Thomson Reuters to vigorously defend claim in class action, says Andrew Bernstein in Law Times

Class Action Tackling Copyright in Legal Documents To Go Ahead

March 05, 2012

The Ontario Superior Court has certified a class action that will consider the copyright in legal documents as it pertains to commercial corporations.

Writing in Waldman v. Thomson Reuters Corp., Superior Court Justice Paul Perell certified a $51-million class action against Thomson Reuters after he found several issues brought by Toronto lawyer Lorne Waldman met the test for certification.

Waldman, who launched the action in 2010, alleges Thomson Reuters' Westlaw Litigator service infringed his copyright and moral rights, as well as those of other lawyers, by making more than 100,000 pleadings, court motions, affidavits and facta available online in several downloadable formats after copying them from court files. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

In response, Thomson Reuters, which owns Law Times, argued it had invested substantial amounts for the files produced on Litigator and insisted it never infringed copyrighted materials. Thomson Reuters also argued, among other things, the defences of fair dealing, implied consent, and freedom of expression.

"Thomson Reuters has reviewed the Superior Court's decision and will be seeking leave to appeal to the Divisional Court," says Andrew Bernstein, counsel for Thomson Reuters. "Whatever the outcome of the certification process, Thomson Reuters is confident in its position on the merits and will be vigorously defending the claim."

Read the full article here.

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