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Teranet Copyright Class Action

UPDATE JULY 17, 2015

A class action was commenced by Keatley Surveying Ltd. against Teranet Inc. (“Teranet”) in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The plaintiff alleges that Teranet has made unauthorized copies of certain drawings, maps, charts and plans created by the plaintiff (or owned by the plaintiff) which were registered, deposited or filed in Ontario land registration offices, and sold copies of same to third parties for a fee without the permission of the plaintiff and without making any payment to the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleges that the actions of Teranet are unauthorized and violate the copyright it has in those drawings, maps, charts and plans.

The plaintiff’s action is brought on its own behalf, and on behalf of a Class defined as all land surveyors (individuals, corporations or partnerships) in Ontario  who, on or before March 26, 2014, were the:

(a) author of a plan of survey; or

(b) employer of the land surveyor at the time the plan was made; or

(c) an assignee of either an author or employer.

whose plan of survey appeared at any time in Teranet's electronic database.

All persons who fit within the class definition are automatically included in the Class, and will be bound by all decisions of the Court (and will benefit from any judgments or settlements), unless they choose to exclude themselves (opt out) by September 30, 2015. For more information on how to opt out, please review the notice of certification.

The plaintiff and the class are being represented by Ward Branch and Luciana Brasil of Branch McMaster LLP and William O’Hara of Gardiner Roberts LLP.

UPDATE APRIL 28, 2015:

On April 14, 2015 the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Ontario Divisional Court, certifying the action as a class proceeding. You can read a copy of the Divisional Court’s decision [here] and the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision [here].

The action will remain an official “class action” and will be moving forward on behalf of the “Class”. The Class includes all land surveyors, whether acting as individuals, corporations, or partnerships in Ontario who on or before March 26, 2014 were the: (a) author of a plan of survey; or (b) employer of the land surveyor at the time the plan was made; or (c) an assignee of either an author or employer, whose plan of survey appeared at any time in the Teranet database.

If you are a land surveyor in Ontario that fits this definition, you are automatically included in the Class and will be bound by the outcome of the action unless you choose to opt-out by a specified date in the future. More information about opting out will be posted to this website at a later date.

If you wish to receive direct notification of any future developments and notices approved by the Court, please contact Chelsea Hermanson of Branch MacMaster LLP at chermanson@branmac.com.

LATEST NEWS: 

On March 26, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) issued reasons for judgment certifying the proceedings commenced in Ontario as a class proceeding. This means that the Ontario action is now officially a “class action” and is brought on behalf of all members of the “Class”.

The Class includes all land surveyors, whether acting as individuals, corporations or partnerships in Ontario who on or before March 26, 2014 were the (a) author of a plan of survey; or (b) employer of the land surveyor at the time the plan was made; or (c) an assignee of either an author or employer, whose plan of survey appeared at any time in Teranet Inc.’s electronic database. Teranet Inc. is asking the Court of Appeal for leave to further appeal this decision.

All land surveyors in Ontario who fit this definition are automatically included as class members and will be bound by the outcome of this litigation, unless they choose to exclude themselves (opt out) within a specified period of time in the future. More information on opting out of the class will be posted on this website at a later date.

Although it is not necessary to “register” to participate in this class action, if you would like to receive direct notification of any future developments and notices approved by the Court, please contact Chelsea Hermanson of Branch MacMaster LLP at chermanson@branmac.com.

UPDATE: 

On December 14, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed Keatley’s motion to certify this action as a class proceeding. The reasons for judgment of Madam Justice Horkins can be found here. Keatley has appealed the dismissal of its certification motion, and the appeal is scheduled to be heard by the Ontario Divisional Court on December 4 and 5, 2013

UPDATE: 

A certification motion is scheduled to be heard in November 2012. At certification, the Case Management Judge will be asked to certify this action as a class proceeding. If that occurs, the action will be converted from an individual action to an action on behalf of all Class members. At that time, persons or firms that do not wish to participate in the action will be given an opportunity to exclude themselves (opt-out). 

The Association of Ontario Land Surveyors ("AOLS") has brought a motion to intervene in the case. If the court grants intervenor status to the AOLS, it will be able to make submissions on certain issues to bring its perspective to the case. 

BACKGROUND: 

A proposed class action has been commenced by Keatley Surveying Ltd. against Teranet Inc. (“Teranet”) in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The plaintiff alleges that Teranet has made unauthorized copies of certain drawings, maps, charts and plans created by the plaintiff (or owned by the plaintiff) which were registered, deposited or filed in Ontario land registration offices, and sold copies of same to third parties for a fee without the permission of the plaintiff and without making any payment to the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleges that the actions of Teranet are unauthorized and violate the copyright it has in those drawings, maps, charts and plans.

The plaintiff’s action is brought on its own behalf, and on behalf of a proposed class of all land surveyors or land surveying firms in Ontario which are the holders of copyright in drawings, maps, charts and plans that are registered, deposited or filed in Ontario land registration offices (the “Class”). The plaintiff and the proposed class are being represented by Ward Branch and Luciana Brasil of Branch McMaster and William O’Hara of Gardiner Roberts LLP.

Although it is not necessary to register as a potential claimant, we do keep track of persons who believe they are members of the Class so that we can provide additional information to them when there are material developments. If you would like to be added to our database of known potential claimants, please contact our paralegal Ulla Herlev by email (uherlev@branmac.com), or by phone: (604) 654-2964.

DOCUMENTS:

Plaintiff's Statement of Claim (November 12, 2010)

Plaintiff's Motion for Certification (3 MB)

Defendant's Statement of Defence (July 29, 2011)

Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgement (July 29, 2011)

Plaintiff's Responding Motion Record on Summary Judgment

Volume 1 (12 MB) | Volume 2 (19.3 MB)

  • Affidavit of Tom Bunker
  • Affidavit #2 of Gordon Keatley

Defendant's Reply Motion Record on Summary Judgment (18.3 MB) - Note that this document has been edited to remove Exhibits "E" and "F" from the online version.

  • Affidavit #2 of Al Buckle
  • Affidavit of William Snell
  • Affidavit #2 of Arthur Daniels
  • Affidavit #2 of Christopher Valentine

Reasons for Decision of Horkins J., December 14, 2012, dismissing Keatley's certification motion

 

IMPORTANT NOTE

This website has been developed to provide general information to potential class members on the proposed class action that was commenced against Teranet.

The site is not designed to answer questions about your individual situation or entitlement. Do not rely upon the information provided on this website as legal advice in respect of your individual situation nor use it as a substitute for individual legal advice.

The information collected about potential class members will assist counsel in prosecuting the class action and assessing what damages were suffered by the class as a whole. Providing the information requested does not make you the client of Branch MacMaster LLP or Gardiner Roberts LLP. The court will ultimately decide who will be included as a class member.

This website will be updated from time to time to provide potential class members with information as it becomes available.