On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in the case of Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et. al, an appeal from a British Columbia Court of Appeal decision, in which a broad worldwide injunction was granted restraining Google, a non-party to the action, from including the defendants’ websites in Google’s search results.
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.
Continue reading SCC and Technological Neutrality
Last week, the federal government introduced significant changes to the Trade-marks Act by tabling the omnibus budget bill, Bill C-31, the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 on March 28, 2014. The “monster” Bill makes changes to nearly forty different pieces of legislation, and is designed to enact measures in last month’s federal budget. The trademark amendments will allow Canada to meet its international treaty obligations (including the Nice Agreement, Singapore Treaty, and the Madrid Protocol). According to the government summary, the proposed changes make the Trade-marks Act consistent with the Singapore Treaty, add authority to carry the Madrid Protocol into effect, and simplify the trademark application filing requirements.