Bell Media wins in copyright dispute over Internet-based television
November 23, 2016
On the 22 of November, 2016, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice sided with Bell Media in its dispute with VMedia over the right to broadcast over-the-air signals on Internet-based television platforms. The decision provides protection to content producers of traditional over-the-air television as consumers are switching to Internet-based television providers.
The case (2016 ONSC 7273) related to a new Internet delivered television service offered by VMedia through a Roku media player. The service, launched in September 2016, packaged basic television channels and delivered them through an online service instead of through a traditional set-top box. Bell Media challenged the broadcast of its CTV Networks through the package as "a clear copyright violation", whilst VMedia insisted that it was entitled under the Copyright Act to retransmit the over-the-air signals for free. Justice Myers sided with Bell, agreeing that the service infringed Bell Media's copyright. Justice Myers granted a permanent injunction preventing VMedia from offering the service.
McCarthy Tétrault represented Bell Media with a team led by Steven Mason and included Junior Sirivar, Brandon Kain, Kaitlin Soye and Vladimira Ivanov with support from Daniel Glover.