US Copyright Entertainment

March 14th, 2021

Hello everyone.  As you know, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), in their infinite wisdom (peace be upon them), launched a total of seven lawsuits to stop the publishing of Electrical Code Simplified books.  The seventh of these was filed in the US against PS Knight Americas Inc and against me personally (Gordon Knight). 

So yes, they’re trying to pound us out of existence.

RestoreCSA has covered this previously, so I’ll not belabour the details in this article.  If you want the Monty, click here.

Instead, this article will be wee.  And entertaining.  Well, I think it’s entertaining, and that’s something.

You see, in filing their US lawsuit, the CSA has made a bunch of silly claims.  Not that this is unusual, but it’s unusual to find a Plaintiff kicking the puck into its own net so repeatedly.

For instance, from CSA’s latest filing….

“Second, Defendants [that’s PS Knight] also fail to address the portions of the Canadian Federal Court of Appeals’ opinion that expressly hold the Copyrighted Works do not constitute the ‘law,’ a ‘statutory instrument,’ or a ‘regulation’ in Canada”.

Whoa!  We’re back to this again, are we?  This was their first line of defence back in 2012.  The Electrical Code is not a law, they said, nor even a regulation, should you want to infer a difference there.  No, it’s just a suggestion.  Nobody has to obey electrical laws because they’re not really laws.  And now they claim the Court said so.

Well, not it didn’t.  The Federal Court of Appeal actually said the opposite, but we’ll get to that in a minute.  First, more festivity….

“CSA’s Electrical Code is not the ‘law’ in Canada and is not a statutory instrument or regulation”. 

See?  They did it again.

The Electrical Code “did not become the ‘law’ in Canada.”

And again.

Actually, they make these statements repeatedly in their US filings.

At the risk of sounding ...uh, reasonable, one should note that the Electrical Code is indeed passed into law by Order-in-Counsel in every jurisdiction in Canada. 

Manson’s Law itself, the Ruling that legitimized private ownership of legislation, acknowledged that the Code is law, saying;

“It would be contrary to the purposive construction of the Copyright Act to strip” to strip parties of their ownership rights in legal text “simply because certain provinces have incorporated it into law.”  [para.50]

Likewise, the Federal Court of Appeal, in upholding Manson’s Law, Ruled with regard to the Canadian Electrical Code, that “as long as it is original, any writing may be the subject of copyright in Canada.  This would include laws and regulations.”  [para.73].  And again;  “That law and regulations may be the subject of copyright is indeed recognized” [para.74]

The reason the Court Ruled so bluntly about laws and regulations is that the Electrical Code was the subject of the lawsuit.  That is, they had to deal with the legal status of the Code; it was the subject of the case.

In a surreal twist, the CSA itself broadcast that the Code is law in its advertisements, saying simply, though in big bold letters; “It’s the law.” 

That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

But now CSA is claiming the opposite.  Now the Code isn’t law at all, it’s just a suggestion.

So, my friends, what do you suppose would happen if you chose not to take the government’s suggestions in the wiring of your basement or bathroom or your whole house or something?  Do you think the government would approve your installation anyway?  They’d just shrugging it off really, as there’s nothing they could do about it?  After all, there’s no electrical law in Canada, just the suggestions of a private not-for-profit in Mississauga. 

Oh, that reminds me…

The CSA is once again arguing that they’re not a Government Agency at all, they’re a private not-for-profit corporation.

They testified in the US case that “CSA is independent of government.”  Ah, so.  The Code “is authored by a private party who lacks the authority to make or interpret the law”.  Indeed, says CSA, the Code is “undisputedly authored by a private party” and, once again, “CSA is a private not-for-profit corporation”. 

They’re so deep into this they can’t back out now, or at least not without massive losses.  Admitting their legal status as a Crown Agency would not only condemn them for perjuries on a spectacular scale, but would also prove illegitimate the bulk of their commercial activities.  It would be devastating.

So why do they draw attention to the liability?  Well, they’re stuck.

If they want to keep bilking people for access to the law, they have to keep claiming that they’re not part of government.  Government requirements are laws, after all, and they know they can’t own laws in the US.  So CSA can’t be government. 

See?

Look, I understand the underhand tactics, it’s just that I happen to think integrity is more important than expediency. 

Anyway, that’s the US case.  It’s a big hub-bub based on hubris, mainly.  And it’s yet another of the Civil Service’ lawsuits we’ve got to deal with.

_________

Also, just a quick note of update, the Federal Court is holding their contempt trial on Wednesday, March 17.  This is the Civil Service effort to put me in prison for complying with a Stay Agreement.  It’ll be a long day, my friends.

Will report the sordid details next week.

Stay warm!