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“A Broad and Liberal Interpretation”: The Supreme Court of Canada Expands Copyright Users’ Rights

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“A Broad and Liberal Interpretation”: The Supreme Court of Canada Expands Copyright Users’ Rights

Postby MrFredPFL » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:35 pm

Story : http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2019/09/a-broad-and-liberal-interpretation-the-suprem





The Supreme Court of Canada today released its decision in Keatley Surveying v. Teranet, a case that involves the application of the Copyright Act’s crown copyright provision to land surveys registered or deposited in provincial land survey offices. The Government of Ontario argued that crown copyright applies to the surveys. The surveyors argued that it did not and were seeking compensation for their inclusion in a database service run by Teranet under licence from the province. The court ruled in favour of the province, concluding that the surveys are covered by current crown copyright provision.

I’ll address the challenges with that decision in an upcoming post, though it is clear that the majority decision written by Justice Abella is open to legislative reform:

“This provision is a century old. Since this is the first time this Court has reviewed its scope, our approach has taken into deliberative account the jurisprudential developments in copyright law in recent decades. Parliament is of course free to consider updating the provision in its current review as it sees fit.”

The concurrence also recognizes the limits of the provision, adding the need for it to apply solely to government works, which it defines to includes “a work that serves a public purpose and in which vesting the copyright in the Crown furthers that purpose.” It also assuages concerns about the application of crown copyright to primary legal documents by noting that their copyright status “raises unique and complicated issues that are beyond the scope of this case.”







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