Bell Canada et al. v 1326030 Ontario Inc. dba et al., 2016 FC 612

Justice Tremblay-Lamer - 2016-06-01

Read full decision. Summary prepared by Alan Macek:

The plaintiffs, Bell, Rogers and Videotron both their broadcasters and distributors, sought an interlocutory injunction against a number of companies distributing set-top boxes pre-loaded with applications for accessing free online streaming websites. Only one defendant responded. The Court found that the devices enable consumers to obtain unauthorized access to content to which the plaintiff's own the copyright and this is not merely the supply of a conduit but the defendants deliberately encourage consumers and potential clients to circumvent authorized ways to access content constituting prima facie copyright infringement under s.27 of the Copyright Act. The Court also held that the issue of inducing copyright infringement, authorization, and violation of the Radiocommunication Act were all a 'serious issue'. The Court found there was irreparable harm in that the market for pre-loaded set-top boxes was rapidly growing in a way that cannot be precisely quantified at the moment and even if successful at trial, the plaintiffs will not be able to restrain the existing consumers, and the defendants are unlikely to have the financial resources required to compensate the plaintiffs. The balance of convenience was found to favour the plaintiffs because of the prima facie copyright infringement. The order will only bind identified defendants and any new co-defendants upon proper notice and having the ability to challenge the interlocutory injunction.

Decision relates to:


Canadian Intellectual Property