Corporation Fined, Director Imprisoned for Contempt in Copyright Infringement Decision

  • April 04, 2022
  • Sepal Bonni

In a rare decision, the Federal Court of Canada found a party in contempt of court for breaching the terms of two previous judgments concerning copyright infringement, resulting in a severe fine and imprisonment of a director of the infringing corporation in Canadian Standards Association v P.S. Knight Co. Ltd..

The parties to the decision, the respondents P.S. Knight Co. Ltd. (“Knight Co.”), Knight Americas, Mr. Gordon Knight (the sole directing mind of Knight Co.) (together, “Knight Parties”) and the applicant, Canadian Standards Association’s (“CSA”), are competitors. CSA, a not-for-profit standards development organization, which publishes and updates various voluntary safety standards, had published a 2015 edition of its Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (the “2015 Code”). Pursuant to a dispute between CSA and the Knight Parties, the Knight Parties had knowingly and willingly produced and threatened to distribute a “substantial copy” of the 2015 Code for one third of the price (the “Knight Code”).