Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Blacklock's Law Suits Update - Is this a "Litany" of Litigation?

Here’s an update on the Blacklock’s litigation.

The Canadian Vintners Association (“CVA”) has decided not to appeal the Small Claims Court judgment in  1395804 Ontario Limited (Blacklock’s Reporter) v Canadian Vintners Association (“CVA”), 2015 CanLII 65885 (ON SCSM) that has received so much attention, despite the fact that it has no precedential value and has been fundamentally called into question by  Teresa Scassa, Michael Geist  and myself and perhaps others. Although I can only speculate, the CVA’s decision is presumably based upon a careful cost/benefit analysis. It is an organization serving the interests of Canadian wine makers – and copyright law is obviously not its core concern.  The cost of appeal in relation to the damages award would presumably be significant and likely not fully recoverable – even in the event of success. The CVA had able counsel – and I’m sure that the decision was made very carefully. I understand that there are no other Blacklock’s cases in the pipeline at the Ottawa Small Claims Court at this time.

So, attention shifts back to the Federal Court, where there are now no less than ten Blacklock’s cases pending against the Federal Government or its agencies. The Feds have asked to stay all but the first of these actions and to proceed promptly on that one, which will presumably benefit from adequate discovery, presumably be based upon a similar set of facts as the others, and presumably could serve as a “test case” in this instance. Here’s the Federal Government’s submissions of November 2, 2015. Here’s the response by Blacklock’s counsel dated November 5, 2015. Here’s the Federal Government Reply dated November 9, 2015. 

I will keep readers posted. Meanwhile, if anyone hears of any other Blacklock’s litigation, please let me know. Here’s Blacklock’s activity to date in the Federal Court, in indicating 13 copyright infringement actions since June of 2014.

BTW, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary  defines "litany" in part as:
litany /0ˈlɪt(ə)ni/ noun. ME.
[ORIGIN Old French letanie (mod. litanie) from Ecclesiastical Latin litania from Greek litaneia prayer, entreaty, from litaneuein pray, from litanos suppliant, from litē supplication: see -y³.]

1 Christian Church. A series of supplications, deprecations, or intercessions in which the clergy lead and other people respond, the same formula of response usu. being repeated for several successive clauses (used either as part of a service or by itself, in the latter case often in procession). ME.
2 transf. A form of supplication (e.g. in non-Christian worship) resembling a litany; a continuous repetition or long enumeration, a repeated formula, a long series. LME.


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