable copyright owner regime

May 9th, 2014

Fordham has the best IP conference. It stimulates vigorous debates about IP issues at and after the conference. A case in point is the usefulness of Canada’s orphan works regime.

I was a panelist at Fordham which addressed the challenges associated with orphan works. I provided a summary of Canada’s Unlocatable Copyright Owner process highlighting its usefulness. I later did a blog post on the topic, Orphan works: the Canadian solution.

The debate about Canada’s regime started at Fordham when Howard Knopf (a persistent Fordham questioner) disagreed with my assessment stating the following (according to the Fordham unedited transcript of the panel):

Orphan works: the Canadian solution

April 27th, 2014

I had the pleasure of being a panelist at the 2014 Annual Fordham Law and Policy IP Conference.  My panel was on the topic of orphan works and mass digitization.  My contribution was to provide a summary of Canada’s orphan works regime. The following are some of my speaking notes from the panel.

S.77 of the Act sets out the basis for granting licences to works and other subject matter where the owner cannot be located after reasonable efforts. S. 77 reads as follows:

77 (1) Where, on application to the Board by a person who wishes to obtain a licence to use

Blocking orders against ISPs legal in the EU: UPC Telekabel Wien

March 30th, 2014

European courts have ordered ISPs to block access to pirate file sharing sites in other countries for years. The jurisdiction for doing so is Article 8(3) of the EU Copyright Directive (Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001) which is transposed into the laws of EU Member States. The courts have considered these orders to represent a reasonable balance between the interests of copyright holders, intermediaries, and end users. See, Keeping The Pirate Bays at Bay.

Aereo infringes says international associations and copyright scholars to SCOTUS

March 3rd, 2014

Earlier today, a number of international and foreign associations and copyright scholars filed an Amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in the ABC, Inc. et al v. Aereo, Inc case. The brief brings to the attention of the SCOTUS a number of international treaties and trade agreements respecting copyright that impose obligations on the United States to provide copyright holders with a broad technologically neutral communication to the public right that would cover all aspects of Aereo’s service and make its service infringing.