CBC loses copyright claim against Conservatives in federal court

CBC loses copyright claim against Conservatives in federal court
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A federal court has rejected the CBC's copyright claim against the Conservative Party of Canada, stemming from “attack ads” produced by the party using CBC clips in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election.

The summary of the judgement and decision reads, in part:

CBC brings this application in copyright infringement in respect of the use of their “Works” by the Conservative Party of Canada [Party or CPC] for what are commonly called “attack ads” shown at the time of the 2019 federal election.

The Works are brief excerpts of CBC news reports and the English-language federal leadership debate which the Party distributed in one advertisement and a series of four Tweets.

The principal legal issues in this matter are whether the Party’s use of CBC material constitutes taking a substantial part of CBC’s Works and whether the Party’s actions constitute fair dealings.

The Court concludes that the Respondents took, in respect of the Advertisement and Tweets, a substantial part of CBC’s copyrighted Works.

...The Court concludes that the Respondents’ use of the CBC Works was, on these facts, fair and dismisses the matter with costs at the usual scale.

CBC spokesman Leon Mar commented on the decision, stating that “out of context” partisan political videos undermine the public trust in the government broadcaster:

“From the beginning, our objective has been to protect the trust Canadians have in the independence of their public broadcaster,” [May] said in an email.

“We believe that misusing journalistic content and footage out of context in partisan political videos undermines that trust.”

Flashback to 2014: CBC sought ban after Boston bombers ads feat. Trudeau

Several years ago, Rebel News applied for access to information documents after the CBC sought a ban on political ads using their material after the Conservatives clipped Justin Trudeau's comment that the Boston Marathon bombers felt “completely excluded”.

Upon receipt of the documents (below), we revealed that the CBC's lawyers cautioned that they didn't have a case to enforce such a ban.

On page seven of the documents, a further email stated that the CBC has no right to reject an ad from a political party, and that copyright complaints would not be rejected by their own advertising standards.

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  • By Rebel News

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