Keatley Surveying Ltd. v. Teranet Inc., 2017 ONCA 748


Read full decision. Summary prepared by Alan Macek:

In 2007, the appellant, Keatley Surveying Ltd. (“Keatley”), brought a proposed class action on behalf of all land surveyors in Ontario who registered or deposited plans of survey in the provincial land registry offices. Keatley claimed that the respondent, Teranet Inc. (“Teranet”), who operated Ontario’s electronic land registry system (“ELRS”) for the Province, infringed surveyors’ copyright by digitizing, storing, and copying the plans of survey created by the surveyors and registered or deposited in the ELRS. ... For the reasons that follow, I would dismiss Keatley’s appeal. I agree with the motion judge that copyright in the registered or deposited plans of survey belong to the Province. ... In summary, I would hold that the extensive property-related rights bestowed on the Crown by the land registration scheme in Ontario compel the conclusion that the publishing of those plans, by making copies of the plans available to the public, is done under the “direction or control of Her Majesty.” Section 12 of the Copyright Act declares that the copyright in the registered or deposited plans of survey belongs to the Crown.


Canadian Intellectual Property