Keatley v. Teranet: Land Surveys, the Law of the Land and Access to Justice – The Supremes will Have Their Hands Full but will They Have Everything they Need?

(Clarke Surveyors Inc.)An interesting and potentially very important copyright case is about to the heard by the Supreme Court of Canada on appeal from the Ontario Court of Appeal in the Keatley v. Teranet case. Here’s the SCC’s summary – which is not official but which is concise and useful. Here are a few points to note.The case concerns copyright in land surveys – which are an essential element in Ontario of proof of land ownership and which are a key component of all real estate transactions. These surveys are required by law and required to be registered on title and the Government of Ontario has privatized key aspects of the land registration system to an entity known as Teranet. The case is focussed on crown copyright and s. 12 of the Copyright Act.Teranet, which is resisting the payment of additional fees to surveyors beyond that which they were paid originally for doing the survey – has never disputed the notion that copyright subsists in…

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