Damages for Copyright Infringement

Where an infringer carries on with the infringing activity after the copyright owner has sent notice, damages can be higher.  This is the finding of a Federal Court judge in Microsoft Corporation v. 1276916 Ontario Ltd. (2009 FC 849)(Sept. 17, 2009).  In that case, Smart Buy, a computer retailer in Ontario, was selling PCs loaded with pirated copies of Microsoft software.  Smart Buy continued its infringing activities not only after warnings from Microsoft, but even after the lawsuit commenced in Court.  The court awarded statutory damages of $80,000 and punitive damages of $50,000.  The individual business owner was found personally liable.

Other recent copyright infringement cases have resulted in similar damage awards in Canada:

a)        $200,000 in punitive damages, $100,000 statutory damages against the individual defendant and $100,000 against the corporate defendants (Microsoft v. 9038-3746 Quebec Inc.)

b)        $100,000 in punitive damages and statutory damages of $20,000 per infringement (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. Yang)

c)        $300,000 in punitive damages comprised $200,000 against the individual business owner, and $100,000 against the other defendants (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. 486353, B.C. Ltd.)

d)        $50,000 in punitive damages against all of the defendants jointly and severally (Microsoft v. PC Village Co. Ltd.)

Calgary – 10:00 MST

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