2251723 Ontario Inc. v Bell Canada, 2016 ONSC 7273

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice was considering a request by VMedia for an order declaring that its new internet retransmitting service does not infringe Bell's copyright in CTV television broadcasts. VMedia asserted that it was entitled to simultaneously retransmit without Bell's consent, while Bell argued that as the owner or licensee of the copyright, retransmission was not permitted without its consent. Bell sought a declaration of infringement in a counter-application. The Court dismissed VMedia's application and granted Bell's application.

The Court set out the various necessary approvals and licences at play under the Broadcasting Act and the Copyright Act. After considering the facts of the case, the Court concluded that VMedia is a new media transmitter under section 31(1) of the Copyright Act. As a result, VMedia's service does not qualify for a compulsory licence, available only to retransmitters who are not new media retransmitters, under section 31(2) of the Copyright Act.

The Court awarded the requested declaration that VMedia infringed Bell's rights under the Copyright Act, and enjoined VMedia. The Court refused to address the relief sought in respect of a possible breach of an agreement between the parties. The Court reviewed Bell's Costs Outline that sought $194,365 on a partial indemnity basis, and awarded $150,000, which included disbursements and taxes.