Federal Court Continues Trend of Ordering Disclosure of Subscriber Information

After initiating a proposed class action lawsuit alleging copyright infringement in respect of five motion pictures (I have previously blogged on the Notice of Application), Voltage Pictures LLC (“Voltage”) has successfully persuaded the Federal Court to order the partial disclosure of subscriber information in order to proceed with certification of its “reverse” class action.

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Private Member’s Bill Proposes to Extend Copyright Term

On Friday, June 17, 2016, Conservative MP Peter Van Loan introduced Bill C-299, a private member’s bill entitled “An Act to amend the Copyright Act (term of copyright).” The bill proposes to amend the Copyright Act to extend Canada’s copyright term to life of the author plus 70 years. Presently, most works are protected under Canadian copyright law for the life of the author plus 50 years (with the exception of sound recordings and performer’s performances, which are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years). Continue reading “Private Member’s Bill Proposes to Extend Copyright Term”

Wexford Collegiate v. Hamilton: Understanding Grand and Small Rights

Canadian high school Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts created headlines last week after YouTube clips of the school’s students performing songs from the musical Hamilton circulated online. Unfortunately for the staff and students who were involved, the musical performances have already been removed from YouTube, and online commentators, such as Howard Sherman from Arts Integrity, called out Wexford Collegiate for infringing copyright. However, the situation is more nuanced than it appears at first blush, and it is important for amateur productions and education institutions to understand their obligations, and rights, when it comes to performing theatrical compositions.

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Baseball and Privacy: A Canadian Perspective on Wearable Technologies

Two recent articles have highlighted a novel privacy issue regarding the legal implications of wearable technologies in Major League Baseball (MLB). Rian Watt first addressed the issue for Vice Sports, and Associate Professor Nathaniel Grow followed up with a post on Fangraphs about the American implications of MLB franchises collecting biometric data about their players. However, given that the Toronto Blue Jays operate in Canada, a perspective on this from north of the border is warranted.

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The Panama Papers Database: Canada’s Biggest Intentional Privacy Breach?

The leak of the confidential files of a Panamanian law firm, dubbed the “Panama Papers,” has generated much press coverage, but there has been surprisingly little comment about the privacy rights of those named in, or linked to, the disclosures. It seems obvious that the public exposure of the personal information (“PI”) contained in the documents that were unlawfully obtained by an anonymous hacker raises serious privacy concerns for those individuals who are named. In fact, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (“ICIJ”) and other media outlets could well be facing regulatory complaints or even tort claims for unauthorized use of PI and/or invasion of privacy under Canadian law. If so, the release of PI by ICIJ members could qualify as the largest intentional privacy breach ever made in Canada by an identifiable entity.

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Celebrity Social Media Accounts: When does a Repost Infringe Copyright?

For almost a decade, the rise in popularity of social media platforms has created new methods for organizations, brands and celebrities to target their audience. Whether through promotional tweets, posts on Instagram, or Periscope shopping excursions, there are countless ways to engage with millions of individuals around the world. However, obtaining content for social media can tread into murky copyright waters. This issue is illustrated by a recent dispute between Toronto photographer Jake Kivanç and Drake, where Kivanç has accused Drake of playing dirty not clean.

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Creative Pleading Seeks to Certify Copyright Class Proceeding

Voltage Pictures LLC has been busy in the Federal Court of Canada. As illustrated by the proposed class proceeding filed April 26, 2016, the movie production company is showing no sign of slowing down.

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