Warman v. Fournier

This application alleged copyright infringement in respect of three works. The Respondents operate a website providing a forum for online political discussions.

With respect to the first work, the Warren Work, the Court found that the Applicant was time-barred as he did not bring the application within the limitation period in section 41(1) of the Copyright Act. With respect to the second work, the Kay Work, the Court found that the Respondents did not reproduce a substantial part of the Work, and in the alternative, the reproduction represented fair dealing for the purposes of news reporting. The Applicant posted a copy of the third work, the Barrera Work, on his own website, and the Respondents provided a hyperlink to this website. The Court found that the Applicant authorized communication of this Work by posting it on his website. Accordingly there was no infringement.

The Court indicated that the defence of abuse of process was not available to the Respondents as the application was not frivolous or vexatious; instead, the Respondents were arguing the tort of abuse of process, which must be brought by separate action. The Court also refused to award costs on the highest scale as there was no evidence of the Applicant’s conduct that would justify higher costs.