On May 2, 2011, the Ontario court approved settlements in a copyright class action involving freelance writers who wrote for Canadian publications. The settlement funds total C$7.9 million. The freelance writers are represented by Heather Robertson, a freelance author, and by Koskie Minsky LLP, a leading Canadian class action law firm.
The case involved allegations that the defendants infringed the copyright of freelance writers who wrote articles and other literary works that were published by Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., Rogers Publishing Limited, Canwest Publishing Inc. or their affiliates. The plaintiff alleged the defendants disseminated these literary works in online databases without permission.
“This is a tremendous result for Canadian freelance writers”, said Kirk Baert, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs. “Class members saw their articles appearing in online databases without their express permission. This settlement provides compensation for that unexpected use.”
In the next few weeks, there will be an official notice appearing in certain newspapers and magazines explaining how freelance writers can make claims from the settlement funds. The notice will also be available on Koskie Minsky’s website.