Category Archives: Canada

Copyright and Presentations: How to Avoid Presentation-Related Copyright Infringement

close-up of laptop

When building a PowerPoint presentation it can be very tempting to search the internet for the perfect photo, image, graph, or piece of music to liven up your slides and illustrate a particular point. However, if you do not pay attention to copyright you can expose yourself and your organization to potential legal liability. Similar risks can arise if an outside presenter is invited to present to your organization.

The materials used and the public presentation of the materials used in such a presentation can have legal consequences if any part of the presentation belongs to a copyright owner who has not given the necessary permission to use their copyrighted works. In 2024, we live in a digital age where these risks are ever growing due to increased reliance on online platforms to share content with colleagues, customers, and other members of the public.  

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Alberta et al v Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2024 FC 292 and the Voluntary Copyright Tariff Regime

Copyright sign cut-out on an urban background.

The Federal Court recently released its decision in Alberta et al v Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2024 FC 292, in which the Court confirmed that Copyright Board-approved tariffs are voluntary for users, upheld the statutory nature of copyright law, and affirmed freedom of speech protections afforded by parliamentary privilege. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of this Federal Court decision which followed the clear path laid out by the Supreme Court of Canada in its relatively recent copyright law jurisprudence.

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Opposition and Cancellation Proceedings Shifting Into Higher Gear in Canada

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Until recently, opposition and administrative cancellation proceedings in Canada have been particularly lengthy. It was not uncommon to see decisions being issued in non-use cancellation proceedings before the Canadian Trademarks Opposition Board (TMOB) 3-4 years after their start. Similarly, in many cases decisions in opposition proceedings would issue 5-6 years after the end of the initial 2 month period to oppose. This is not because these types of proceedings are particularly cumbersome in Canada. Contrary to US oppositions there is no discovery in oppositions and administrative cancellation proceedings, only cross-examinations on affidavit are possible. The availability of very generous extensions of time and long delays to set a hearing or to render a decision on the basis of a written record explain most of these delays. This is changing rapidly.

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Regulation, Generative AI, and legal considerations

Asian woman watching hologram screens. Business and technology concept. Smart office. GUI (Graphical User Interface).

With generative AI’s ability to aid knowledge management, increase efficiency and accelerate development there must be balanced consideration of intellectual property (IP) protection and stakeholder interests.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) are algorithms that can be used to generate text and images that are difficult to distinguish from human generated text and images. It is technology that is fed data (trained) to ultimately recognize relationships and patterns in data. The more data the system is fed, the smarter it becomes. Once trained, it then applies that intelligence to information submitted by end users, to produce new content/products such as videos, photos, and book summaries. Generative AI’s use is growing in popularity because it quickly simplifies and completes tasks for the everyday user once given simple instructions.

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Modernization Initiatives of the Copyright Board

justice statue

Why Is the Copyright Board Modernizing?

The Copyright Board of Canada (“the Board”) has announced the completion of Phase 1 of its Modernization Initiative that has taken place over the past four years as of May 2023. Following this, the Board released a report providing updates on the Board’s overhaul of its processes, internal policies, and organizational culture including the implementation of new Rules of Practice and Procedure that came into effect on March 1, 2023. Policies like improving efficiency, transparency, and access to justice of legal processes, all aspects of the Board’s initiatives, are often desirable changes in any context but why has the Board been prompted to take on this initiative?

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