The Supreme Court has denied leave to hear the appeal in Voltage v Doe #1, a case in which CIPPIC has played a central role. The case raised questions about the burden of proof borne by copyright owners and the nature of the duties copyright’s authorization right imposes on internet subscribers.

As a result of the refusal to hear the appeal, CIPPIC's successful arguments before the Federal Court of Appeal stand:

  • Plaintiffs must have direct evidence that Internet subscribers authorize infringing file-sharing through their accounts; liability cannot be inferred on the basis of notice and continued infringement alone.
  • Authorization does not impose on subscribers a duty to police their internet accounts to enforce copyright owners' rights on the basis of a notice alleging infringement. The well-settled standard of authorization ("sanction, approve and countenance”) from CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC 13, stands: an alleged authorizer must exercise a degree of control over a primary infringer.

The matter remains alive: Voltage must now attempt to gather more evidence about the nature of the internet subscribers' relationship to the infringing activity before it can return to the Federal Court to seek default judgement.

CIPPIC thanks its recently graduated research assistants, Hannah Goold and Jordan Geist, for their frankly incredible work on this file.

Previously, on this matter: