Category: Copyright

Website blocking proposal good policyWebsite blocking proposal good policy



CANADALAND recently reported (Inside Bell’s Push To End Net Neutrality In Canada) that a coalition of Canadian companies  is considering a proposal to have Canada’s telecommunications and broadcast regulator, the CRTC, establish a regime to block egregious copyright infringing websites.

The proposal is long overdue and, if adopted, would modernize Canada’s laws relating to Internet piracy and bring them into line with those of many of our trading partners. The proposal is not an attack on net neutrality; rather it is an efficient means of stopping content theft.

Copyright Board making available right decision released  Copyright Board making available right decision released  



The Copyright Board just released its long awaited decision on the scope of the making available right under the Copyright Act. In a well reasoned and thorough decision, the Board ruled that the MAR right applies to the making available of both streams and downloads, acts that have to be exclusive rights in order for Canada to meet its international treaty obligations under the WCT and WPPT.

The Board summarized its reasons as follows:

As will be made clear from the reasons that follow, subsection 2.4(1.1)

Google v Equustek: worldwide de-indexing order against Google upheld by Supreme CourtGoogle v Equustek: worldwide de-indexing order against Google upheld by Supreme Court



The Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision today ruling that Canadian common law courts have the jurisdiction to make global de-indexing orders against search engines like Google. In so, ordering, the Court in Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34 underlined the breadth of courts’ jurisdiction to make orders against search engines to stem illegal activities on the Internet including the sale of products manufactured using trade secrets misappropriated from innovative companies.

The decision arose from a lower court decision that ordered Google to block websites that were selling goods that violated the trade secrets of the plaintiffs.

The year in review: developments in computer, internet and e-commerce law (2016-2017)The year in review: developments in computer, internet and e-commerce law (2016-2017)



I gave my annual presentation today to the Toronto computer Lawyers’ Group on “The year in review in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law”. It covered the period from June 2016 to June 2017. The developments included cases from Canada, the U.S. the U.K., and other EU and Commonwealth countries.

The developments were organized into the broad topics of: Online Liability/Intermediary Remedies, Copyright, Trade-marks/Domain Names, Technology Contracting, e-Commerce & Online Agreements, and Canada’s (despised) anti-spam/malware law, CASL

The cases referred to are listed below.

Equustek decision to be released soon by Supreme Court of CanadaEquustek decision to be released soon by Supreme Court of Canada



The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Equustek v Google case is likely going to be an important precedent. It will decide whether a Canadian common law court has the jurisdiction to grant de-indexing orders against search engines to aid in enforcing court injunctions, and if it does, the test to apply in making such orders.

The Supreme Court has invited counsel for the parties to make comments on a possible media lock-up immediately prior to the release of the decision by the court.

Norwich orders: who pays under the notice and notice regime? Voltage v DoeNorwich orders: who pays under the notice and notice regime? Voltage v Doe



ISP are often ordered to disclose subscriber information to copyright holders seeking to vindicate their rights. Prior to the Copyright Modernization Act, ISPs were entitled to be paid reasonable compensation for compiling and disclosing the information. In an important ruling yesterday in Voltage Pictures, LLC v Joe Doe #1 2017 FCA 97, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the notice and notice regime established under the CMA changed the law. According to the Court, ISPs are now expected to retain and verify subscriber information without payment of any fees.

Equustek v Google: my Fordham talkEquustek v Google: my Fordham talk



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.

What made my talk such a treat, was the presence of Mr Justice Arnold in the audience.

Legality of Kodi boxes: my interview with Fairchild TVLegality of Kodi boxes: my interview with Fairchild TV



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.

Alleged set-top box pirates lose Canadian Federal Court appealAlleged set-top box pirates lose Canadian Federal Court appeal



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.

Website operator jailed for distributing copyright infringing copies of musical works: R v EvansWebsite operator jailed for distributing copyright infringing copies of musical works: R v Evans



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 [2017] 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.