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Digest of the Week | Evans v. Discovery Communications LLC

In Evans and Discovery Communications, 2018 FC 1153, the Federal Court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiff's copyright infringement claim. 


The plaintiff alleges that episodes from a television series called "Futurescape", broadcast by the Defendant, infringes his copyright in the novel, "Glimpses of a Black Ops". The Plaintiff’s allegation of infringement is not that the TV series has copied all or any parts of the text of the Novel, but that it took from its scientific content. However, the Defendant has no evidence that anyone involved in the TV series was aware of the novel, and the plaintiff offered no evidence that the defendant, or any person involved in the TV series, accessed the novel, or was aware of it prior to the commencement of this motion.


The Court found that what the plaintiff actually alleged is that the scientific content of the TV series and the novel are similar, and concluded that the allegation cannot be grounds for a successful infringement action. The Court provided four distinct reasons for this finding. 



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