Class action lawsuit launched on behalf of Canadian lawyers against Thomson Reuters
TORONTO, May 26
TORONTO, May 26 /CNW/ - A proposed class action was commenced yesterday, May 25, 2010, against Thomson Reuters Corporation and Thomson Reuters Canada Limited on behalf of a class of Canadian lawyers and law firms. The Statement of Claim (which has not been proven in Court) alleges that Thomson Reuters breaches copyright by making available original lawyer created legal documents for fee or subscription without permission from, or compensation to, the authors of the documents.
The lead plaintiff is Lorne Waldman, one of Canada's leading lawyers, specializing in immigration and refugee law. Mr. Waldman was counsel to Maher Arar.
The claim alleges that legal documents written by Mr. Waldman, on behalf of Mr. Arar, (along with more than 50,000 other documents) have been copied by Thomson Reuters and that verbatim copies of these documents have been made available for download via its "Litigator" service. Litigator is a fee and subscription-based database for lawyer-created court documents that permits users to copy and edit documents for their own purposes. At no time are the authors of these documents informed that their documents are copied, sold, or reproduced. Documents downloaded from this service are branded "(C) Thomson Reuters Canada Limited or its Licensors. All rights reserved."
Mr. Waldman is represented by Louis Sokolov and Jordan Goldblatt of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP. Mr. Sokolov is co-lead counsel on class actions against CIBC, Scotiabank and CN Rail.
According to Mr. Waldman, this case raises important issues about copyright law in the digital age. "I have always been open to sharing my work in order to advance the law and assist members of the legal profession and the public, however I strongly believe that I and other authors of these documents have the right to ensure that our work is used appropriately, and with our knowledge and consent. This case will determine whether large corporations like Thomson Reuters can profit from the work of others, obtained and copied without permission."
Information on this action and for prospective class members is available at www.trcopyright.ca.
Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP is a leading Canadian civil litigation, labour and criminal law firm.