• Action for copyright infringement dismissed in a summary trial
  • July 20, 2017 | Authors: Chantal Saunders; Adrian J. Howard
  • Law Firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Ottawa Office
  • Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. v. 9005-5906 Québec Inc. (Resto-bar Mirabel), 2017 FC 590

    In this summary trial, the Court dismissed the Plaintiff's action for copyright infringement. The Plaintiff holds the broadcast rights in Canada to a number of sporting events, including those to the pay-per-view fight from March 16, 2013 ("the Fight"). The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants broadcasted the Fight without authorization.

    After deciding that the issue raised in this case was suitable for summary trial, the Court considered whether the Plaintiff proved, on a balance of probabilities, that the Defendants broadcasted the Fight. The Court found that the Plaintiff's arguments were designed to minimize the weakness of its own evidence and divert the Court's attention to certain weaknesses in the Defendants' position. However, the Court noted that the onus is on the Plaintiff, and therefore, the gaps raised in the Defendants' evidence did not allow the Plaintiff to meet or reverse its own burden of proof. The Court concluded that the Plaintiff had not shown that the Defendants broadcasted the Fight. The Court also refused to draw adverse inferences from the fact that the Defendants did not cross-examine one of the Plaintiff's witnesses.