The court dismissed the CBC copyright infringement lawsuit against the Conservative Party
CBC initiated a lawsuit against the Conservative Party of Canada in the final days of the 2019 federal election, accusing the party of infringing copyright by using broadcast company video tapes in online advertisements and tweets, but it has been rejected by the Federal Court.
Federal Court Judge Michael Phelan found in a written ruling issued on Thursday that the use of such materials is a “fair transaction” and that “there is no objective evidence that CBC may suffer any reputational damage.”
Feilan wrote: “There is no evidence that the broadcaster’s footage disclosed in a partisan context adversely affects the broadcaster.”
He pointed out that CBC’s focus on neutrality is reasonable, and that the use and distribution of CBC materials may adversely affect CBC in the future.
He wrote: “However, this is not the case. Fear and speculation cannot find unfair findings on this factor.”
CBC did not seek monetary compensation, but “a statement regarding CBC rights and CPC infringing on its rights.”
What caused the controversy was a video titled “Look at what we did”, which was posted on the Conservative Party website (notasadvertised.ca), Facebook page, and YouTube page around October 4.
This video includes CBC footage Nationwide with Power and politics. But it also includes videos of CTV News, Citytv and Global News.
The Conservative Party also released four tweets from the 2019 federal election leaders debate, which were broadcast on 15 different online platforms and 10 different TV networks (including CBC).
CBC/Radio Canada claimed in its application that it owns the copyright to all these clips and that the Conservative Party of Canada “engages in the unauthorized use of copyrighted material.”
It also stated that these fragments were “out of context, edited and relied on, and put forward a partisan point of view for the party’s interests”.
As Phelan pointed out, CBC expressed concern that “its information is being used in a non-partisan manner, which affects the integrity of its journalists and damages its reputation for neutrality.”
According to court documents, CBC has sent five letters to the Conservative Party threatening to impose injunctive relief on the advertisement, and the tweets will not be deleted. The party did delete advertisements and tweets, but the broadcaster continued to take legal action, saying that the Conservative Party did not guarantee that it would not happen again.
Initially, CBC’s legal documents have been listed CBC Rosemary Barton, then co-host Nationwide The documents were submitted by the Bureau of Parliament reporter John Paul Tasker (John Paul Tasker) and CBC.
Both Patton and Tasker appear in the clips used in the ad. However, a few days later, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation stated in a statement that their names would be removed from the lawsuit, and said: “The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada is the promoter of this process, not a journalist. “
At that time, the Conservative Party expressed “serious concern. This decision was made on the eve of CBC’s fair and impartial coverage of the election.”
It also used litigation as a fundraising activity, arguing in an email to supporters that CBC “funders should use this method.”
According to the Canadian “Copyright Act”, if certain materials are used for research, satire, criticism, or commentary purposes, they should be protected from “fair trade” copyright infringements.
Phelan found that the Conservative Party made up a large portion of CBC’s copyrighted works, but “this is for permissive purposes-at least for critical purposes.”
Feilan wrote: “The purpose of this is to participate in the democratic process. In this case, even the purpose of raising funds is part of the electoral process.”
“Although the court must be careful to wrap the analysis results more on the banner of democracy, and in the case where democratic rhetoric conceals the reasons, the evidence shows that the use of CBC Works is for this legitimate political purpose.
He wrote: “Therefore, this factor shows fairness.”
CBC spokesperson Leon Mar (Leon Mar) said the broadcaster is reviewing the court’s ruling.
He said in an email: “From the beginning, our goal was to protect Canadians’ trust in the independence of the public broadcaster.”
“We believe that the misuse of news content and videotapes in partisan political videos undermines this trust.”
CBC has asked the Conservative Party to comment.