The Federal Court – Why Seek Injunctions Anywhere Else?

Successful interlocutory injunctions in trade-mark proceedings before the Federal Court were once considered to be as rare as Sasquatch sightings. A substantial hurdle for moving parties requesting such relief has been demonstrating irreparable harm. However, the decision issued last week in Sleep Country Canada Inc. v Sears Canada Inc, 2017 FC 148 [Sleep Country] further signals the Federal Court’s readiness to conclude that certain harms are impossible to calculate and, therefore, qualify as irreparable.

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Disclosure of Mortgage Balance to Creditor Not Prevented by PIPEDA

Royal Bank Plaza by Peter Broster (CC BY 2.0) |

This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Royal Bank of Canada v. Trang, 2016 SCC 50 (Trang), overturning the reasoning of two decisions of the Ontario Court of Appeal. In the SCC’s view, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, S.C. 2000 c. 5  (“PIPEDA”) does not preclude a mortgagee from producing a mortgage discharge statement to a judgment creditor. The unanimous decision, written by Justice Côté, concluded that such disclosure was in accordance with an order made by a court or, alternatively, that the mortgagors had provided implied consent.

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Articles Behind Paywall Subject to Fair Dealing

Photo Credit: “Sugar” by Adam Engelhart | (CC BY-SA2.0)

Yesterday, the Federal Court released its decision in Blacklock’s Reporter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FC 1255, a copyright infringement action involving the circulation of articles about the Department of Finance and sugar tariffs. Over the past couple months, the case received considerable media attention given its possibility of addressing fair dealing, copyright misuse and circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs). Despite the fanfare surrounding Blacklock’s, the case was decided on a straightforward application of fair dealing and the Supreme Court of Canada’s jurisprudence on the subject. Cue the sad music for copyright nerds.

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Behind the Fortress Walls: CRTC’s First Substantial CASL Decision

This week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) released its first substantial decision on Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation (“CASL”). The decision, CRTC 2016-428, significantly reduced the administrative monetary penalty (“AMP”) payable by Blackstone Learning Corp, and shed some light on the CRTC’s interpretation of CASL violations.

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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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