Catherine Leuthold v. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

(Federal) (Civil) (By Leave)


Intellectual property - Copyright, Infringement, Evidence, Costs, Interpretation.


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Intellectual property – Copyright – Infringement – Evidence – Costs – Interpretation – Section 2.4(1)(c) of the Copyright Act – Whether a transmission of a production undertaking to more than one distribution undertaking results in more than one transmission – In interpreting a licence, whether the subjective testimony of witnesses who are employees of one of the parties should be given full consideration – In considering whether an offer made by a party meets the test of a reasonable compromise, is the compromise between the offer made and the amount awarded in the cause, or between the offer made and the claim of the opposite party? – Whether the costs award is appropriate.

The applicant, a professional photo-journalist, sued the respondent for copyright infringement in respect of the use of five of her photographs in a documentary about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. She sought damages in the amount of twenty million dollars, and was awarded damages in the amount of $19,200. Notwithstanding her success, she was ordered to pay respondents double costs because she recovered less than the settlement offered by the respondents. The applicant appealed but her appeals were dismissed.