Fordham Law School has the best annual intellectual property conferences. I had the privilege of speaking at its 25th Annual IP Conference yesterday on the Equustek v Google case. In this case the Supreme Court of Canada is being asked to decide if Canadian courts have the jurisdiction to make global de-indexing orders against search engines like Google, and if so, the factors to be considered in making such orders. My slides from the talk are shown below.
Archive for the ‘Copyright’ category
Kodi boxes pre-configured to enable buyers to stream and download movie and TV content are proving to be a challenge to producers and distributors of this content in Canada and around the world. Recently the Federal Court granted an injunction prohibiting the sale of certain pre-configured boxes. The decision was recently affirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal.
I was interviewed earlier this week about the these decisions and the legality of the sales and uses of these boxes. My interview can be viewed here and below.
In a decision that should not surprise anyone, the distributors of set top boxes that were specifically adapted to enable purchasers to stream and download infringing copies of programs made available by Bell, Bell Expressvu, Rogers, and Videotron lost their appeal of an injunction granted this summer by Justice Tremblay-Lamer in Bell Canada v ITVBOX.NET 2016 FC 612. (summarized here).
The appellants didn’t appeal the findings of the court that there was a strong case of infringement. Rather, they challenged the court’s findings that broadcast distribution undertakings would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted. The court in Wesley dba MTLFREETV.com v Bell Canada et al 2017 FCA 55 easily rejected this attempt to re-argue the evidence stating:
Is operating a website that provides links to torrent websites which facilitates unauthorized downloading of musical works a criminal offence? If so, can the operator of such sites expect jail time as punishment for this crime? In a recent decision of the English and Wales Court of Appeal in Evans, R. v  EWCA Crim 139 (14 February 201), the accused, Mr Evans, was convicted of two offences of distributing infringing copies of musical works and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for these crimes.
Here is an Op-ed of mine that ran earlier today in the Hill Times. The post below includes endnotes not in that article.
In his Hill Times Op-ed (Canadian copyright reform requires a fix on the fair dealing gap, Dec. 5, 2016) Michael Geist takes issue with the need to address the “value gap” that is hurting Canadian artists, writers, and other members of the creative class. He argues instead that Canada faces a need to address a “fair dealing gap” in our copyright laws. There is no such need and his arguments don’t withstand scrutiny.
Blacklock’s Reporter is a small Canadian online news agency. Like many publishers it has challenges in enforcing its copyrights against unauthorized digital copying. To protect its rights it uses a subscription model to license content. It attempts to keep materials from unauthorized access and distribution by using a paywall. Recently the Federal Court in 1395804 Ontario Ltd. (Blacklock’s Reporter) v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FC 1255 concluded that the copyright in Blacklock’s news articles was not infringed when copies of articles lawfully obtained under a subscription by one subscriber were emailed to the Department of Finance and were then forwarded to others within the department. The court found the copying was a fair dealing, an exception from infringement under the Copyright Act.
The argument in the Google v Equustek Supreme Court case is about to start. An issue in the case is whether a court has a right to grant a de-listing order against a search engine to assist in enforcing a prior injunction granted by the court. The decisions of the courts appealed from are summarized here.
I did a presentation on the case several months ago highlighting what is in issue in the case. My slides are set out below.
The Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce which examined the operations of the Copyright Board is now available. I reported on the hearing in a prior post. The recommendations are clear: a thorough in depth examination is needed because the Board is in need of reform.
The Copyright Board may not be a household name, but it is a vital institution that is relied upon by tens of thousands of creators and users. But, according to witnesses who appeared before the Senate banking committee examining the operation and practices of the Copyright Board of Canada last week, there are significant problems with it that need to be addressed.
The witnesses that appeared at the two Committee meetings included Claude Majeau, Vice-Chairman and Gilles McDougall, Secretary General, of the Copyright Board, Gilles Daigle (GC SOCAN), Erin Finlay (GC Access Copyright), Graham Henderson (President Music Canada), Jason Kee (Public Policy Counsel Google Canada), Ian MacKay (President Re:Sound), Paul Daly (U of Cambridge), Jeremy de Beer and Michael Geist (U of Ottawa), Ariel Katz (U of T), and Howard Knopf (Counsel, Macera & Jarzyna).
Blocking orders against ISPs to combat trade-mark infringement legal says Court of Appeal in CartierJuly 12th, 2016
The English Court of Appeal released an important decision last week confirming that courts’ equitable jurisdiction to grant injunctions where “just and convenient” is broad enough to order internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block web sites from selling trade-mark infringing goods. The Court in Cartier International AG & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors  EWCA Civ 658 (06 July 2016) confirmed the correctness of the prior comprehensive decision of Arnold J. in Cartier International AG & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors  EWHC 3354 (Ch) (17 October 2014).