Robert Salna, proposed representative respondent on behalf of a class of respondents v. Voltage Pictures, LLC, et al.
(Federal) (Civil) (By Leave)
Civil procedure - Class actions, Certification - Civil Procedure — Class Actions — Certification — Common issues — Federal Court of Appeal certifying common issues but returning certification motion to Federal Court for reconsideration of other elements of certification — Whether, in the context of a proposed reverse class proceeding for copyright infringement, the question of liability for authorizing infringement is a common issue that can be certified — Whether, in the context of a proposed reverse class proceeding for copyright infringement, the question of whether the class has any defences to the alleged infringement is a common issue that can be can be certified — Federal Courts Rules, SOR/98 106, r. 334.14.
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The respondents, all film production companies, filed an application in the Federal Court against the applicant, Mr. Salna, who is the internet account subscriber connected to an IP address identified by the respondents as having infringed its works online. The respondents then brought a motion for an order to certify its application against Mr. Salna as a respondent class proceeding under the Federal Courts Rules. The Federal Court dismissed the motion. The Federal Court of Appeal allowed the respondents’ appeal of the certification decision in part. It held that the pleadings disclosed a reasonable cause of action, that there was an identifiable class of two or more persons, and that the common issues the respondents had set out were common questions of fact and law. However, on the issues of whether a class proceeding was the preferable procedure and whether there was a suitable representative, it set aside the Federal Court decision and returned the motion to the Federal Court for reconsideration of those questions in light of its reasons.
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