On August 1, 2018, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Court) issued its decision in Dish v Shava, 2018 ONSC 2867, and granted summary judgment.  In so doing, the Court recognized and enforced a $25,600,000 US judgment order for copyright infringement.

Dish Network LLC et al (the plaintiffs) brought a claim in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (US Court) alleging that Shava IPTV Network LLC et al (the defendants) had unlawfully captured and transmitted broadcasts of the plaintiffs’ television channels. The Defendants elected to not defend the claim and the US Court awarded default judgment against them in the amount of $25,600,000. The plaintiffs, after the time to appeal had expired, sought to have the US Court’s judgment recognized and enforced in Ontario.

In their motion, the defendants submitted that the US Court’s judgment should not be recognized. Specifically, they claimed that:

  1. the US Court did not have jurisdiction over their matter;
  2. the plaintiffs had misled the US Court, causing it to believe that the defendants owned and operated the website; and
  3. the defendants were denied natural justice by not being properly served with the originating documents in the US claim.

The Court dismissed all three of the defendants’ arguments.

First, the Court found that the US Court had jurisdiction.  Specifically, the Court noted that a real and substantial connection was established when the defendants “repeatedly reached into Virginia to transact business in the State”.

Second, the Court found that the plaintiffs had not misled the US Court. The plaintiffs put forward evidence relating to the defendants’ ownership and operation of the website. The Court felt that the defendants had not properly addressed or rebutted this evidence and so decided in the plaintiffs’ favour.Third, the Court found that the defendants had been properly, albeit not personally, served.  The plaintiffs had followed proper procedure, consistent with Ontario Rule 16.03(5), which provides for a lawful alternative to personal service in certain circumstances.

Accordingly, the Court summarily decided to recognize and enforce the US Court’s judgment.

Summary By: Jae Morris

E-TIPS® ISSUE

18 08 22

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