Archive for the ‘statutory damages’ category

Was the $675,000 damage award against Joel Tenenbaum for file sharing excessive?

August 24th, 2012

Was the statutory damages award of $675,000 against Joel Tenebaum for downloading and distributing 30 music files over peer-to-peer networks excessive? Did it violate US due process? According to a decision released by a U.S. District Court yesterday in the Sony BMG Music Entertainment v Tenebaum 2012 WL 3639053, (D.Mass., Aug. 23, 2012) case, the answer to both questions is no.

After a five-day jury trial, the jury found that Tenenbaum’s infringement was willful as to each of the thirty sound recordings in issue, and returned a verdict within the US statutory range of $22,500 per infringement, for a total damages award of $675,000.  After an appeal of the jury verdict, the Court was charged with the duty of determining whether the award was excessive under the common law remittitur doctrine and whether it violated due process.

A question of values

March 12th, 2012

With Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, on its way to clause by clause review Canadians have a chance to think about what values they want copyright to reflect. Canadians are being bombarded with a dizzying array of information about amendments that have been proposed including amendments related to enablement, statutory damages, TPMs and fair dealing. Much of the information is inaccurate and emotionally super-charged to garner as much visceral reaction as possible. A significant portion of it originates from Internet activist Michael Geist and is repeated throughout the blogosphere and in the traditional news media, usually with no attempt at analysis.

Copyright law 2011 –the year in review in Canada and around the world

January 13th, 2012

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:

CANADA

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

Some observations on Bill C-11: The Copyright Modernization Act

October 3rd, 2011

Last Thursday the Government of Canada introduced into the House of Commons Bill C-11, an Act to Amend the Copyright Act. In a press release describing the Bill, Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Christian Paradis, stated that the Bill will ensure that Canada’s copyright laws “are modern, flexible, and in line with current international standards” and will “protect and help create jobs, promote innovation, and attract new investment to Canada.”