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Head Shot Bill NorthcoteA Federal Court decision that backs a copyright collective in its battle to collect royalties from an Ontario university cannot be ignored by Canadian post-secondary institutions, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer Bill Northcote.

“It demonstrates that copyright holders of, presumably, mostly academic works are getting more aggressive in terms of enforcing their rights and getting proper compensation,” says Northcote, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP.

Justice Michael Phelan ruled in favour of a collective that administers reproduction rights for Canadian literary works and ordered the university to pay damages for the millions of pages of materials that the university's staff copied for coursework.

The university argued that its copying of book excerpts, articles, videos and other materials fell within the “fair dealing” exceptions allowed for educational users under s. 29 of the Copyright Act, and that it had developed its own “Fair Dealing Guidelines.”

But Phelan found that the university’s use of the material did not fall under the law’s fair dealing exceptions. Its own “Fair Dealing Guidelines” are “not fair in either their terms or their application,” he wrote. The university made “no real effort” to review or enforce its guidelines, he added.

This is an excerpt from an interview with  Please click here for the complete transcript.


Head Shot of Joel BerkovitzThe expropriation of a condominium's common property has raised the question of who gets the money — those who owned a unit when the land was officially taken or those who live there at the time of payment for the expropriation, says Toronto condominium lawyer Joel Berkovitz.

Berkovitz, a lawyer with Shibley Righton LLP, says he recently advised a Toronto condo corporation, which had a strip of its land that was part of the common elements acquired by Metrolinx, that payment should go to the people who lived in the complex at the time the expropriation legally took effect. 

He tells there's no explicit guidance in either the Expropriations Act or in the Condominium Act, 1998. In fact, s. 126 of the Condominium Act only states that owners get their share of the payment.

Berkovitz says it usually takes some time between the expropriation order and when a price is finalized. During that interval in this case, about 20 residents sold their units and moved.

This is an excerpt from an interview with 

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Head Shot Deborah HowdenCondo owners may wonder who is responsible for restoration after their unit sustains water or other damage, but issues relating to repair and insurance are some of the most complex in this area of law, Toronto condominium lawyer Deborah Howden writes in The Lawyer’s Daily.

In terms of a primer, Howden, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP, says the current Condominium Act, 1998 requires that every condo corporation repair both the common elements and suites after damage (up to the standard unit), whatever the cause.

However, she adds, “the Act also provides that this obligation may be altered by the corporation’s declaration, and most declarations in fact do so. Specifically, most declarations make the obligation to repair a unit after damage the responsibility of the unit owner.”

Upcoming reforms to the Condominium Act, says Howden, will reflect this industry standard, such that condo corporations will no longer be responsible to repair units after damage. 

“However, this will be subject to other provisions under the Act (for example, the obligation of the corporation to insure the units, up to the standard unit) and in the declaration,” she writes.

This is a excerpt from an interview with

Please click here for the complete article.

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