Archive for the ‘Reproduction’ category

Technological neutrality and copyright: Supreme Court grants leave to clarify scope in CBC v SODRAC 

September 4th, 2014

The Supreme Court granted leave to appeal today in another copyright case, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / Société Radio-Canada v. SODRAC 2003 Inc. The appeal is from the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal which ruled that broadcasters must pay royalties for ephemeral recordings in accordance with the 1990 decision of the Supreme Court in Bishop v. Stevens.

Robinson v Cinar in the Supreme Court

December 24th, 2013

sucro-3

In the last decade, the Supreme Court of Canada has canvassed many important issues in copyright law including the scope of the rights of reproduction and authorization, what makes a work original, and how to apply the fair dealing defense. In its decision released yesterday in Cinar Corporation v. Robinson, 2013 SCC 73, a unanimous Supreme Court released an important precedent dealing with many other core areas of copyright including the framework for how to assess if a “substantial part”  of a work has been reproduced, the assessment of damages for infringement including accounting of profits, non-pecuniary damages and punitive damages, the use of experts in a copyright case, the vicarious liability of directors for infringement, and whether copyright is protected by the Quebec Charter of human rights and freedoms. For copyright lawyers, this case is a goldmine – a treasure trove -of important copyright holdings by the Supreme Court.

Capital Records v ReDigi: resale of digital music copyright infringement

April 8th, 2013

ReDigi runs a digital music resale business. Buyers of tracks from iTunes or ReDigi can sell them using ReDigi’s service. The service scans hard drives of users and transmits copies of tracks to its cloud. Buyers wanting the music can acquire copies at a discount from iTune’s price from ReDigi. ReDigi was sued for copyright infringement. The novel question was whether a digital music file, lawfully made and purchased, may be resold by its owner through ReDigi under the first sale doctrine. In Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi Inc., 2013 WL 1286134, (S.D.N.Y., March 30, 2013) a US District Court found ReDigi’s service infringing on just about every asserted ground.

Supreme Court hears oral argument in Cinar/Robinson copyright cases (Updated)

February 13th, 2013

Earlier today, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in four copyright cases arising from the decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal in the France Animation v Robinson, 2011 QCCA 1361 case. The main issue in the appeal was whether sketches and characters of the proposed TV series Robinson curiosity were infringed by the series Robinson sucro. The trial judge found infringement and the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment, in part. The webcast from the argument is being archived and will be available here.

Supreme Court of Canada to release reasons in five copyright cases

July 9th, 2012

The copyright bar has been eagerly awaiting the release of the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada in the five copyright appeals which were heard on December 6 and 7, 2011. The Court announced earlier today that the decisions will be released this Thursday, July 12, 2012.

The Court published case summaries.  I also summarized the main issues in the appeals here.  The webcasts of the arguments can also be accessed here.

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2011-2012)

June 21st, 2012

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)

Swift v. Zynga Game Network, Inc., 805 F.Supp.2d 904, (N.D.Cal., 2011)

Fteja v. Facebook, Inc., 2012 WL 183896 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)

Grosvenor v. Qwest Corp., 2012 WL 602655 (D.Colo., 2012) 

So you want to protect computer programs by copyright, the Oracle v Google and SAS v WPL cases (Updated)

June 3rd, 2012

Are computer programs protected by copyright? That issue was a hot one three decades ago when courts began to struggle with whether these intangible utilitarian objects could be protected. Were they machine parts outside the realm of copyright or literary works, the kind of subject matter that copyright protects? This issue was quickly resolved in favor of copyright protection, first by the courts in the US, Australia, Canada and elsewhere in a series of cases involving the Apple II operating system and in other cases, then by international conventions and treaties and worldwide copyright amendments by governments that wanted to be sure programs could not be blatantly pirated.

Optus loses “TV Now” copyright appeal down under

April 26th, 2012

Earlier today, the Full Court of Australia released its decision in the National Rugby League Investments Pty Limited v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd [2012] FCAFC 59 (27 April 2012) case. In a note made available along with the reasons of the court for reversing the decision of the primary judge, the court summarized its decision as follows:

Keeping The Pirate Bays at Bay: using blocking orders to curtail infringements

February 22nd, 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 [2012] 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.

Is Google News legal? (Updated)

February 15th, 2012

In May, 2011 a Belgium appellant court released an important decision finding Google liable for copyright infringement by offering its Google News service to subscribers in Belgium at the Google.be and Google.com websites. The decision in Google Inc v Copiepresse et al, Brussels Court of Appeal (9th Chamber) May 5, 2011 suggests that services such as Google News cannot be legally offered in many countries around the world even from servers located in North America.

On February 14, 2012, the UK Copyright Tribunal in the Meltwater Holding BV v The Newspaper Licensing Agency Limited case suggested Google News and the Google Alerts service would also be illegal in the UK without a license from publishers.