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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
On February 25, 2016, Hayes eLaw LLP founding partner Mark Hayes spoke on the “Reproduction Rights” panel at Osgoode Hall Law School’s Unpack SODRAC: Technological Change and Copyright Tariffs after CBC v SODRAC (SCC 2015). The video can be found below.