CSA Demands an Injunction, Again

October 1st, 2018

We endured another Court Hearing last Monday.  This time, CSA again asked the Court to issue an injunction against our publication of the Code.

An injunction is a forced prevention of something.  The CSA wanted the Court to prevent us from selling our Code books, leaving CSA with a monopoly on Code book sales and, of course, depriving us of the revenues we need to defend ourselves.

This isn’t new, the CSA tried for an injunction earlier this year and then, for reasons still embargoed, that effort didn’t go anywhere and the Hearing was cancelled.  Both of these efforts took place during the Federal Court of Appeal deliberations on another of CSA’s efforts against us, one that will largely settle the whole of CSA’s collection of complaints.  So they asked the Federal Court to Rule an injunction on a matter already being deliberated by a higher Court.

Classy move.

Last time, CSA argued that electrical laws were their private property, so outfits like ours shouldn’t be able to use them, access them, quote from them, (etc) without paying CSA for the right to do so.  And CSA had the infamous Manson Ruling on their side -that indeed laws are privately owned.  That’s the Ruling under review by the Court of Appeal, the one we’ve been waiting on.

In 2018 however, a new Code was passed into law and, awkwardly for CSA, the Province of Alberta chose to copyright the Code under Queen’s Printer law.  That means we can quote from it all we like, the Province has claimed ownership of the 2018 Code and there’s nothing CSA can do about it.  And the Province did that in full knowledge of the Manson Ruling.  The Province chose to ignore that Ruling, the one the civil service spent so much effort to arrange.  I’m sure CSA finds that annoying.

Of course, this decision by Alberta means that CSA’s argument of private ownership no longer has much pull in Federal Court.  They needed a new argument.  And here it is;

The existence of Knight’s Code “gives rise to urgent public safety concerns” - Complaint letter from Kevin Sartorio, CSA’s council.

Knight’s Code “poses urgent and serious public safety concerns,” and the Court should act on these “urgent and serious public safety concerns,” and should do so quickly, “given the urgency and seriousness of the situation”  - CSA letter to the Federal Court.

And again….

The CSA “continues to have significant concerns that the Respondents’ unauthorized 2018 Code publication poses serious public safety concerns.”  Rubbish.  And our Code isn’t unauthorized, it’s copyrighted Alberta Queen’s Printer.  But, you know, truth is nothing over there.

According to CSA, Knight’s Code is a “significant public safety concern,” and “may pose very serious public safety concerns” and will “increase the risk of shock,” due to the “significance of potential public safety risks,” and “gives rise to a serious public safety concern,” and “may give rise to risks of serious property damage, bodily injury or even death” - Affidavit of CSA employee Timothy Pope.

Get the idea?

Remember; it’s the same text, folks.  The CSA is publishing electrical law and so are we.  Apparently the same text is both intrinsically safe, and inherently dangerous, depending on CSA’s convenience.

Recall that CSA also placed a public warning about our books on their website?  Well, according to CSA Court filings, they also “issued that same notice to Canadian universities and colleges […] setting out CSA’s public safety concerns.”

Those are our customers.  Most places take public safety warnings seriously, especially if they’re issued by government.  The CSA is using that authority to harm our business.  This isn’t their first such foray either; recall that CSA has been sending threatening letters to our distributors, vendors, and contractors to falsely warn that it was illegal to do business with us.

About a week ago we heard from one of our distributors that CSA was now using its influence in academia to constrict our distribution channels.  Then we got that in writing.  Then we got a phone call from a CSA-friendly college instructor, he was complaining about our “defective” books.

Well, I won’t bore you with the back and forth, but CSA was civil in the phone call and duplicitous thereafter.  Here’s a taste of our response to this instructor;

“We note that CSA has contacted a number of our distributors, vendors and customers to falsely advise that it is illegal to do business with PS Knight Co.  They have successfully lobbied to have the use of our publications by government officials banned in certain Provinces.  They have sent notices to academic institutions like [redact] to warn that our Code contains nearly two-hundred errors and, worse, that these errors are grave dangers to public safety.  Among these claimed errors for instance, is our spelling of ‘subrule.’  The CSA spells it ‘sub-rule.’  The hyphen is the difference.  It’s the same with ‘wastewater’ vs. ‘waste-water.’  As you can tell, these are not public safety issues and do not qualify as errata.  Rather, the CSA’s intention is malicious.  This is the context in which you similarly made a false claim of errors in our publication, you afforded us only ten minutes to respond, you ‘instructed my students not to purchase the book,’ and you contacted our distributor to disparage our products and our brand.”

As you can tell, we’re not pleased.  Last Monday, we pointed out CSA conduct in Court but it didn’t seem to register with the Judge.  As in previous outings, the CSA dumped a deluge of filings on this Hearing, thousands of mostly irrelevant pages to obscure facts, to smudge it all over.

They’re also repeating, seemingly as often as possible, the narrative that our books are a public danger.  If they repeat it enough, the lie enters public consciousness as common knowledge.  They’ve done this before.  They’ve been saying for years that CSA is a private not-for-profit instead of a Government Agency, and all the facts and archive documents and history become of no consequence -they maintain that lie, nurture it through repetition, and reap the benefits of a sordid tactic that, sadly, works.

Lowlifes of the world have long used these tactics.  “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” - Allegedly uttered by Joseph Goebbels

Will the Court see past the lie?  Has Crampton cooked this one too?  No idea.  The Ruling comes before Oct. 15.