Friday, 25 January 2008

Rationale for copyright damages

Writing yesterday on Canada's approach to the award of damages in copyright infringement proceedings, Michael Geist states:
"Canada is one of the only countries in the world to have a statutory damages provision within its copyright legislation. It creates the prospect of massive liability - up to $20,000 per infringement - without any evidence of actual loss. This system may have been designed for commercial-scale infringement, but its primary use today is found in the U.S. where statutory damages led to the massive liability for one peer-to-peer file sharing defendant and leaves many defendants with little option but settlement. Before Canada faces similar developments, we should amend the statutory damages provision by clarifying that it only applies in cases of commercial gain".

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