As the creative industries continued to grow economically in importance in 2014, so have the stakes in copyright litigation. Increasingly, the courts have been challenged to resolve complex disputes arising from new uses of works and other subject matter brought about by innovations in technology. While content is often a core and indispensable element of new and innovative services, products or offerings, frequently parties dispute whether the use requires permission and payment to rights holders or can be engaged in without permission or payment. This post reviews some of the highlights of the court battles of 2014 in Canada and other Commonwealth countries, the United States and the European Union.
Archive for the ‘jurisdiction’ category
In a case that could have major ramifications for trade-marks law in Canada, Justice Hughes of the Federal Court has concluded that, when a trade-mark appears on a computer screen website in Canada, regardless where the information may have originated from or be stored, constitutes for Trade-Marks Act purposes, use and advertising in Canada.
This strong conclusion comes from Homeaway.com, Inc. v. Martin Hrdlicka, 2012 FC 1467, a decision released December 12, 2012. In this case, the Applicant sought to expunge a trade-mark registered in 2010 by the Respondent Hrdlicka. On the Application, the Respondent represented himself.
Here are the slides used in my presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group earlier today, The Year in Review: Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2011-2012). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring, Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2010-2011).
The slides include a summary of the following cases:
Kraft Real Estate Investments, LLC v Homeway.com, Inc. 2012 WL 220271 (D.S.Car. Jan 24, 2012)
Fteja v. Facebook, Inc., 2012 WL 183896 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)
Grosvenor v. Qwest Corp., 2012 WL 602655 (D.Colo., 2012)
The UK High Court appears likely to order UK ISPs to block the notorious BitTorrent site, The Pirate Bay. In the just released opinion in the Dramatico Entertainment Ltd & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors  EWHC 268 (Ch) (20 February 2012) case, Justice Arnold ruled that users of the site as well as its operators infringe copyright. Users who download copies of sound recordings violate the right of reproduction. Users who make sound recordings available for downloading make them available to the public and are liable for communicating the sound recordings to the public. The Pirate Bay is liable for authorizing the infringement of its users. It is also liable for infringement based on the accessorial liability theories of joint infringement and inducement.
A UK judged ruled on Friday that the 23 year operator of the TVShack.net linking website could be extradited to the US to face a trial for alleged criminal copyright infringement. In rendering the decision the UK court made some important findings about the scope of UK copyright law. They included the ruling that organizing and providing hyperlinks to infringing content from a linking website can infringe the making available right.
Yesterday, I gave a talk at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s 16th Annual Intellectual Property Law: The Year in Review program. My talk canvassed developments in copyright in 2011. My slides are shown below. The associated paper prepared in collaboration with Glen Bloom, with the help of others, is available here.
My slides and/or the paper summarize the following copyright cases from Canada, the USA, UK and Europe:
Re: Sound v Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada 2011 FCA 70
Reference re Broadcasting Act 2011 FCA 64
Crookes v. Newton 2011 SCC 47