SCC and Technological Neutrality

The Supreme Court of Canada released an important ruling today on the role of technological neutrality in copyright law. In a 7-2 split decision in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada v. SODRAC 2003 Inc., et al., Justice Rothstein writing for the majority affirmed the principle of technological neutrality and held that royalties must be paid for ephemeral copies of works made by broadcasters for the purpose of facilitating broadcasting. However the majority also remanded a determination of the value of the licenses for those copyrights to the Copyright Board in order to take into account technological neutrality. A strong dissent by Justice Abella (agreed to in part by Justice Karakatsanis) disagreed that copyright applied to ephemeral copies, at all.
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Happy Birthday

Chief Judge George King of the Central District of California issued a decision yesterday (PDF) in favour of plaintiffs who argued that Warner/Chappel Music had no right to collect royalties for “Happy Birthday To You” in the United States. After tracing the history of the song back to the 1890s, he concluded that Warner/Chappell Music’s predecessor never acquired the rights to the Happy Birthday lyrics from the purported authors. Continue reading Happy Birthday

US Injunction

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its latest decision in the Apple v. Samsung patent dispute. In a split decision considering, among other things, the USSC’s eBay decision and the requirement of a ‘causal nexus’ between the alleged irreparable harm and the alleged infringement, the court vacated the lower court’s decision not to award a permanent injunction and remanded . Continue reading US Injunction

Canadian Intellectual Property