On June 20, 2019, the Federal Court (the Court) issued its decision in Young v Thakur, 2019 FC 835, allowing in part an application by Melodie Young and Melxdie Entertainment Inc. (the Applicants). The Applicants allege that Rohit Thakur and Badmash Factory (the Respondents) infringed the Applicants’ copyright in their musical work and sound recording (collectively, Works).
Melodie Young is a singer and songwriter and the president of Melxdie Entertainment Inc. In early July 2017, Ms. Young collaborated with another artist to create the musical work and to record the sound recording. The Applicants then sought out the services of the Respondents, who agreed, for a fee, to create a music video to accompany the Works. Unfortunately, not all of the terms of the agreement between the parties were discussed and the Applicants later discovered that the Respondents had posted the music video online as part of their portfolio. The Applicants alleged that this posting amounted to copyright infringement.
The Court decided in the Applicants’ favour by finding there was no evidence that the Applicants gave the Respondents permission to post the video and, by posting the video, the Respondents infringed the Applicants’ copyright. The Court awarded the Applicants an injunction and statutory damages.
In assessing damages, the Court found that statutory damages should be assessed within the range of $500 to $20,000 per work in accordance with the Canadian Copyright Act. In determining the amount, the Court considered the good faith or bad faith of the Respondents, the conduct of the parties and the need to deter other infringements of the Works. The Court found that no aggravating factors were established and awarded damages at $1,000 per work infringed.
Summary By: Jae Morris
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