What is the range of damages available to a plaintiff in a copyright action brought by a third party who infringes copyright?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Tom Hopkins International Inc. v. Wall & Redekop Realty Ltd., 1984 CanLII 519 (BC SC):

Section 20 of the Copyright Act deals with the civil remedies available where copyright has been infringed. It provides that a person who infringes copyright is liable to pay damages assessed and any profits earned. Here, there is no proof of loss of profits or proof of actual damages. In those circumstances, the plaintiff is entitled to nominal damages. The amount of nominal damages can be affected by the conduct of the infringing party, particularly whether they persisted after notice. In Underwriters’ Survey Bureau v. Massie & Renwick Ltd., supra, Maclean J. pointed out not only the fraudulent conduct of the defendant but also the fact that it had put the plaintiffs to the expense and inconvenience of the litigation by its strenuous resistance to the enforcement by the plaintiffs of their rights.

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