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    BC Court Rules Rogers' Zoocasa Real Estate Site Infringed Copyright, Breached Terms of Use

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    Thursday September 08, 2011
    The B.C. Supreme Court has issued a lengthy ruling against Rogers Communications and its real estate search site, Zoocasa. The case originates from Century 21's objections to Zoocasa's scraping of its real estate listings and incorporating them into its own site. Zoocasa scraped the full listings for several months starting in August 2008, but in November 2008 switched to "truncated" descriptions that provide only basic information. In August 2009, Zoocasa began "framing" other sites, but it stopped that practice in December 2009.  Zoocasa stopped indexing Century 21 listings in 2010.

    The decision includes many important findings on online contracts, trespass, and copyright. The court canvasses the law of online contracts and concludes that website terms of use can be enforceable.  In this particular case, Century 21's terms prohibited copying or scraping its content. By doing so, Zoocasa breached the contract. The court awarded $1,000 in damages for the breach. Note that the court even finds that continuing to link to the Century 21 site (a practice prohibited by Century 21 once it provides notice) was a breach of the contract.


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    TVA's Freelance Contract Generates Criticism

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    Thursday January 22, 2009
    Steve Proulx (via Fagstein and Creators' Copyright) points to Quebecor's new agreement for magazine freelancers that not only demands exclusive rights, but retroactive rights to any previously submitted work.  It is worth repeating that it is contract, not copyright law, that frequently presents the bigger problem for creators.
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    61 Reforms to C-61, Day 14: Music Shifting Provision Says Contract Trumps Copyright

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    Thursday July 10, 2008
    Today's C-61 reform is particularly timely given yesterday's decision by Industry Minister Jim Prentice to demand that Bell and Telus account for their plans to charge for the receipt of text messages, a decision that Prentice described as "poorly thought-out."  In the case of text message charges, the companies will presumably argue that their consumer contracts give them the right to alter charges and that this change is consistent with those rights.  Prentice may rightly note the inequity of locking in a consumer for three years, yet reserving the right to fundamentally alter the costs borne by the consumer midway through the agreement.  In other words, the contract may say one thing, but consumer rights and fairness dictate something else.

    While that may be Prentice's perspective on consumer telecom contracts, he adopts a much different approach in Bill C-61. 

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    Quebec Couple Wins Legal Fight Over Telus Long Term Contract

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    Thursday April 03, 2008
    Canwest reports that a Montreal couple has won a legal fight over a Telus three-year wireless contract.  The judge cancelled the contract and awarded damaes since Telus "appeared to be unconcerned" by the matter.
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