Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Canadian Association of Internet Providers

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June 30, 2004

A landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Canada addresses for the first time the reach of Canadian copyright law into the worldwide internet. It recognizes that "the capacity of the Internet to disseminate works of the arts and intellect is one of the great innovations of the information age. Its use should be facilitated rather than discouraged" but notes that "this should not be done unfairly at the expense of the creator of the works". The court adopts the "real and substantial connection to Canada" test, and considers a variety of factors, not simply the location of the host server. ISPs, if acting in a content neutral fashion, are protected from copyright liability, and the creation of a "cache" copy for technological efficiency does not make them liable for the content passing through their systems. This is must reading.

See: Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Canadian Association of Internet Providers

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