Federal Court


Industrial and Intellectual Property

COPYRIGHT

No requirement for consent to be granted in writing

Plaintiff was retained as freelancer to compose, arrange, perform, produce and record music for curriculum for teaching in elementary schools. There was no written contract. Plaintiff sought damages for breach of copyright. Parties agreed plaintiff owned copyright to original compositions. Action dismissed. Plaintiff consented to use of his music, granting implied licence to defendant and actively facilitated defendant’s use of plaintiff’s music. At all times plaintiff understood that his work was commissioned for use in curriculum. Plaintiff acknowledged during discovery and at trial that he permitted defendant to use music for purposes of curriculum. Defendant did not exceed scope of licence. When licence was granted for consideration it could be not be revoked unilaterally. There was no requirement for consent to be granted in writing. There was joint authorship of songs by parties and joint copyright ownership of songs. Defendant was maker of sound recording and owner copyright. Defendant did not agree to pay plaintiff royalties. Plaintiff would have been awarded $17,400 as damages if infringement had been found.

Pinto v. Bronfman Jewish Education Centre (Sep. 11, 2013, F.C., Donald J. Rennie J., File No. T-1070-07) 233 A.C.W.S. (3d) 454.

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