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.…
I just finished reading the fascinating reasons delivered by 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 case is a gold mine for copyright lawyers. It canvasses many copyright issues including the application of the standard of originality to partially completed works, the test for infringement when there has been substantial alterations and improvements to the original work, the relevance of expert evidence in copyright cases in light of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Masterpiece Inc.…
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 (2010-2011). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring.
The slides include a summary of the following cases and statutory materials:
Cite Cards Canada Inc. v. Pleasance, 2011 ONCA 3
Leon’s Furniture Limited v. Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2011 ABCA 94
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 2010 FC 736
Here is a copy of the slides I used today at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Intellectual Property Year in Review conference. The associated paper prepared in collaboration with Glen Bloom, and with the help of others, is available here.
My slides summarize the following copyright cases from Canada, Australia, UK, Ireland, Singapore, Europe and the USA:
Alberta (Education) v Access Copyright 2010 FCA 198
Bell Canada v SOCAN (Tariff 22) 2010 FCA 220
Canadian Private Copying Collective v.…
It is often argued by anti-copyright advocates that copyright is a monopoly that operates so stringently that it stifles creativity and leaves no room for others to create similar or competing works. This argument often overlooks the idea expression dichotomy principle in copyright law. This principle is applied, albeit with variations, throughout the world to regulate the balance between legitimate expression that cannot be copied without consent, unless an explicit exception applies, and ideas and concepts that can be freely re-used by anyone without consent, payment, or restrictions.…