Summary

39876

Teksavvy Solutions Inc. v. Bell Media Inc., et al.

(Federal) (Civil) (By Leave)

Keywords

Canadian charter (Non-criminal) - Freedom of expression (s. 2(b)), Injunctions - Charter of Rights — Freedom of expression — Injunctions — Interlocutory injunction order — Non party — Copyright infringement action — Canadian broadcasters granted interlocutory mandatory injunction order against Canadian Internet service providers (ISPs), non parties to underlying action, to block access to certain websites by their customers, known as site blocking order — ISPs to whom it applies are not defendants in the action and are not accused of any wrongdoing — Whether Federal Court can exercise its equitable jurisdiction to grant site blocking order in proceedings under Copyright Act — If site blocking order is available remedy, what analytical framework governs its use, and how must this framework account for impact of such an order on freedom of expression.

Summary

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An interlocutory order was issued in a copyright infringement action requiring a number of Canadian Internet service providers (ISPs), including the applicant, Teksavvy Solutions Inc. (Teksavvy), to block access to certain websites by their customers. This is known as a site blocking order.

The order was sought by a group of Canadian broadcasting companies that broadcast a variety of television programming via television and through online broadcasting or streaming service. The ISPs to whom it applies are not defendants in the action and are not accused of any wrongdoing. ISPs control the infrastructure through which it is possible to access the Internet.

The defendants who are accused of copyright infringement in the action are two unidentified persons responsible for businesses which operate unauthorized subscription services that provide access to programming content over the Internet. The aim of the order is to impede access to the unauthorized subscription services by the named ISPs’ customers.

The Federal Court granted the motion seeking an interlocutory mandatory injunction order. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the Federal Court’s decision.